Film of the Week 21.11.20.

I am still in a nostalgic mood this week with another British film classic-Brief Encounter, directed by David Lean in 1945 and considered to be his finest film despite Lawrence and Zhivago. It is now the epitome of British understatement in a casual romance and a snapshot of middle- class life in the post war years.

A bored married woman on her weekly treat for a film matinee and afternoon tea, meets a married man in a chance encounter at the railway station and impetuously falls in love with him. Their clandestine affair blossoms through subsequent meetings but find that other influences conspire to frustrate any further development.

Beautifully played by Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard and directed with sensitivity and restraint by David Lean this was voted by the BFI in 1999 as the second best British film of all time- The Third Man was first, and in 2017 a Time Out poll placed it at no12. The addition of a music score based on the Rachmaninoff second piano concerto and atmospheric black and white photography with the railway scenes shot at Carnforth station, adds to the atmosphere. The same music was used ten years later in the Marilyn Monroe comedy, ‘The Seven Year Itch’ by Billy Wilder!

The script is by Noel Coward from his stage play and in the supporting cast Joyce Carey and Stanley Holloway are familiar faces and watch out for the wonderful Irene Handl, uncredited as the organist at the cinema and more!

The film is on the BBC I-Player.