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celia johnson  encounter  film  johnson  laura  lean  movie  paul  station  story  train station  trevor howard  wonderful life  years lives 
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Preview: Film Noir of the Week

Film Noir of the Week

Last Build Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:03:20 PDT


Brief Encounter (1945)

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 14:17:09 PDT

Rachmaninoff piano concerto No. 2 blares over the shot of a British couple slowly walking through a train station. Never has the music in a film not matched the actions as it does in Brief Encounter. David Lean directs Brief Encounter -- this classic tale of love and guilt in a post-war England train station. The story is based on a short Noel Coward play. Fleshed out to movie length, the film is one of those rare birds: A film that far outweighs its original form (as brilliant as the play is). Unlike Mildred Pierce where murder and mystery is added to the plot, Lean is very careful to keep the story in place without trying to make it more attractive to film goers. The story is about a 40-ish housewife and mother that spends one day of the week away from the house shopping and occasionally catching a movie alone. One day she meets up with a charming doctor. They fall almost immediately. Celia Johnson is Laura. Trevor Howard  is Paul. Johnson isn't your typical 40s movie actress. If this was made in America, the part would be played by Lana Turner or by the "other" Laura Gene Tierney. Instead, Laura is a plain-looking, needlepoint-loving bore. Not glamorous at all. But when she falls for Paul look out! Her face lights up. Her eyes seem to double in size and I suspect there isn't a man watching that doesn't understand why Paul falls for her fast. Paul is a tall, lean, handsome-ish doctor that appears to be obsessed with his job. He seems like a guy that never even considered falling in love until he helps Laura get a bit of grit out of one of her cow eyes at the Milford railway station station.  Howard is in a surprising number of British crime and films noir.  You can see him in They Made Me A Criminal, Green For Danger, The Clouded Yellow, I See a Dark Stranger and most memorably in The Third Man.Both leads are fantastic. Obviously, the success of a film like this requires both to be solid actors and that they have palpable chemistry. The film was a smash hit in no small part because of it. Nominated for three Oscars in 1947 (including one for Johnson) it won none. It was beat out by Best Years of Our Lives for screenplay and director. Best actress went to Olivia de Havilland for the soapy To Each His Own. It's a Wonderful Life also had a number of nominations. But, somehow, the intimate and simple story of Brief Encounter is more timeless than Best Years of Our Lives and It's a Wonderful Life which feel more firmly set in their time. Celia Johnson with Trevor Howard in Brief Encounter #celiajohnson #trevorhoward #filmnoirA post shared by Skip McCoy (@filmnoirquoteoftheday) on Mar 26, 2017 at 5:43pm PDT [...]

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