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Brief Encounter (Light Hearted)

(71 Posts)
Calendargirl Fri 27-Nov-20 18:04:44

Watched this last night on BBC4, one of my favourite films, seen it many times. Made 75 years ago, and oh, how times have changed!

a) What did Laura see in the Trevor Howard character? I thought he was a bit sleazy, always got the impression he had cheated before, and poor Laura was the latest conquest.

b) Laura’s weekly shopping trip. Different ideas of shopping in those days, she just had a sweet little wicker basket, which seemed to contain nothing more than a solitary library book, then lunch and a trip to the cinema.

c) Who collected the children from school, gave them their tea and put them to bed, all before Laura arrived home from her shopping trip? Probably the faithful Ethel, who also cooked the meals .

d) And what occupation did the faithful Fred have, to keep his wife in the lap of luxury? My guess would be solicitor, bank manager, accountant.

Nit picking aside, love the film though.

FannyCornforth Fri 27-Nov-20 18:14:17

It was written by Noel Coward, wasn't it?
Like Private Lives, it was really about romance and same sex couples.

The sexual chemistry would have been electric during the war time years.

FannyCornforth Fri 27-Nov-20 18:15:41

So, nit picking aside, it was all about forbidden love.

FannyCornforth Fri 27-Nov-20 18:17:31

And gay men

lindiann Fri 27-Nov-20 18:42:38

Have you seen the 1974 version with Sophia Lauren and Richard Burton?

Jaberwok Fri 27-Nov-20 19:17:12

I absolutely love this film, but of course you can easily pick holes in it!! Alec was clearly on the prowl when he was, 'by chance', going to the cinema and he certainly got cold feet at the end as he must have organised the South African job well in advance!! As you say, who picked the children up from school? Perhaps the groceries were delivered? I think Fred could have been an Accountant maybe?! It was clearly late autumn, so the river trip would have been so cold!! drying those socks?! those chilly walks!! Surely the doctor would have had his own car?! Why not see him onto the train at the end? After all he was introduced to Dolly as a friend, why would you not see 'a friend' onto the train?! Nevertheless. I have the CD and love it!! The later one with Sofia Loren imo was awful. Richard Burton completely miscast and by the 1970's none of this would have seemed so shocking, so the point of it all was rather lost!

Jaberwok Fri 27-Nov-20 19:19:40

Apparently it was banned in Ireland! Adultery and all that! Did they do the deed on that final afternoon? Don't think so, but???!

M0nica Sat 28-Nov-20 08:32:46

I have always thought it one of the silliest films I have ever seen. Seeing it once was a waste of a couple of hours I could have usefully spent doing nothing.

Had they run off together they would soon have found that they didn't really have anything in common and it was all a terrible mistake. Romances based on chance meetings at railway stations, are almost always disasters once real life gets involved, almost all of us have a short secret romance hidden in our past. Most of us are later really thankful nothing happened and that it ended with a bang or a whimper. little squibs of emotion like this, are best forgotten. Look at what happened to Anna Karenina when you take them seriously.

Kandinsky Sat 28-Nov-20 08:40:37

I think that’s the whole point of the film M0nica - A ‘Brief Encounter’ 😄

Short & very sweet, but never going anywhere.

kittylester Sat 28-Nov-20 09:03:03

I think lots of people had shopping delivered in those days. I used to drop my mum's order book into the village shop on the way to school and a boy called Alistair delivered it by bike later that morning.

We were nowhere near as 'genteel' as that family.

granfromafar Sat 28-Nov-20 09:04:04

I also made a point of watching this on Thursday evening as, having noticed it in the TV listings, realised that I had never seen it. I loved it, especially all the nostalgia.
Don't remember Boots being part lending library.
Thought Laura's weekly solitary shopping excursions a form of escapism. These days most people would arrange to meet up with a friend to go to the cinema but maybe in 1945 this was normal.
Also wondered who collected the children from school while she was out.
Was slightly dissappointed with the ending and wondered where Alec's new job in South Africa had suddenly appeared from. A convenient 'get-out' for him!
The follow up programme after the film was interesting, where the presenter returns to the film location and interviews the actress who played the young girl in the railway buffet plus some of the extras was fascinating!

