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"Thank you for coming back to me"

When I was a girl, the separation of the lovers in Brief Encounter seemed tragic. A
recent report about new signs that discourage kissing at Warrington Bank Quay Station - apparently overly fond farewells are causing delays and the rail directors can't resist being silly - reminded me of the 1945 film.

Directed by David Lean early in his career, Brief Encounter was based on Noël Coward's 1936 one-act play, Still Life. Coward co-wrote the screenplay and co-produced the movie.

The penultimate scene of Brief Encounter has the two lovers - Laura Jesson, played by Celia Johnson, and Dr Alec Harvey, played by Trevor Howard - parting forever at a train station to return to their respective spouses and children. Famously, no kissing occurs.

As I say, I used to think their parting was tragic. It was sad, but now I'm touched by Laura's husband, Fred. In the very last scene he asks her if he can help and gently holding her in his arms, says, "Thank you for coming back to me".

I am racking my brains, trying to think of British films that show believable happy marriages. Suggestions?

Comments (1)

Thanks for reminding us of a magical film and the especially magical Celia Johnson, with whom no man with any sensitivity can not fall in love. As for a happy marriage, how about Celia and (oh, dear) Noel Coward in his and David Lean's wonderful In Which We Serve? It's been a while since I watched it, but I have a memory of believable happiness. (The characters, that is: Noel was perhaps not quite the type off-screen....)

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