Brief Encounter (1945) - Rotten Tomatoes

Brief Encounter1945

Brief Encounter (1945)



Critic Consensus: Brief Encounter adds a small but valuable gem to the Lean filmography, depicting a doomed couple's illicit connection with affecting sensitivity and a pair of powerful performance.

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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

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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
Irene Handl
as Organist
Wilfred Babbage
as Policeman
Avis Scott
as Waitress
Jack May
as Boatman
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Critic Reviews for Brief Encounter

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (16)

Lean's sad, buttoned-up account of unconsummated love is about all of us and our cautious natures.

January 16, 2018 | Full Review…

Romance and goodness are evoked with equal power and from these conflicting impulses, voluptuous demons spring eternal.

November 9, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

One of cinema's classic love stories.

November 5, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

November 2, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

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

October 9, 2012 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

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

November 6, 2007 | Full Review…

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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