Brief Encounter

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Brief Encounter is a 1945 British film directed by David Lean about the mores of British suburban life, centring on a housewife for whom real love (as opposed to the polite arrangement of her marriage) was an unexpectedly "violent" thing. The film stars Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway and Joyce Carey. The screenplay is by Noël Coward, and is based on his 1936 one-act play Still Life. The soundtrack prominently features the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, played by Eileen Joyce.

Contents

Plot

Laura Jesson (Johnson), a suburban housewife in a dull but affectionate marriage, tells her story in the first person while at home with her husband, imagining that she is confessing her affair to him.

Conventional Laura, as with most women of her class at that time, goes to the nearby town of Milford once a week for shopping and to the cinema for a matinée. Returning home from one of her weekly excursions, at the station she gets a piece of grit in her eye which is removed by another passenger, a doctor called Alec Harvey (Howard). Both are in their thirties; each is married, with two children. The doctor is a general practitioner who also works one day a week as a consultant at the local hospital, but his passion is for preventive medicine, such as addressing the causes of respiratory illness in miners.

Enjoying each other's company, the two arrange to meet again. They are soon troubled to find their innocent and casual relationship quickly developing into love.

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