The Never-Ending Brief Encounter

Author(s): Brian McFarlane


More than seventy years after its release, Brief Encounter continues to occupy a prominent place in the popular imagination. It has spawned theatrical versions and an appalling remake. It features in advertisements for everything from refrigerators to roast beef dinners. It is frequently 'quoted' in films and television programmes, and its title pops up in situations where the audience is expected to take the source for granted.

In this book, film scholar Brian McFarlane sets out to investigate the wildly eclectic ways in which Brief Encounter has infiltrated the broader culture. There has always been praise for the acting of Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard, but not enough thought has gone into the question of why the painful decision their characters make continues to be so moving. Answering this question takes McFarlane on a journey through film and television, stage plays, novels and advertisements, culminating in a visit to Carnforth Station itself. On the way he hears from people associated with Brief Encounter in different ways, including Johnson's daughter Lucy, the actress Hayley Mills and the last surviving member of the original cast, Margaret Barton.

Accessible and informed, the book will be of great interest to students and scholars of film, as well as general readers who want to understand Brief Encounter's astonishingly long life and remarkable cultural legacy.


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9781526124401
  • : Manchester University Press
  • : Manchester University Press
  • : November 2019
  • : --- length: - '9.21' width: - '6.14' units: - Inches
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Brian McFarlane
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 791.4372
  • : 136