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The End Of The Affair [DVD] [2000]

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Product details

  • Actors: Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore, Stephen Rea, Heather-Jay Jones, James Bolam
  • Directors: Neil Jordan
  • Writers: Neil Jordan, Graham Greene
  • Producers: Neil Jordan, Kathy Sykes, Stephen Woolley
  • Format: Letterboxed, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, Hindi, Turkish, Danish, Icelandic, Bulgarian, Swedish, Hungarian, Polish, Arabic, Dutch, Finnish, Czech, Greek
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Aug. 2000
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004U0LN
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,307 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

In 1946, novelist Maurice Bendix (Ralph Fiennes) encounters civil servant Henry Miles (Stephen Rea) on Clapham Common, and recalls how years earlier he had a passionate affair with Henry's wife, Sarah (Julianne Moore), which ended suddenly and without explanation. Henry was unaware of the affair at the time, but believes that Sarah is now committing adultery. He asks Maurice to investigate, and the writer gradually becomes obsessed with Sarah once again, desperate to find an explanation for her behaviour and rekindle their relationship.


It's entirely fitting that The End of the Affair plays out in a 1940s London that's either blacked-out during the Blitz or wreathed in a pea-souper during the post-war period. After all, Neil Jordan's movie is a mystery play in the guise of a love-story, and its interior is a fog of conjecture and misunderstanding. Only at the end does the mist clear away and we see things in stark clarity.

Based on Graham Greene's most autobiographical novel, The End of the Affair offers an autopsy of the adulterous love affair between glacial Sarah Miles (Oscar-nominated Julianne Moore) and intense writer Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes). Out on the sidelines, Ian Hart proves convincingly twitchy as a working-class private eye, while Jordan regular Stephen Rea (as the cuckolded husband) mooches about with a face like November. In the mean-time, the movie circles deliberately around its central bone of contention: the bomb blast that spared Maurice's life but brought his relationship with Sarah to its sudden, inexplicable end.

Unfortunately, The End of the Affair winds up something of a mixed bag. If anything, Jordan is almost too respectful of Greene's source material: toiling lovingly on the intricacies of his story (its shabby London settings, its clash of profane love with redemptive Catholicism) while leaving the drama idling. The result is a film you'll probably admire rather than love. Its chill ambience dampens down the passion. --Xan Brooks

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Redfearn VINE VOICE on 13 Sept. 2006
Format: DVD
Having watched this superb film again recently, I have to say that it is a film for our times. The original version made during the mid 1950s with Deborah Kerr and Van Johnson, was made for the audience of those times. It could not be sexually explicit or emotionally charged due to the censorship laws, so much of Graham Green's original narrative was lost. However, this has now been restored for modern audiences and what a wonderful version this is. Although, some of the storyline has been changed, it does maintain the key element of the story between two lovers, Sarah Miles (played by Julianne Moore who is wonderful by the way) and Maurice Bendix (played by Ralph Fiennes). Set during World War 2, they meet at a party and develop a sexual relationship despite the fact that Sarah is married to Henry, a civil servant (played by Stephen Rea). After five years together, Sarah suddenly ends the affair without reason and two years later, they meet again. Maurice, now jealous and bitter because of the affair ending, hires a private detective to follow Sarah in an effort to solve the mystery of why the affair ended in the first place. This leads to a tragic ending, but there is also hope too for the people involved, especially for Maurice as he may have to revaluate his life and beliefs. It is a genuinely emotional drama, the sort of drama which Hollywood rarely achieves nowadays. This is left to independent film makers such as Neil Jordan who does a superb job in directing this adult drama.

Enhanced by 5:1 Audio sound, and good picture detail. Also has numerous extras plus an Isolated Score for those who just want to enjoy the superb music score composed by Michael Nyman.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. Matthiesen-campbell on 8 Dec. 2006
Format: DVD
I have to say this is a fantastic film exuding all the love, passion, restraint and desire needed from the book. It does all of this in such a credible and sensitive manner, we can feel the pain the characters are going through without feeling the 'cheese'. Ralph and Julianned are perfect for this role. I have to say I have watched this film at least a dozen times and I love it more and more. It is a classic!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Mc on 10 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's funny how you often know within the first few frames if you are going to enjoy a film. This was certainly the case here and it is fair to say that I was hooked almost immediately, much the same as Maurice falling for Sarah within a few moments of their meeting. The story is told in flashback from the lovers individual perspectives. I cannot remember how it was in the book but this methodology works well in the film. There are similarities between this film and another favourite of mine - 'The English Patient'. They are both sad stories of unfulfilled marriages and doomed affairs although Catholicism and religion are a relevant component of this film while the English Patient centres more on betrayal.

I thought the casting was excellent from the central players down to the supporting actors. Ian Hart puts in a convincing performance as the private detective, ably supported by Sam Bould, who plays his son. Julianne Moore is fabulous in her role and Stephen Rea was excellent, as usual - suitably wretched as the unhappy husband who was incapable of showing love for Moore. Impressive cinematography and the overall picture quality is very good with wonderful skin tones. Similarly, the audio quality was very good with a DTS 5:1 soundtrack which supports the excellent music composed by Michael Nyman. Another very impressive film by Neil Jordan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By cathy earnshaw on 30 Dec. 2007
Format: DVD
How true this seems when watching the novelist Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes) luxuriating in his anguish when retelling his experience of thwarted sexual passion in The End of the Affair (1999). Graham Greene wrote his now classic novel on which the film is based during an illicit postwar affair he was having with Catherine Walston, the American wife of a monied landowner (his novel is dedicated "to C."). Having converted to Catholicism in the 1920s, Greene draws upon autobiographically potent themes in intertwining of the intense religious struggle of his two protagonists with an erotic passion, and setting it against the grey backdrop of the London Blitz ("It was hard to believe that during the war we could be so totally at peace," Maurice says).

Fiennes has in the film that sneering, half-demonic glare and voice of controlled menace that have become his trademark (his cinematic debut was, after all, as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights). It is as if Fiennes himself, as film critic Peter Bradshaw has suggested, has "a great and terrible wound somewhere in his heart". Perhaps the script does belabour the point of Maurice's jealously at the start, having Fiennes repeatedly articulate a hatred that is clearly discernible from the penetrating stare of his blue-grey eyes and those 'locked lizard lips'. But Maurice is nevertheless an intriguing, passionately obssessed character; director Neil Jordan has said, "There was something heroic in his refusal to take solace in anything".

Stephen Rea puts in a sensitive and tender performance as the cuckolded, stiff-upper-lipped husband, Henry. Julianne Moore, here with a convincing British accent, is good, but seems a little too concentrated and mannered (or she intended Sarah to come across as tightly neurotic).
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