Brief Encounter (1945)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

On a cafe at a railway station, housewife Laura Jesson meets Dr. Alec Harvey. Although they are already married, they gradually fall in love with each other. They continue to meet every Thursday on the small cafe, although they know that their love is impossible
Classics , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Universal Pictures


Trevor Howard
as Alec Harvey
Celia Johnson
as Laura Jesson
Joyce Carey
as Myrtle Bagot
Cyril Raymond
as Fred Jesson
Stanley Holloway
as Albert Godby
Everley Gregg
as Dolly Messiter
Margaret Barton
as Beryl Waters
Valentine Dyall
as Stephen Lynn
Marjorie Mars
as Mary Norton
Nuna Davey
as Mrs. Rolandson
Dennis Harkin
as Stanley
Irene Handl
as Organist
Sydney Bromley
as Johnnie
Wilfred Babbage
as Policeman
Avis Scott
as Waitress
George V. Sheldon
as Clergyman
Wallace Bosco
as Doctor
Jack May
as Boatman
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Critic Reviews for Brief Encounter

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (6)

One of the most vivid, impassioned and painfully believable love stories ever committed to celluloid.

Full Review… | November 2, 2015
Time Out
Top Critic

Sheer perfection-the gold standard of tragic romances whose influence can still be seen to this day.

Full Review… | October 9, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Cyril Raymond manages to invest the stodgy character with a lovable quality.

Full Review… | November 6, 2007
Top Critic

Rarely rises above the level of the old women's magazines.

Full Review… | November 6, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Some films don't age well, and no doubt Brief Encounter had more of an emotional effect in the social climate of post-war Britain.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An uncommonly good little picture -- and one which is frankly designed to appeal to that group of film-goers who are provoked by the 'usual movie tripe.'

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Brief Encounter


A delicate and tearful romance that offers a surprisingly honest look into extramarital love considering when it was made, my sole objection being intrusive scenes involving secondary characters which interfere sometimes with the focus and tone of the main plotline.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Boring. I just didn't care for the relationship or the characters. There's also no story, just multiple scenes of the romance developing (I guess you can call that the story, an uninteresting one at that. Only for romance fans). The movie's running time is less than 90 minutes, but trust me, it feels as if it's over two hours. It never goes anywhere interesting thus making it a dull film.

Eric Shankle
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

Two strangers meet in a train station waiting area, both happily married yet magnetically drawn to each other in spite of that. David Lean's adult question, set to Sergei Rachmaninoff's yearning 2nd Concerto, simply wonders what we may want once we have everything we want and has endured for its grown up (if dramatic) consideration of the same.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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