Brief Encounter (1974 film)

Brief Encounter is a 1974 British-Italian television film starring Richard Burton and Sophia Loren, adapted from the play Still Life by Noël Coward. The plot of the film is about two strangers, each married to another, who meet in a railway station and find themselves in a brief but intense affair. The material was previously the basis for the David Lean film Brief Encounter (1945). Burton was cast at the last moment, after Robert Shaw dropped out.[1]

Brief Encounter
Brief Encounter.jpg
Original Movie Poster
Written byJohn Bowen (adaptation)
Noël Coward (play)
Directed byAlan Bridges
StarringRichard Burton
Sophia Loren
Jack Hedley
Rosemary Leach
Music byCyril Ornadel
ComposerCyril Ornadel
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Executive producerDuane Bogie
ProducersCecil Clarke
Carlo Ponti
Denis Holt (associate producer)
Production locationsWinchester, Hampshire, England
Shawford, Hampshire, England
Brockenhurst Station, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, England
New Forest, Hampshire, England
Brockenhurst Station, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, England
City Centre, Winchester, Hampshire, England
CinematographyArthur Ibbetson
EditorPeter Weatherley
Running time100 minutes (UK)
Production companyITC Films
Original networkNBC
Original release12 November 1974 (1974-11-12)

The film had its premiere on U.S. television on 12 November 1974 as part of the Hallmark Hall of Fame series on NBC.[2]

The two lead rôles were cast with "wild disregard for suitability" according to Brian McFarlane, who has described the film as "a total disaster."[3] Originally intended to have a television screening in the United States, followed by a cinema release in the rest of the world, its poor reception in New York led to the international plans being abandoned. Rank, who owned the theatrical rights in the UK, sold them to television.[4] According to David Shipman, reviewing Burton's career in The Great Movie Stars, this remake was "widely viewed as a ludicrous undertaking."[5]



  1. ^ Brief Encounter on IMDb[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ "TV: 'Brief Encounter'; Burton and Miss Loren Portray Lovers on Hallmark Film at 8:30 on NBC," New York Times, 12 November 1974 (subscription required)
  3. ^ Brian McFarlane, The Encyclopedia of British Film, London: Methuen/BFI, 2003, p,82
  4. ^ David Shipman The Great Movie Stars, Volume 2, The International Years, London: Macdonald, 1989, p.335
  5. ^ Shipman, p.85

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