The End of the Affair (1955 film)

The End of the Affair is a 1955 British romantic drama film directed by Edward Dmytryk, based on Graham Greene's 1951 novel of the same name. The film stars Deborah Kerr, Van Johnson, Peter Cushing and John Mills. It was filmed largely on location in London, particularly in and around Chester Terrace. The film was entered into the 1955 Cannes Film Festival.[1]

The End of the Affair
Theatrical release poster
Directed byEdward Dmytryk
Produced byDavid Lewis
Screenplay byLenore Coffee
Based onThe End of the Affair
by Graham Greene
Music byBenjamin Frankel
CinematographyWilkie Cooper
Edited byAlan Osbiston
Coronado Productions
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • 24 February 1955 (1955-02-24) (London)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Plot summary

The writer Maurice Bendrix (Van Johnson) recalls his time in London towards and following the end of World War II. He meets, at her sherry party, Sarah Miles (Deborah Kerr), the wife of civil servant, Henry Miles (Peter Cushing), who he hopes to include in his next novel. They become lovers after he sees her kissing another man. After his rooms are bombed when they are together there, she ends their relationship and he suffers from the delayed shock from the bombing and from her ending the affair.

After their break-up and the end of the war, Bendrix encounters Henry, who invites him for a drink at his home, especially as Sarah will not be there. Henry confides that he suspects Sarah is unfaithful and has looked into engaging a private investigator, but then decides against it. Sarah returns home before Bendrix leaves and is curt with him. Bendrix follows through with hiring a private detective agency on his own account. They come across information which suggests that Sarah is being unfaithful, which Bendrix shares with Henry in revenge.

Bendrix then obtains Sarah's diary via the private investigator which reveals that Sarah is not having an affair and that she promised God to give Bendrix up if he returned from apparent death in the bombing. Sarah had to resolve her infidelity with Bendrix, her prayer for Bendrix to be alive, her relationship with God and her marriage during her discussions, sometimes extended, with a priest.[2] She eventually resolves to abandon Henry and live with Bendrix but Henry tells her how much he needs her and she promises to stay.



The film was remade in 1999, starring Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore.[3]


Home media

This film has been made available on a DVD-video and was released on 16 May 2000. It contains both the 1955 and 1999 adaptations together with supporting material about their making.


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