It's a Battlefield
It's a Battlefield is an early novel by Graham Greene, first published in 1934. Graham Greene described it as his "first overtly political novel", its theme, said Greene, is "the injustice of man's justice." In life, Greene classified his major books as "novels" and his lighter works as "entertainments". The title It's a Battlefield is explained by the epigraph, which Greene took from the account of the battle of Inkerman in Alexander Kinglake's The Invasion of the Crimea; the amount of fog during the battle led to many of the troops on both sides being cut off in terrain reduced to "small numberless circlets commensurate with such ranges of vision as the mist might allow at each spot.... In such conditions, each separate gathering of English soldiery went on fighting its own little battle in happy and advantageous ignorance of the general state of the action; the novel explores the intersecting lives of those close to the bus driver Drover in the days before he is due to hang. His Communist colleagues want him to die.
There is no hero. With few exceptions, the characters are deliberately limned as, in one critic's view, "mediocre, uninspiring and at times perverted and stupid"; some of the characters seem only half complete. The resulting interplay of selfish, driven characters creates what Greene called "a panoramic novel of London". In this panorama, the traditional detective story is turned on its head.. The Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, newly appointed after a career in the Far East, is summoned to a meeting with an assistant to the Home Secretary, who has to decide whether to reprieve Drover. During a demonstration, this Communist bus driver knifed a policeman, about to strike his wife and is sentenced to hang. Drover's fate affects a wide circle of other people, his wife Milly goes to visit the policeman's widow and seeks comfort with Drover's brother Conrad, consumed with guilt over his incest. Milly's sister Kay goes to bed with Surrogate, a rich economist, a Communist, with Jules, who works in the Soho café where the Communist journalist Conder lodges.
Both Surrogate and the Assistant Commissioner try to enlist the aid of the society hostess, Caroline Bury. All are unsure how far they should try to save Drover, who faces long imprisonment if he does not hang. Conrad, feeling he ought to act, blackmails a pawnbroker into selling him a revolver and shoots at the Assistant Commissioner; the gun was loaded with blanks however, Conrad is knocked down by a car as he fires. Unknown to either, the Home Secretary has reprieved Drover. Though at first it sold few copies, the novel was praised by Ford Madox Ford. Writing in the Spectator, V. S. Pritchett found great merit in what he called an adventurous, intelligent, "genuine modern novel"; the New York Times thought it "engrossing and decidedly well worth reading" That reviewer praised Greene's "cinematographic" style, Greene said that the novel was "intentionally based on film technique" The novel's style is influenced by Ulysses, The Waste Land, Mrs Dalloway and, as Greene admitted, Joseph Conrad.
He alludes to Conrad by naming Drover's brother after him. A few months after publication, a grisly murder occurred in London strikingly similar to a fictional murder described in the novel, Greene feared the police would arrest him. Other similarities with real life were less accidental; the somewhat sleazy character named. Lady Caroline Bury was inspired by Lady Ottoline Morrell, and the Assistant Commissioner the most vivid and humane character in the book, was in part based on Greene's uncle and also in part on a friend named Turner. As for settings, Greene visited a matchbook factory and Wandsworth Prison before writing about those locations in his novel. In 1948, Greene extensively revised the novel for the third edition and his changes were incorporated in future printings. Greene's handwritten revisions were offered for sale in 2010 for $40,000. Malian writer Yambo Ouloguem was accused of plagiarism after he included passages from It's a Battlefield in a 1968 novel
The Comedians (novel)
The Comedians is a novel by Graham Greene. Set in Haiti under the rule of François "Papa Doc" Duvalier and his secret police, the Tonton Macoute, the novel explores the political suppression and terrorism through the figure of an English hotel owner, Brown; the story begins as three men, Smith, an "innocent" American, Major H. O. Jones, a confidence man, meet on a ship bound for Haiti. Brown and Jones, their names suggesting a curious facelessness, are the "comedians" of Greene's title. Complications include Brown's friendship with a rebel leader, politically charged hotel guests, the manipulations of a British arms dealer, an affair with Martha Pineda, the wife of a South American ambassador; the setting for much of the novel, the Hotel Trianon, was inspired by the Hotel Oloffson in central Port-au-Prince. The novel was adapted as a feature film of the same name, released in 1967 and starring Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Alec Guinness, Peter Ustinov, James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Paul Ford and Lillian Gish.
