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Greene on the screen

Why is Graham Greene so difficult to adapt to film?

By Neil Sinyard   February 2000

“Just as landscape was behind Walter Scott,” Graham Greene once said to Anthony Burgess, “film has been behind me. It’s the visual art of our day and it’s bound to influence the novelist.” No novelist had a deeper involvement with the cinema than Greene, and there are two current reminders of this fact. Last year a British Film Institute poll voted The Third Man (1949), scripted by Greene, as the best British film of the century. In February comes Neil Jordan’s version of Greene’s The End of the Affair, which has already been ripped into by US critics for devastating…

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