Brief Encounter (1945)
Director: David Lean
Writer: Noel Coward
Where: Home (DVD)
I love discovering an old movie that seems as fresh and great today as it probably did when it came out 65 years ago. I thought this was a beautiful and wrenching story of unrequited love between a married woman and a doctor.
David Lean I think is most known for big epic Oscar winners such as Bridge on the River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago, and Lawrence of Arabia. But this is more a play than an epic 3 hour film with giant battles.
Celia Johnson plays Laura Jesson a bored housewife who meets Dr. Alec Harvey, played by Trevor Howard, at a cafe at a train station. The two strike up a conversation and start to meet and develop feelings with each other. Laura is racked with guilt about being stuck in a loveless marriage thus stopping her from carrying on with the doctor. The film is largely strong because of the performance and the overall simple story telling. The way the beginning and ending is structured with the rest of the film gives the ending an extra punch that really left me floored.
A really great heart breaking romance that I am glad I got to see. Don’t let the year it came out dissuade you from seeing it definitely see!