It’s worth noting that Greene’s participation in the making of the film [Brighton Rock] carries at least a faint whiff of corruption too. Seven years earlier, near the end of a stint as the film critic of The Spectator, he had cheekily reviewed a movie called “21 Days,” on which he was himself one of the credited writers. He panned it, concluding with these ringing words: “Let one guilty man, at any rate, stand in the dock, swearing never, never to do it again.”
So in helping bring “Brighton Rock” — one of his favorites among his books — to the screen he was breaking an oath. And he compounded the sin by softening the story’s memorably cruel ending. He appears to have had no compunction about either his perjury or the necessity of doing a little violence to his own novel. Greene compromised gladly and seemed in later years almost to relish the cynical professionalism with which he had done the dirty work of turning literature into film.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Not exactly news, but an interesting article by Terrence Rafferty in The New York Times looking at Graham Greene's approach to adapting his own novels for the screen.