The never-ending Brief Encounter

By Brian McFarlane

The never-ending <i>Brief Encounter</i>


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2440-1
  • Pages: 136
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: August 2019
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, PERFORMING ARTS / Film / Genres / General, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, The arts / Film theory & criticism, The arts / Film: styles & genres, The arts / Individual film directors, film-makers


This is a book for all those who have been absorbed and moved by Brief Encounter in the seventy or so years since its first appearance. It explores the central relationship of the film, where two people who fall unexpectedly in love come to realise that there is more to life than self-gratification. Mores have undoubtedly changed, for better or worse, but that essential moral choice has never lost its power. While acknowledging this, the book goes further in an effort to account for the way the film has passed into the wider culture. People born decades after its first appearance are now adept at picking up references to it, whether a black-and-white scene in a much later film or a passing joke about a bald man in a barber's shop.


1 Predecessors
2 Brief Encounter in 1945
3 In the wake
4 Descendants - on radio, stage and screen
5 Quotations
6 Echoes
7 From big screen to small - and elsewhere
8 Odds and ends
9 What is it about railway stations?


Brian McFarlane is Adjunct Professor at Swinburne University, Melbourne. He is the author of more than twenty books and hundreds of articles.

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