QUESTION: Graham Greene wrote Confidential Agent, The Third Man and another novel that was adapted to film twice, in 1958 and 2002. The 1958 version starred Audie Murphy, the 2002 interpretation starred Michael Caine. What was this novel/film called?
A) The Quiet American
B) The End of the Affair
C) The Power and the Glory
D) Master and Commander
A wonderful new addition to the American Treasure Tour's movie poster collection arrived last week, and our very own Woody immediately began placing them on display for the enjoyment of our guests. Confidential Agent was released in November of 1945, only two months after World War II ended with the signing of the surrender treaty with Japan. It stars Charles Boyer and a still very young Lauren Bacall in her third feature performance, and tells the story of a concert pianist from Spain (Boyer) who has taken a stance against the Fascist government of Francisco Franco and become a Republican agent. He secretly sets out for England in an effort to meet the head of a firm with whom he hopes to corner the coal market and deprive Franco's forces from this vital energy resource. He meets Lauren Bacall along the way, the disillusioned daughter of the very man he is looking to meet.
Along the way, he runs into some problems. Attacks, abduction, murder, and ultimately failure. But then, maybe it was not entirely a failure. You'll just have to watch the movie to see how it turns out. Unfortunately, it did not receive entirely positive reviews, and Ms. Bacall was subjected to some notably harsh criticism of her performance. Some contend that Confidential Agent caused damage to her esteem as an actor from which she never recovered. And the film was generally regarded as overly long and sprawling. One unlikely defender of the film was Graham Greene himself. Famously unforgiving of most film adaptations of his novels, Greene claimed that director Herman Shumlin did justice to his original novel and that Bacall gave an admiral performance. Tomorrow, we will talk a little about Lauren Bacall herself.
ANSWER: The Quiet American