Blu-ray, DVD Release: Brief Encounter (1945)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April. 26, 2016
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion


After a chance meeting on a train platform, a married doctor (The Third Man’s Trevor Howard) and a suburban housewife (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’s Celia Johnson) begin a muted but passionate, and ultimately doomed, love affair in the 1945 British drama-romance Brief Encounter.

Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson embark on a Brief Encounter.

Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson embark on a Brief Encounter.

With its evocatively fog-enshrouded setting, swooning Rachmaninoff score, and pair of remarkable performances (Johnson was nominated for an Oscar for her role), this film, directed by David Lean (Doctor Zhivago) and based on Noël Coward’s (Design for Living) 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.

Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions of the classic movie include the following:

  • 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
    • An essay by historian Kevin Brownlow
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.