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The End of the Affair (1955)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | May 1955 (USA)
In war-torn London, Maurice Bendrix (Van Johnson) falls in love with neighbor Sarah Miles Deborah Kerr). They begin an illicit romance behind Sarah's husband's back. While war does not last... See full summary »

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

Graham Greene (from the novel by), Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee)
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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:
Deborah Kerr ... Sarah Miles
Van Johnson ... Maurice Bendrix
John Mills ... Albert Parkis
Peter Cushing ... Henry Miles
Michael Goodliffe ... Smythe
Stephen Murray ... Father Crompton
Charles Goldner Charles Goldner ... Savage
Nora Swinburne ... Mrs. Bertram
Frederick Leister Frederick Leister ... Dr. Collingwood
Mary Williams Mary Williams ... Maid
Laurence Shiel Laurence Shiel ... Doctor (as O'Donovan Shiell)
Elsie Wagstaff ... Bendrix Landlady
Christopher Warbey Christopher Warbey ... Lancelot Parkis
Nan Munro Nan Munro ... Mrs. Tomkins
Joyce Carey ... Miss Palmer
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Storyline

In war-torn London, Maurice Bendrix (Van Johnson) falls in love with neighbor Sarah Miles Deborah Kerr). 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

Taglines:

A TREMENDOUS EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE! (Print Ad- Jamestown Post-Journal, ((Jamestown NY)) 14 June 1955)

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Ende einer Affaire See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Coronado Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer David Lewis first acquired the film rights to Graham Green's novel in January 1952 with Gregory Peck and Jean Simmons as possible leads. Then in March 1952 MGM bought the rights from Lewis. Finally in February 1952 producer David E. Rose acquired the rights with a deal in place for Columbia to distribute the picture. See more »

Goofs

In Sarah's journal, the date of her breakup with Maurice - and the first V-1 flying bomb attack on London - is shown as June 18, 1944. The actual date of the first V-1 attack on London was June 13, 1944. 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 jayraskin1See 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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