Brian McFarlane
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Brief Encounter in 1945
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Chapter 2 offers a necessary account of the film’s narrative content and how this is structured. It also deals with Coward’s uncredited contribution to the screenplay. Though the war is not mentioned, and the period of the film is unspecified, its resonance in relation to the months near the end of the war is considered here in a general atmosphere of emotions being submitted to more than usual strain. Matters of class, the casting of Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard and the critical reception are also raised here against the 1945 background. When it was first released, the film did not attract universal plaudits, but it did find some national and international critical favour.

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