The main characters travel to Haiti on the Medea, a Dutch ship serving the capital Port-au-Prince and the Dominican Republic. The narrator is Mr. Brown, returning from an unsuccessful trip to the United States to sell his hotel, located in the capital. Other figures are Mr. Smith, a US Presidential candidate who ran on the vegetarian ticket in the American election of 1948. "Major" Jones, an Anglo-Indian businessman, is personable and has many war stories that are not quite believable. Brown returns to his hotel, where he finds that government minister Philipot has committed suicide in his pool, he had become on the outs with the government. Brown has to dispose of the body to avoid being implicated. Meanwhile, Jones is arrested as soon. Brown convinces Mr. Smith to use his'political weight' to help Jones get out of prison. With only the help of a pen and some paper, Jones is able to forge his way into the Haitian government; the body of Secretary Philipot is found and his family tries to hold a funeral.
The president's paramilitary force, the Tontons Macoutes, steal the body. Philipot's nephew decides to join the rebel forces, first is required to take part in a voodoo initiation ceremony. Brown reunites with Martha Pineda, wife of the Uruguayan ambassador, she is still unwilling to leave her child. Realizing they can't pursue their dream in Haiti, Mr. and Mrs. Smith leave for the neighbouring Dominican Republic. Jones has become an enemy of the state, Brown tries to get him out of the country. Believing Jones is a threat to his relationship with the Lady Pineda, he persuades him to join the rebels in the north. Jones' lack of military sense is soon revealed and he is killed in action, while the rebellion fails. Duvalier consolidates his power and Brown, unable to return to his hotel, goes to Santo Domingo. There he works as a mortician. Mr. Brown, the protagonist and narrator. Owns a hotel in Haiti. Major Jones, arrives on the Medea with Brown and the Smiths. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, arrive on the Medea.
Martha Pineda, Brown's lover and the wife of the Uruguayan ambassador. The New York Times noted that Greene writes about dark places, this novel explores Haiti under Duvalier and his paramilitary, known as the Tontons Macoutes. Greene explores "despair at evil triumphant, sustained by dollar-aid from the U. S. A." He portrays "despair at the death of the good Communist doctor and the would-be-good confidence trickster, Major Jones." The reviewer recognised Greene's studies of persons who were failures, as "grey" was uppermost in his literary world. But, "Nevertheless he is the novel's hero, he can die- he can succeed in that- and he dies heroically, covering the retreat of the rest, since his flat feet would only delay the whole party if he were to try to escape with his men." He praised Greene's writing with "much liveliness and skill, with such a will and ability to please and carry us along" that we want to visit his lands. In The New York Review of Books, Sybille Bedford described this tenth novel by Greene as "a work of strength and freshness, in its core there lies the steel coil of compulsion."
She describes the novel as a "very good story, as we have come to expect." In describing the characters, she notes that Brown goes to Haiti as "the only place on earth where he might be said to have a stake, a love affair, a piece of property." In his Ways of Escape, Greene wrote that the book "touched him on the raw." Duvalier attacked The Comedians in the press. His Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a brochure entitled, "Graham Greene Demasqué", it described Greene as "A liar, a cretin, a stool-pigeon... unbalanced, perverted... a perfect ignoramus... lying to his heart's content... the shame of proud and noble England... a spy... a drug addict... a torturer." The novel was adapted as a 1967 feature film of the same name, with the screenplay written by Graham Greene. It was directed and produced by Peter Glenville, starred Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Alec Guinness, Peter Ustinov; the Comedians on IMDb Bernard Diederich: Seeds of Fiction: Graham Greene's Adventures in Haiti and Central America 1954–1983, 2012, Peter Owen, ISBN 978-0-7206-1488-6 Duncan Campbell on Graham Greene's Haiti in The Guardian
The Tenth Man (novel)
The Tenth Man is a short novel by the British novelist Graham Greene. In the introduction to the first edition of his novel, Greene states that he had forgotten about this story until receiving a letter about it from a stranger in 1983. Greene had first suggested it as an idea for a film script in 1937, set during the Spanish Civil War, developed it whilst working for MGM during the 1940s. Nothing came of it and the rights were offered for sale by MGM in 1983; the buyer allowed Greene to subsequently publish the work. Greene writes of this novel that "I prefer it in many ways to The Third Man"; the story begins in a prison in occupied France during the Second World War. It is decreed. One of the men chosen is a rich lawyer, he offers all his money to anyone. One man agrees. Upon his release from prison the lawyer must face the consequences of his actions; the story comprises four parts. In Part I, set in prison, the occupying German guards issue a decimation order to the thirty inmates. One of the three chosen by drawing lots is a rich lawyer named Chavel.
