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The End of the Affair (1955)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  May 1955 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 765 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 11 critic

In wartorn London Maurice Bendrix falls in love with neighbor Sarah Miles. They begin an illicit romance behind Sarah's husband's back. While war does not last forever, neither does love in... See full summary »

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Title: The End of the Affair (1955)

The End of the Affair (1955) on IMDb 6.7/10

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
Stephen Murray ...
Charles Goldner ...
Nora Swinburne ...
Mrs. Bertram
Frederick Leister ...
Dr. Collingwood
Mary Williams ...
O'Donovan Shiell ...
Doctor
Elsie Wagstaff ...
Christopher Warbey ...
Nan Munro ...
Mrs. Tomkins
Joyce Carey ...
Miss Palmer
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Storyline

In wartorn London Maurice Bendrix falls in love with neighbor Sarah Miles. They begin an illicit romance behind Sarah's husband's back. While war does not last forever, neither does love in this existentialist tale. Written by Robert Bole <rjbmbv@teleport.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama | Romance

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May 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Ende einer Affaire  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregory Peck was offered the male lead. See more »

Goofs

After the bomb explosion, when Sarah leaves, she stops in doorway and grabs the door side with the right hand. Between cuts, she appears without hand on the door at all. See more »

Quotes

Sarah Miles: What do you believe in, Henry? All these years I've been married to you I've never really known; I've never even asked. Do you believe that there's a hell and a heaven, and an immortal soul, and a god who rewards and punishes and answers prayers?
Henry Miles: It's not exactly the sort of thing to go into over a cup of tea.
See more »

Connections

Version of The End of the Affair (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very Unusual and Nice Work for its Time Period
14 November 2010 | by (Orlando, United States) – See all my reviews

The Hays Moral Code specifically stated "Adultery and illicit sex, sometimes necessary plot material, must not be explicitly treated or justified, or presented attractively." Still in effect at that time, this is certainly the most explicit treatment of the subject of adultery during the time of the code's strict enforcement from 1935-1955. ("Baby Doll" released in December, 1956 goes a bit further).

While the movie should gets points for its explicit and adult treatment of the subject matter, the film does explicitly preach Catholicism which may be the reason that the theme was allowed. In the 1950's and early 1960's there was a Catholic anthology drama series on U.S. television which often dealt with serious issues like adultery, communism, abusive families, racism, incest, rape and abortion; issues that were almost never raised on television at the time. The show was apparently given a pass because it always ended with one character realizing the issues of his/her ways and having their soul redeemed by joining or rejoining the Catholic Church. This movie reminded me of that show.

The movie does have terrific performances by Deborah Kerr, Van Johnson, and Peter Cushing. It should be watched just for the performances. They underplay their roles beautifully and hit emotional high points in just the scenes that need them.

Graham Greene is an excellent writer and knows how to keep a plot moving and constantly surprises the audience.

One can dismiss this movie as Catholic Propaganda, but the movie is touching, thoughtful and well done. The Catholic Propaganda only mars it slightly, a small price to pay for the pleasure it brings. It is a good affair between two handsome/beautiful people, even if it ends with a bit of repentance and feelings of guilt.


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