Archive for April, 2009

Top 5 unexploited film sequels to Brief Encounter

Thursday, April 30, 2009

It seems odd to me that no one has adequately exploited the popularity of Brief Encounter by making a sequel. Or, indeed, several sequels, preferably along the lines of the Die Hard franchise, viz:

Brief Encounter 2: Briefer Encounter
Dr Alec Harvey returns from Johannesburg for a conference on respiratory diseases among miners, but only meets Laura Jesson for a few seconds while changing trains on his way to the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Brief Encounter with a VengeanceBrief Encounter with a Vengeance
Fred Jesson discovers the truth about his wife’s clandestine cinema visits with Dr Alec Harvey and contrives to restore his pride by poisoning a scone destined for Harvey, who is due to visit the railway station tea shop on his return journey from Blackpool. The assassination attempt is foiled, however, when Dolly Messiter, the chatterbox who interrupted Harvey and Mrs Jesson’s farewell at the end of the first film, intercepts the lethal scone and dies noisily, pulling the tablecloth to the floor and upsetting a dish of Banbury cakes. 

Brief Encounter 4.0: Live Free or Encounter Briefly
(directed by Joel Schumacher)
Dr Alec Harvey, who has been suspended from the medical profession after the shock of Dolly Messiter’s death caused him to seek solace at the bottom of a whisky bottle, learns from autopsy reports that her demise was no accident. He returns to the station to confront Fred Jesson, but is met instead by Jesson’s hired goons, who force him to take refuge behind the counter in the station cafe during a 15-minute shoot-out sequence. Harvey overcomes Jesson’s thugs, defeats Jesson in hand-to-hand combat armed only with a stethoscope and episiotomy scissors, and rescues Laura Jesson from certain death by untying her from the railway tracks just before the delayed arrival of the 4.15pm to Crewe.

Brief Encounter Begins
A reboot of the franchise, in which Dr Alec Harvey emerges as a character stricken with guilt over his inability, as a child, to cure his twin brother’s conjunctivitis. To atone for his failure, he frequents station cafes in a tireless quest to remove coal dust from passengers’ eyes. He begins to find solace after rescuing Laura Jesson from certain blindness in one eye, but his happiness is thwarted by the return of his brother, whose bitterness over his condition has caused him to reinvent himself as the villainous Partially-Sighted Man. Harvey emerges victorious from their fight to the death (after Partially-Sighted Man gets coal dust in his other eye and stumbles into the coke furnace aboard the Penzance Express) but alienates Mrs Jesson, who realises that Harvey’s mission to save sight is more important than their relationship.

Brief Encounter Actually
Richard Curtis reimagines Brief Encounter as a five-act rom-com in which Dr Alec Harvey (Hugh Grant) and Laura Jesson (Keira Knightley) overcome their awkward social situation and get married after Fred Jesson (Bill Nighy) confesses his deep-seated passion for Dolly Messiter (Emma Thompson), who is equally smitten. Beryl Walters (Renee Zellweger), the cafe assistant, dies, but the solemnity of her funeral is broken when Albert Godby (Rowan Atkinson), the ticket inspector, uses the occasion to consumate his relationship with Myrtle Bagot (Martine McCutcheon), the longstanding object of his flirtatious banter. All six lovers are married in a joint ceremony in the station cafe at Christmas, during which it snows.