Stream On: Going Greene with ‘The End of the Affair’

By on October 12, 2023

Novelist Graham Greene (The Third Man, The Quiet American) was agnostic, but he was baptized into the Catholic church in 1926 after meeting his future wife, Vivien Dayrell-Browning. Typically, he referred to himself afterwards as a Catholic agnostic: nothing had been “settled.” In 1951 he wrote The End of the Affair, inspired by his own dalliance with Catherine Walston, the wife of British politician Henry Walston.


/Amazon /Streaming /🍅67%🍿74% /Trailer /1999 /R

In 1946 London, author Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) is at work on “a diary of hate.” He had run into Henry Miles (a brilliantly cast Stephen Rea) with whom he had been acquainted some years back during World War Two when he was researching background for a civil servant character for a book.

Bendrix and Miles’ wife Sarah (Julianne Moore, The Children of Men) had bonded immediately and they began an affair, during which Bendrix was tormented by jealousy despite Sarah’s insistence that she and Miles were essentially roommates and no more.

Sarah had refused to divorce Henry, and finally broke it off with Bendrix. Miles, unaware of their past affair, confessed to Bendrix that he is worried Sarah might be currently seeing someone. Bendrix seized the opportunity to engage a private investigator, Mr. Parkis (Ian Hart, Bates Motel, Boardwalk Empire, Tin Star), using Miles’ identity to see what Sarah has been lately up to.

What he finds out is that Sarah had been visiting a Mr. Smythe. Parkis used his boy, Lance, as cover and was able to produce Sarah’s diary. He told Bendrix that his son was named for Sir Lancelot, who “found the Holy Grail.” Bendrix corrected him. “That was Galahad. Lancelot fell in love with another man’s wife.”

Reading the diary, Bendrix reads about Sarah’s last encounter with him, Bendrix. They had made love in his apartment and during an air raid Bendrix went out into the hall on his way to the basement to see if anyone was already sheltering there. (Bendrix and Sarah couldn’t be seen together, especially in his apartment house.) Bendrix then disappeared in a V-1 bomb blast—and Sarah prayed for his life; she promised a God in whom she didn’t believe that she would return to Henry and stop seeing Bendrix if only God would save Bendrix’ life.

When she looked up, Bendrix was standing there, banged up but very much alive.

In the present day, Bendrix sits at his typewriter, working on his journal of hate, to one in whom he only started believing. “I hated you as though you existed. Now I’m tired of hating, but you’re still there. So your cunning is infinite. And I’ve only one prayer left. Dear God, forget about me.”

Neil Jordan’s (The Borgias) 1999 film maintains the narrative structure of Greene’s novel and is quite well-cast. The sex scenes are almost unnecessarily explicit, but they do seem to convey Bendrix’ cynicism, indeed Greene’s own proclivities, which are vast and dark and in the novel gradually described in his first-person narration.

Fiennes (nominated for the British Academy of Film and TV Arts award for leading actor) is fine as the first-person antagonist Maurice Bendrix; Julianne Moore (nominated for an Academy Award for best actress) can play pretty much anything seamlessly, and Stephen Rea with his hound-dog face portrays well a man to whom things happen. Audiences seemed to like the film more than the critics.


/Amazon /Streaming /🍅80%🍿58% /Trailer /NR

Edward Dmytryk’s original film treatment of Greene’s novel featured a screenplay by Lenore Coffee that was truncated and streamlined, with a confused Deborah Kerr and a bland Van Johnson. The high point for me was John Mill’s Albert Parkis, the enthusiastic private investigator, who stole each scene he was in, in a relatively minor role. Peter Cushing was also quite good as Sarah’s put-upon husband Henry Miles.

This version was more popular with the critics than audiences; for me, every time Van Johnson was onscreen I had the idea that he had wandered onto the wrong set.

(Pete Hummers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to earn fees by linking Amazon.com and affiliate sites. This adds nothing to Amazon’s prices.)

Click here for more Stream On: What to watch on TV columns by Pete Hummers. Columns are archived and updated when necessary on Substack.



Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


Sussex Development is soliciting bids to turnkey supply and install FF&E for the new Tulls Creek Elementary School, 125 Campus Drive, Moyock, NC27929. This project is a new ground-up 2-story, Pre-K thru 5th grade school, approximately 118,000 square feet. Bid documents may be obtained through Christopher West Interiors LLC. Request bid documents via email to interiors@cwiusa.com. Pre-Bid RFIs will be accepted via email until Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 5:00PM EST. Pricing proposals are due Wednesday, August 14, 2024 by 5:00PM EST. All bids and inquires to be sent to interiors@cwiusa.com. Certified NC Hub, MBE, WBE, DBE, SBE are highly encouraged to participate. Sussex Development is an EOE and maintains a drug-free workplace.


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