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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Shades of Greene

The Dangerous Edge - Part 1


Little viewed on YouTube, there is a series filmed in 1993, by the BBC Arena programme (complete with Brian Eno intro music) about the life of the author Graham Greene. If you have enjoyed his books, this series is well worth watching.

The Dangerous Edge is part of this trilogy produced after Graham Greene died in 1991. It sheds light on Greene’s secret world, where the characters are typified by morbid obsession: weak men, traitors, hypocrites, failures.


The Dangerous Edge - Part 2

The Dangerous Edge - Part 3


In the film, the cast of characters includes Kim Philpy talking about his time with Greene in the Secret Service, Greene’s contemporaries John le Carr√© and Anthony Burgess, his wife Vivien, his mistress Jocelyn Rickards and the secretive Yvonne Cloetta, his companion for the last thirty years of his life.


The Dangerous Edge - Part 4


The two other parts of the trilogy are "A World of My Own" - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 - and "England Made Me (named after one of Greene's novels and its rather poor film adaptation) - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. The making of this excellent documentary is summarised in "The Other Graham Greene".



Greene was one of the most "cinematic" of twentieth-century writers with many of his novels and plays and short stories adapted for film or television. Think of "The Quiet American", "The Heart of the Matter", "The Honorary Consul", "Our Man in Havana", and dozens more.

And who can forget the haunting zither music in "The Third Man" or the memorable line "You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." ?

For some quiet reading or watching, there's nothing better than a bit of Graham Greene whom William Golding of "Lord of the Flies" fame described as "the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man's consciousness and anxiety."