Greene On-screen

Jan 31, 2011

On the occasion of this week’s U.K. release of a new film adaptation of Graham Greene’s sinister classic 1938 novel Brighton Rock, Boyd Tonkin has written a piece for the Independent examining the esteemed British author’s relationship with movies. Though some may know of Greene’s connection to the movies only by way of his brilliant scripts for Carol Reed’s masterpieces The Fallen Idol and The Third Man, as Tonkin puts it, “No giant of modern fiction has ever had such a long and—mostly—fruitful liaison with the cinema as Graham Greene.” Tonkin charts Greene’s love for film through the decades—from his years as a famed film critic (during which he wrote, Tonkin says, “perhaps the most notorious notice in the history of film criticism” about Shirley Temple) to his days as a movie insider and collaborator with such luminaries as Alexander Korda, Alberto Cavacanti, and, of course, Reed, with whom he made his most lasting mark on the medium. This entertaining look back at Greene on the silver screen also includes a list of the ten best Greene adaptations, from 1942’s Went the Day Well? to 2002’s The Quiet American.