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The End of the Affair (1955)

Deborah Kerr , Van Johnson , Edward Dmytryk  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Deborah Kerr, Van Johnson, John Mills, Peter Cushing, Michael Goodliffe
  • Directors: Edward Dmytryk
  • Writers: Graham Greene, Lenore J. Coffee
  • Producers: David E. Rose, David Lewis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767849973
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,008 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The End of the Affair" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurette of 1999 Version
  • Bonus Trailers

Editorial Reviews

From the novel by Graham Greene comes this story of star-crossed lovers whose short affair begins and ends as tumultuously as the war that is its backdrop. In England during the Second World War, Sarah Miles (Deborah Kerr) is the bored wife of a British civil servant. When Mr. Miles (Peter Cushing)introduces her to American writer Maurice Bendrix (Van Johnson) at one of the couple's cocktail parties, she is unable to deny her attraction to him, or to resist his interest in her. Almost as quickly as the two become deeply involved, spinning their dreams into plans for a long future together, Sarah mysteriously brings their affair to an end. With the help of a private detective (Albert Parks), Maurice sets out to find out why: did Sarah never love Maurice, or did she love him too much?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting film January 22, 2002
Format:DVD
I always say it, it's no use comparing books to films, nor comparing nineteen forties or fifties movies with current releases, for many reasons, not only because of limitations due to the Production Code, which reigned supreme in those decades. This is a fine, interesting movie, with a top performance by that grand lady of the 50's, Deborah Kerr, who excelled in this kind of roles (one can remember "From Here to Eternity" and "Bonjour Tristesse", among others). Also, very good performances by the supporting-all-english-cast, most notably Peter Cushing and John Mills, and good acting by previous-boy-next-door Van Johnson, much in the way of his role in "The Last Time I Saw Paris" with Liz Taylor, but even better. I saw this movie for the first time when I was a kid and couldn't fully understand many of its implications, anyway loving it. In spite of the restrictions imposed by the aforementioned P. Code to the sexual aspects of the main characters relationship, it's pretty adult material in regard to their inner conflicts and contradictions. Serious viewing. Recommended.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the remake August 14, 2000
Format:DVD
I much preferred this version of the Grahme Greene classic to the newer version with Julianna Moore and Ralph Fienes. That movie was far too graphic for my tastes and the story was so confusing that I was often completely lost. In any case, in the 1999 version, I found I did not like the characters, therefore, I could not care less what happened to them. In this version with Deborah Kerr and Van Johnson, I could follow the story line and find a sympathy for the characters. It was almost like "aha, so that is what it was all about." Sort of shows that today's graphic realism can ruin a really good story. I like the old way better...leaving a little mystery and something to the imagination.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece! September 24, 2004
Format:DVD
If you like classic movies that are depressing and melodramatic (not necessarily a bad word), then "The End of the Affair" is for you. I LOVE this film! It showcases Deborah Kerr and Van Johnson at their finest and is a far cry from the light musicals Johnson is usually associated with. The cinematography is exceptional as well and really captures the essence of London during World War II.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great screen adaptation of a great novel March 9, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a superb 1955 film adaptation of Graham Greene's moving, The End of the Affair - one of the greatest novels by one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century.

When possible, I prefer not to mention "the book" when reviewing a movie, but when the elephant in the room is Graham Greene's novel, I suppose the comparison is unavoidable. I also don't like to give away the plot in a review, and I won't do it here either.

This is a story set in the WWII London suburbs and involves an adulterous affair involving an American novelist (Van Johnson) and the wife (the lovely Deborah Kerr) of a semi-important government functionary (the distinguished Peter Cushing). The screenplay was very nicely done, but the complex plot in The End of the Affair required much of Greene's book to be left out. However, I was delighted, here and there, to see the inclusion of little details and nuance from the novel.

As you might expect of Graham Greene, God also plays an active role in this story. I won't say any more in that regard except that He receives rather short shrift in the film compared to the book.

Deborah Kerr nailed her role. So did Peter Cushing in his understated manner. Van Johnson was appropriately unlikeable, but never really got a handle on his character in the way that the other leads did. He was a weak link. Excellent supporting cast (John Mills was outstanding as the quirky detective. The others were British unknowns to me, but quite talented).

I don't know the usual best formula for the order in which to watch-the-movie/read-the-book. In this case, may I suggest that you watch the film first. It is great and stands on its own merit. Then, if you are a reader . . . read the book. You will be stunned.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong Sarah, weak Bendrix April 16, 2004
By L.M.W.
Format:DVD
I recently watched this film, about a year after I'd seen the 1999 version. Of course, both films have their own shortcomings and merits, but here is my opinions on the earlier version. Deborah Kerr's performance was good, and she beautifully portrayed a woman torn between her unsatiable passions and her search for truth and God. However, Van Johnson's role as Bendrix was totally ineffective; when he was crying, I felt like the few tears he produced were too forced and unfelt. His performance cannot compare to the brilliant acting of Ralph Fiennes in the later version, but I preferred Deborah Kerr's Sarah to Julianne Moore's. Kerr lent authenticity to her role, something that I think Moore failed to accomplish. (As a side note, even though she is a talented actress, I abhorred the plethora of Moore's flesh in the 1999 version. We don't have to see borderline soft porn to understand that Bendrix and Sarah are having an illicit affair. Please.)
Overall, 1955's version is well worth a watch, just imagine Ralph Fiennes as Bendrix instead of Van Johnson. Had they gotten a better actor in 1955, like Cary Grant or Gregory Peck, this film version would have been much more convincing and entertaining. But as is, it's a farily decent wartime love story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cast!
Awesome film, needed it in my Peter Cushing collection for awhile! Wonderful film and great cast!
Published 1 month ago by Erica
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, good read
I saw this movie years ago, not the version pictured on the cover. Debora Kerr/Van Johnson not the best movie version but I enjoyed reading the book, after all these years of... Read more
Published 6 months ago by bbfan
5.0 out of 5 stars Greating acting from when actors really acted
Deborah Kerr and Van Johnson are marvelous in this 1950s movie. It was made back in the day when a scene would last more than a few seconds (and sound bites, back in the day when... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Macburger52
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Too Dreary
I love the actors in this film; however, Van Johnson was a little too-distanced for my taste. Ralph Fiennes, in the modern version, captured this role much better.
Published 16 months ago by K Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Good actors, good movie. Slow at times but we enjoyed it overall. We love Van Johnson and Deborah Kerr. Was nice to see.
Published 16 months ago by pogomaxx
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story, male lead misscast
This movie only gets a three-star rating because Van Johnson was a lousy choice as the "leading man" in this movie. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Sandi
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Plot
Good acting...great fan of Kerr. Her performance is excellent. Interesting plot. I have had situations when I prayed that IF such and such were to happen, I would pledge... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Marilyn D. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this movie
I had not seen this movie before and took into account the reviews on Amazon when I made the purchase. I enjoyed the movie.
Published 23 months ago by Wendy Preston
5.0 out of 5 stars unforgettable!
This movie was Miss Kerr's finest performance, fittingly paired with that of the handsome Van Johnson. Read more
Published on March 5, 2012 by R. Monteclar
5.0 out of 5 stars Good romantic movie
Van Johnson is adorable. Liked the movie except for the sad ending. Very romantic. Van is one of my favorite actors. Deborah and Van were good together.
Published on January 15, 2012 by Marie D. Lazzari
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