Brief Encounter

Primary Creator
Screenwriter Noel Coward
Director David Lean
Actor Celia Johnson
Actor Trevor Howard
Duration86 minutes
Name of WorkBrief Encounter
Production Date1945
Production Location
United Kingdom

Current Location
United Kingdom

Media Typesfilm
General Notes


A chance innocent meeting of a woman in town doing shopping and going to the cinema and a doctor who visits that town center weekly to do work in a clinic. They have a pleasant visit and at a later week run into each other again and they start to experience a deep spark of emotional connection. It evolves into a passionate love, but as they reach the point of committing to each other they realize the emotional and practical costs to their existing staid marriages and their children and his career would be devastating in its own series of events. They decide to break it off despite the intensity of their feelings for each other.


High romance is possible. Such love is unlikely to survive. This film manages to embrace two contradictory themes, leading to a major bittersweet outcome.

Emotional Sum or Sense-of-life

Passionate love. Tragic choices.

Context Information

Based on Coward's 1936 play "Still Life". The main musical theme recurring through the film is Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto no. 2