The Criterion Collection: Brief Encounter

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After a chance meeting on a train platform, a married doctor (Trevor Howard) and a suburban housewife (Celia Johnson) begin a muted but passionate, and ultimately doomed, love affair. With its evocatively fog-enshrouded setting, swooning Rachmaninoff score, and pair of remarkable performances (Johnson was nominated for an Oscar), this film, directed by David Lean and based on Noël Coward’s play Still Life deftly explores the thrill, pain, and tenderness of an illicit romance, and has influenced many a cinematic brief encounter since its release.

further info

Official Release Date  Apr 26, 2016
Starring  Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey, Cyril Raymond, Everley Gregg
Director  David Lean
Screen Format  Widescreen
Video Format  1.37:1
Audio  LPCM Mono
Language  English
Subtitles  English
Year  1945
Running Time  86 minutes
Genre  Drama
Version  US
PAX-Code PAX0007847744
Item Code  0715515175012


  • High-definition digital transfer of the BFI National Archive’s 2008 restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2000 by film historian Bruce Eder
  • Interview from 2012 with Noël Coward scholar Barry Day
  • A Profile of “Brief Encounter,” a short documentary from 2000 on the making of the film
  • David Lean: A Self Portrait, a 1971 television documentary on Lean’s career
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by historian Kevin Brownlow

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