DanniRae Sat 28-Nov-20 09:30:20

Sorry to be dim but I have never thought that "Brief Encounter" had anything to do with same sex relationships or gay men?
Can someone please enlighten me?
Thank you

Love the film BTW smile

Calendargirl Sat 28-Nov-20 09:39:37

Seeing it once was a waste of a couple of hours I could have usefully spent doing nothing

Oh MOnica, that’s a bit harsh. As previously mentioned, I have watched it several times, it’s a very good wet Sunday afternoon film, love looking at the clothes, the way the house is furnished, how lunch in a restaurant is so cheap it can be paid for with an odd coin or two, a tot of brandy was ten old pennies.....

I must get out more!

Kandinsky Sat 28-Nov-20 09:58:54

Never heard of the gay connection either?
Plenty of heterosexuals experience ‘forbidden love’ as the film portrayed.

Jaberwok Sat 28-Nov-20 10:05:15

Although it was released in 1945, the film is set, like the play, in 1936. I can remember Boots having a library at the back of the shop and going there with my mother to choose books. They sometimes had a sale and I've still got one or two books that we bought all those years ago with the 'Boots, booklovers library' stamp on the front and the crossed out stamps inside! The film is from a Noel Coward play called 'Still Life' and is about a chance meeting between a married couple (man and woman)and their subsequent adulterous affair which inevitably ends in tears!

Jaberwok Sat 28-Nov-20 10:06:26

Nothing to do with gay love!

FannyCornforth Sat 28-Nov-20 10:20:19

It can be viewed as an allegorical representation of forbidden love informed by the author's experience as a closeted gay man.

Anniebach Sat 28-Nov-20 10:51:13

I am sure the author was aware of affairs between heterosexual
married people.

Adultery was not a criminal offence

eazybee Sat 28-Nov-20 10:54:49

Why would you want to see it as an allegorical representation of anything? Enough material surely in a sympathetic presentation of the possibility of an adulterous affair, provoked by a dull marriage and the stultifying boredom of the life of a reasonably affluent housewife in the 1930s to the 1950s, but prevented by the social mores of that time.
On more mundane matters, the children would have walked home from school and been cared for by Ethel; housekeepers or home helps, were skivvies in those days, read the faintly contemptuous accounts in Monica Dickens and E.M. Delafield. The groceries would have been ordered and delivered from local shops; Boots had a lending Library well into the 1950s, as did WH Smiths and many department stores.

M0nica Sat 28-Nov-20 10:59:48

I certainly remember Boots having lending libraries and when we get all these jokes about buying olive oil at the chemist. Those laughing forget that Boots started as a herbalist and every Boots had an area selling specialist dietary foods for coeliacs, dabetics,and sold a wide selection of herbs, plus olive oil ad other similar items.

Witzend Sat 28-Nov-20 11:05:58

Very different times, and all that....

Re wicker baskets, there are so many mentions of those in the Mapp and Lucia series (set pre WW2) where everybody* walked to the grocer, butcher, fishmonger, etc., if only to leave their order for the boy with a bicycle and a big front basket to deliver.
*Well, except for the one whose chauffeur drove her 100 yards to the shops in the Rolls, or the Royce, as she called it!

Having servants was a lot more common decades ago. The house we moved to when I was 9 - 1920s or 30s but pre WW2 - certainly nothing very big or special - still had bells for summoning the skivvy, and an indicator in the kitchen saying Drawing room, bedroom one, etc.

FannyCornforth Sat 28-Nov-20 11:10:34

I just wanted to give a different and valid perspective.
Of course it is relevant that the author was a gay man
Coward writes so beautifully about love and passionate relationships, ditto Cole Porter, another gay man, writing mainstream and incredibly popular material.

May7 Sat 28-Nov-20 11:13:26

You have described the film perfectly easybee The title says it all and
the film score is just beautiful as well

Daisend1 Sat 28-Nov-20 11:14:05

Loved the movie and such a refreshing change to leave 'what happens next'' to the imagination.
My view but does any one else find that in so many 21C movies the producers etc rely on' sex 'to bring in an audience.?

Alegrias2 Sat 28-Nov-20 11:18:54


I just wanted to give a different and valid perspective.
Of course it is relevant that the author was a gay man
Coward writes so beautifully about love and passionate relationships, ditto Cole Porter, another gay man, writing mainstream and incredibly popular material.

I get it Fanny.