When it comes to romance movies, there is none greater than Brief Encounter, which sees director David Lean on top form.
It was back in 1945 when Brief Encounter first hit the big screen, but it remains a cinematic masterpiece and popular movie in the romance movie genre. For me, this is Lean's best movie and it remains as powerful a watch today as it was back seventy years ago.
On a cafe at a railway station, housewife Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) meets Dr. Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard). Although they are already married, they gradually fall in love with each other. They continue to meet every Thursday on the small cafe, although they know that their love is impossible.
Brief Encounter is the romance movie that all others in this genres are measured against as it is such an engaging piece of cinema that involves the audience from start to finish.
But Brief Encounter's strongest aspects was its realism and unsentimentally set to the backdrop of a railway station. It was a chance meeting and it wasn't glamorised like many Hollywood love stories that had graced the big screen, and this was something many people could, and still do relate too.
Plus Lean wasn't afraid to buck the trend by ending the film on a very downbeat note where Laura and Alec realise that their relationship cannot continue and do the selfish thing, return to their families.
And while the movie is a romantic story it's a very restrained romance, often touted as very British, and Lean realises that, on this occasion less is definitely more.
In a time where romance is now portrayed on screen by sex Brief Encounter remains that breathe of fresh air, but a consummated affair at the time of release who have caused a scandal, Lean demonstrates that a love affair can be just as passionate and intense without having to jump into the nearest bed.
For her performance Celia Johnson was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar and the film shared the Palme d'Or at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.
Brief Encounter remains one of the best British films and it's true when they say that they don't make them like they use to. It's a film that has stood the test of time and will continue to do so.
The word 'classic' is banded around far too much for my liking when it comes to movies but Brief Encounter is a movie that is deserving of that title.
I am surprised that no one has tried to remake Brief Encounter over the years... however, I do think it is a movie that should be left well alone.
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