DVD Brief Encounter [DVD] [Criterion Collection] [1988] [Multilingual] [Region 1] (DVD 10384),
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Brief Encounter [DVD] [Criterion Collection] [1988] [Multilingual] [Region 1]

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Though he might be best remembered for sweeping epics such as DOCTOR ZHIVAGO and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, renowned British director David Lean began his film career with small-scale character studies based on the plays of Noel Coward. Lean's fourth film, BRIEF ENCOUNTER--which was also his fourth and final collaboration with Coward--adapts the playwright's heartbreaking tale of two ordinary people caught up in the extraordinary power of love. Laura (Celia Johnson) is a seemingly happy, middle-class housewife who meets the equally married physician Alec (a young Trevor Howard in only his third screen role) when he removes a speck of dust from her eye at a London railway station. The pair soon find themselves drawn together through weekly meetings at the station cafe, their casual encounters blooming into a chaste love affair marked by intimate conversation, longing glances--and the tragic realization that neither of them will be able to break the bonds of social propriety that keep them wedded to other people. Seen by some as quintessentially English, Lean's achingly lovely exploration of the conflicting demands of personal happiness and social responsibility remains nonetheless universal and timeless. Johnson and Howard's nuanced performances, Robert Krasker's shadowy cinematography, and a soundtrack of hauntingly romantic Rachmaninov piano concertos only add to the film's aura of quiet desperation.
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): BRI140

  • Credits
    Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Cyril Raymond, Joyce Carey, Everley Gregg
  • Critic Reviews
    "...The most memorable treatment of extramarital romance in movie history..." -- Rating: A-
    Entertainment Weekly

    "...This 1946 romantic drama still packs an emotional punch. David Lean's direction is assured, the script is poignant, and the performances are superb..."
    Total Film

    "...[An] expert adaptation....[With] elegant cinematography..."
    Sight and Sound

    5 stars out of 5 -- "Lean's direction and Noel Coward's expertly crafted script are letter-perfect..."
    Empire

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