Dr Alec Harvey
About the film
- Director: David Lean
- Producers: Noel Coward, Ronald Neame, Anthony Havelock-Allan
- Running time: 86 mins
- Genre: Romance, Drama
- Budget: £170,000
- Released: 1945
Laura, who is married to Fred, is telling him the story of her affair with Alec Harvey in her mind, although you hear her audibly telling him the story. She's in a loving, but rather boring marriage. Every Thursday she goes into town to do her shopping and go to the cinema. While Laura is in the refreshment room 1 day at the train station, she gets a bit of grit in her eye. Alec Godby, who happens to be a doctor, is there and offers to help her. She accepts and he gets whatever is in her eye out. Alec is married with children, but we do not see them in the film.
The two accidentally meet again the another week and they arrange to go to lunch and to a performance at the Palladium. As they now have weekly meetings, throughout the film we see them wrestling with their emotions for each other, and for their families. On one such meeting, Laura is spooked when she sees a friend in the hotel she's in with Alec. So as we watch the film, we see how she is overcome with guilt and battles with her feelings. It's interesting to see that their feelings for each other are very, very real. Circumstances and events happen that forces the pair to question their affair and make decisions.
This is a simple story of 2 people that can't help but fall in love with each other. Laura's husband, Fred, has done nothing wrong. It's just a case of simply being in a mundane marriage and being bored. So when Dr Alec Harvey walked into her life and they had a 'brief encounter' each Thursday, it's a kind of escape for her.
What makes this film so wonderful is that their love for each other is so simple. They both have families back home, and they are conscious of their feelings. So it's pretty clear from the beginning where this relationship is going. The thing is, Alec brings her the excitement she was lacking in her marriage. They're quite an ordinary couple really, but they seem to have crossed paths by sheer accident, and from there on in embarked on this affair. They both know what they're doing is wrong, and it makes me connect to them even more so knowing that at the end of the day they're really nice people.
I really do love this film. It's the perfect film to watch on a rainy day with the perfect romantic setting. You get that evocative setting of the 2 at the train station in the steam train, which romantically sets the scene. This is classic in any of them old movies I think, plus I do love them old steam trains. If you haven't seen this, then I would highly recommend it.
Brief Encounter Official Trailer
© 2021 Louise Powles