Chavel becomes hysterical and offers his entire wealth to any man willing to die in his place. A young man, known as Janvier, is executed. In Part II, the war is over and Chavel is alive and free, but destitute, he returns to the house he sold for his life and finds it occupied by Janvier’s mother and sister, Thérèse. Assuming the false name Charlot, he becomes their servant. Part III sees the arrival of an impostor, named Carosse, who claims to be Chavel. Carosse attempts to denounce Charlot, win the favour of Thérèse and stake a claim on the property. In Part IV, having fallen in love with Thérèse, must save her from Carosse, as a means of redemption from his earlier cowardice. Chavel - A Paris lawyer who in exchange for all his assets persuades Janvier to take his place in front of the firing squad and, when released penniless and homeless, goes back to his old house as a servant under the name of Charlot. Janvier – A fellow prisoner suffering from terminal tuberculosis who achieves his lifelong goal of dying rich.
Thérèse - Janvier's sister who inherits Chavel's house, with it a hatred of the man who by his wealth and cowardice caused her brother's death, but starts to fall for Charlot. Carosse - A collaborationist and murderer on the run who comes to the house pretending to be Chavel and tries to displace Charlot in the affections of Thérèse; the book was turned into a 1988 television movie starring Anthony Hopkins as Chavel and Kristin Scott Thomas as Therese in the Hallmark Hall of Fame series, as well as being adapted by Kate Brooke for the stage at the New End Theatre in 1994
Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h
Monsignor Quixote is a novel by Graham Greene, published in 1982. The book is a pastiche of the classic Spanish novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes with many moments of comedy, but offers reflection on matters such as life after a dictatorship and the Catholic faith. Father Quixote, a parish priest in the little town of El Toboso in Spain's La Mancha region, regards himself as a descendant of Cervantes' character of the same name if people point out to him that Don Quixote was a fictitious character. One day, he gives food to a mysterious Italian bishop whose car has broken down. Shortly afterwards, he is given the title of monsignor by the Pope, much to the surprise of his bishop who looks upon Father Quixote's activities rather with suspicion, he urges the priest to take a holiday, so Quixote embarks upon a voyage through Spain with his old Seat 600 called "Rocinante" and in the company of the Communist ex-mayor of El Toboso. In the subsequent course of events and his companion have all sorts of funny and moving adventures along the lines of his ancestor's on their way through post-Franco Spain.
They encounter the contemporary equivalents of the windmills, are confronted with holy and not-so-holy places and with sinners of all sorts. In their dialogues about Catholicism and Communism, the two men are brought closer, start to appreciate each other better but to question their own beliefs. Quixote is taken back to El Toboso, confronted by the bishop about his doings and suspended from service as a priest, but he escapes and sets out again with Sancho. In his last adventure, Father Quixote is struck down and wounded while attempting to save a statue of the Virgin Mary from hypocrites who are desecrating her by offering her up for money. Here may be a parallel between Dulcinea in Cervantes' novel and Monsignor Quixote's Lady for whom he would lay down his life. Quixote and Sancho are brought to a Trappist monastery where, sleepwalking and in delirium, Father Quixote rises from his bed at night, goes to the church, celebrates the old Tridentine Mass—all the time imagining he holds bread and wine in his hands—and in a last effort, administers communion to the Communist ex-mayor before sinking dead into his friend's arms.
In 1985, Greene and Christopher Neame adapted Monsignor Quixote as a television film starring Alec Guinness and Leo McKern, as well as featuring several other notable actors including Ian Richardson and Graham Crowden. Richardson and Crowden have appeared in other versions of the Quixote story - Richardson in Man of La Mancha, Crowden in the 2000 made-for-TV version of Don Quixote, starring John Lithgow. In 2016, Stephen Wyatt adapted the novel for BBC Radio 4's 15 Minute Drama; the ten-episode adaptation, directed by Marc Beeby, starred Bernard Cribbins as Quixote and Philip Jackson as Sancho. Monsignor Quixote, full film version on YouTube. Monsignor Quixote on IMDb
The Human Factor (Graham Greene book)
The Human Factor is an espionage novel by Graham Greene, first published in 1978 and adapted into the 1979 film The Human Factor, directed by Otto Preminger using a screenplay by Tom Stoppard. Maurice Castle is an aging bureaucrat in the British secret service MI6. Married to a black African woman with whom he fell in love during his previous stint in apartheid South Africa, he now lives a quiet life in the suburbs and looks forward to retirement; as the book begins, a leak has been traced to the African section in London where he works and threatens to disrupt this precarious tranquility. Castle and younger colleague Davis make light of the resulting inquiry, but when Davis is accused on circumstantial evidence and "disposed of", Castle begins to wrestle with questions of loyalty and conscience. On the one hand, Castle undertakes his day-to-day job professionally, is willing to do what is more than required for both Davis and Daintry, his boss. On the other hand, Castle is grateful to Carson, who, as a Communist, helped Castle's wife escape South Africa.
