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7 - Brief Encounter (1945)

Sumptuously directed by David Lean, this exquisite window on 1940's suburban life sees a chance meeting between Celia Johnson's disillusioned housewife and Trevor Howard's dashing doctor leading to a quiet, doomed romance against the backdrop of post-war Britain. We know the outcome from the beginning, but the playing out of the awkward, repressed romance is at once boundlessly joyful and heartbreakingly destructive.

It's not always an easy watch, but it's the closest that cinema's ever gotten to capturing the act of falling in love, in exhilarating, painful detail.

Magic Moment: That final touch.

Go to Number 6

Brief Encounter [DVD] [1945]
Starring Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey, Cyril Raymond