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The Heart of the Matter (1953)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  8 February 1954 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 230 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

An unhappily married white policeman in Sierra Leone falls in love with a white girl and starts an affair. He soon starts feeling guilty.

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(novel), (adapted by), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Heart of the Matter (1953)

The Heart of the Matter (1953) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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Elizabeth Allan ...
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Gérard Oury ...
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George Coulouris ...
Portuguese Captain
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Storyline

An unhappily married white policeman in Sierra Leone falls in love with a white girl and starts an affair. He soon starts feeling guilty.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

africa | based on novel | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 February 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Herz aller Dinge  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The novel from which the film is adapted, drew upon author Graham Greene's wartime experiences in Sierra Leone, where he was employed by Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). See more »

Connections

Featured in Dangerous Edge: A Life of Graham Greene (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Ferry Song
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Edric Connor
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User Reviews

 
Guilt with a capital G
1 October 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

After watching The Heart Of The Matter for all the exotic atmosphere of a film set in Sierra Leone during World War II what the film boils down to essentially is a Catholic soap opera. Which would follow since it is based on a Graham Greene novel. Had lead character Trevor Howard not been Catholic, would this story had even occurred.

Howard gives a capable performance of a British colonial policeman who is stationed in Sierra Leone caught up in a mid life crisis. He's fallen out of love with wife Elizabeth Allan whom he sends away on money borrowed from a man who the authorities suspect of smuggling, an offensive looked at even more during wartime.

He also embarks on an affair with Maria Schell, an Austrian refugee who were others had been on a life raft for 40 days at sea after Allan has been sent away. That and the fact that he now has the appearance of impropriety has his superiors questioning him after accusations were brought by another civilian Denholm Elliott.

Nothing like Catholic guilt. His theological musings with Father Peter Finch bring him no solace. Howard's troubles are big, but he's his own harshest judge as per his religion.

Although The Heart Of The Matter was well received and it is a well acted story, it hasn't aged well in the past 60 years since it first came out. If anything it's one serious argument against Catholicism should one be considering converting.


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