In return, Castle decides to help the Communists and believes that by helping them, he is helping his wife's people—not knowing that Moscow has all along been using him for different purposes. Rather than action or high politics, the novel builds its suspense by focusing on the psychological burdens of the pawns in the game: doubt and paranoia bred by a culture of secrecy, the sophisticated amorality of the men at the top, above all, loyalties Greene's characters are complete psychological portraits located within the context of the Cold War and the impact of international affairs on the complicated lives of individuals and vice versa; the interplay of international politics on the individual level is a trademark of this author. In his 1980 autobiography Ways of Escape, Greene wrote that his aim with this book was "to write a novel of espionage free from the conventional violence, which has not, in spite of James Bond, been a feature of the British Secret Service. "I wanted to present the Service unromantically as a way of life, men going daily to their office to earn their pensions."
Writing in his 70s, Greene drew on his own experience in MI6 and explored the moral ambiguities raised by his old boss, legendary Soviet double agent Kim Philby, although Greene stated that Castle, the main character in the novel, was not based on Philby. Another theme Greene explored was what he considered the hypocrisy of the West's relations with South Africa under apartheid, he thought that though the West publicly opposed apartheid, "they could not let South Africa succumb to black power and Communism". 1992, The Human Factor, Everyman's Library, ISBN 0-679-40992-0
The Fallen Idol (film)
The Fallen Idol is a 1948 film directed by Carol Reed and based on the short story "The Basement Room", by Graham Greene. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film; the film is told through the naive eyes of a diplomat's young son, who idolises his father's butler, Baines. Baines has invented a heroic persona to keep the boy entertained, tells him stories of his exotic and daring adventures in Africa and elsewhere, stories such as putting down a native uprising single-handedly, killing a man in self-defence, shooting lions and so on. In reality, the butler has never been to Africa and is stuck in a loveless marriage, while dreaming of happiness with a younger woman. After Baines has an argument with his betrayed wife, she accidentally falls from a landing to her death. However, Philippe believes; the boy and clumsily attempts to protect his hero when the police investigate, but his efforts only lead Baines deeper into trouble.
Ralph Richardson as Baines Michèle Morgan as Julie Sonia Dresdel as Mrs. Baines Bobby Henrey as Philippe Denis O'Dea as Chief Inspector Crowe Jack Hawkins as Detective Ames Walter Fitzgerald as Dr. Fenton Dandy Nichols as Mrs. Patterson Joan Young as Mrs. Barrow Karel Stepanek as First Secretary Gerard Heinz as Ambassador Torin Thatcher as Police Constable James Hayter as Perry Geoffrey Keen as Detective Davis Bernard Lee as Inspector Hart, Special Branch John Ruddock as Dr. Wilson Hay Petrie as Clock Winder Dora Bryan as Rose George Woodbridge as Sergeant, Chelsea Police Station The cameras began turning on the film on the bright, sunny morning of Wednesday, 17 September 1947, with the first location scene to be filmed being that of Bobby Henrey running across Belgrave Square in London; the Fallen Idol marks the first notable film Carol Reed made at Grosvenor Crescent, Belgravia, in London as a filming location — the other being Reed's acclaimed movie Oliver!, filmed 20 years at the same site.
Coincidentally, it was a film featuring a similar seven-year-old precocious boy. The Monthly Film Bulletin called the film "outstanding."It was one of the most popular movies at the British box office in 1948. The Fallen Idol was included at number 48 on Time Out magazine's list of the "100 best British films", which polled critics and members of the film industry, it was described as "one of the finest British films about children, about the ways they can be manipulated and betrayed, their loyalties misplaced and their emotions toyed with." Winner Best Picture of the Year – BAFTA Nominated Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director – Academy Awards Nominee Best Foreign Film – Golden Globes Winner Best Film – Bodil Awards Selected One of Year's 10 Best Films – National Board of Review Winner Best Actor – National Board of Review Winner Best Screenplay – National Board of Review Winner Best Director – New York Film Critics Circle Nominated Best Picture & Best Actor – New York Film Critics Circle Winner Best Screenplay – Venice International Film Festival Nominee Grand International Award – Venice International Film Festival The Great British Films, pp 125–127, Jerry Vermilye, 1978, Citadel Press, ISBN 0-8065-0661-X A Film Star in Belgrave Square, a book about the making of the film by Mrs. Robert Henrey, mother of Bobby Henrey.
The Fallen Idol on IMDb The Fallen Idol at BFI Screenonline The Fallen Idol at Rotten Tomatoes The Fallen Idol at Metacritic The Fallen Idol at AllMovie The Fallen Idol: Through a Child’s Eye, Darkly an essay by Geoffrey O’Brien at the Criterion Collection