Brief Encounter
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Based on NoŽl Coward's play "Still Life," Brief Encounter is a romantic, bittersweet drama about two married people who meet by chance in a London railway station and carry on an intense love affair. Sentimental yet down-to-earth and set in pre-World War II England, the film follows British housewife Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson), who is on her way home, but catches a cinder in her eye. By chance, she meets Dr. Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard), who removes it for her. The two talk for a few minutes and strike immediate sparks, but they end up catching different trains. However, both… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Sheer perfection-the gold standard of tragic romances whose influence can still be seen to this day."
‑ Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
"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."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"Haunting in its evocative mood -- one enhanced by Robert Krasker's cinematography and Lean's meticulous, muted direction -- Brief Encounter primarily hinges on the extraordinary performance by Celia Johnson."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Solid romantic classic directed by David Lean. Johnson and Howard are terrific."
‑ Steve Crum, Video-Reviewmaster.com
"Stodgy and dated."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Cyril Raymond manages to invest the stodgy character with a lovable quality."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"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.'"
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Retrata seu par rom‚ntico com sensibilidade e complexidade (especialmente para a ťpoca), pecando apenas pela insistÍncia em introduzir diversas cenas de alŪvio cŰmico conduzidas por Holloway e Carey."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"David Lean finds poetry and lyricism in Noel Coward's initimate dram about the romance between two ordinary people married to others, acted with admirable restraint by Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Go and see it again - and try not to giggle at the clipped accents."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Rarely rises above the level of the old women's magazines."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"... still embraced as one of the most romantic films ever made, and it has earned its reputation."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"Lovely, small-scale romance by David Lean."
‑ Beth Accomando, KPBS.org
"Back in cinemas and welcomed by me."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"David Lean paints heartbreak with perfect decorum."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
More reviews for Brief Encounter on Rotten Tomatoes