Video Picks Archive

May 17, 2000
This Week's Video Picks
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Reviews by Matt Heffernan <>

This week my picks are The End of the Affair (1999 - ) and The Third Man (1949 - ).

The first pick this week was one of my favorite films from 1999, even if few other critics thought so highly of it. Ralph Fiennes stars as Maurice Bendix, a novelist who had an affair with Sarah Miles (Julianne Moore) during World War II. After the war (and the relationship), her husband (Stephen Rea) asks Maurice to find out if Sarah is cheating on him. Based on Graham Greene's novel, Neil Jordan's The End of the Affair tells the story of the affair and the later investigation in parallel. Jordan masterfully weaves this complex film together, creating an engrossing romantic drama. The leads are exceptional (Moore was nominated for an Academy Award), but Ian Hart (The Closer You Get) really stands out as the private investigator hired by Maurice. Roger Pratt also received an Oscar nomination for his cinematography, but sadly this film came away empty-handed. Hopefully, this film will finally find an audience on video, and I strongly recommend seeing it.
Full review from January 7, 2000

When one speaks of films based on Graham Greene's writing, the second film is invariably the main focus. Carol Reed's masterpiece stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, an American mystery novelist in Vienna, who is investigating the alleged death of his friend, Harry Lime (Orson Welles). Few noir films are this beautfiul, and few art films are this thrilling. Yet Reed created a deft combination of the two genres -- a film that flows and sings, shrieks and laughs. Greene is credited with writing the screenplay (based on a novella he developed with producer Alexander Korda, for the purpose of filming), but it is Welles himself who wrote the famous "Ferris Wheel" speech. On top of the brilliant filmmaking, Anton Karas wrote and performed the score on a single zither, including the now-famous "Harry Lime Theme". The addition of this haunting music completes the perfection of The Third Man.

For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
The End of the Affair (1999)
The Third Man (1949)

Here's some merchandise for sale at
The End of the Affair (1999) -- VHS
The End of the Affair (1999) -- DVD
The End of the Affair, a novel by Graham Greene -- Paperback
The End of the Affair, a novel by Graham Greene -- Audio Cassette (read by Michael Kitchen)
The End of the Affair: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc
The Third Man (1949) -- VHS
The Third Man (1949) -- DVD
The Third Man, a novella by Graham Greene -- Paperback
The Third Man, a novella by Graham Greene -- Audio Cassette (read by Martin Jarvis)
The Third Man Theme and Other Viennese Favorites, by Anton Karas -- Compact Disc Home
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