The Heart of the Matter (film)

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The Heart of the Matter
Directed by George More O'Ferrall
Produced by Ian Dalrymple
Written by Lesley Storm
Ian Dalrymple
Graham Greene (novel)
Starring Trevor Howard
Elizabeth Allan
Maria Schell
Denholm Elliott
Gérard Oury
Peter Finch
George Coulouris
Cinematography Jack Hildyard
Distributed by British Lion Films
Release dates
Country UK
Language English
Box office £123,479 (UK)[1]

The Heart of the Matter is a 1953 British film based on the book of the same name by Graham Greene. It was directed by George More O'Ferrall for London Films. It was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.[2]

Plot, cast and production[edit]

Trevor Howard plays Scobie, a policeman in Sierra Leone. He is unhappily married to Louise, played by Elizabeth Allan. While she is away, he begins a love affair with Helen, a European played by Maria Schell. However, Scobie's Catholic faith leaves him tormented with guilt.

The film also stars Denholm Elliott, Peter Finch, Gérard Oury, George Coulouris and Michael Hordern.

It contains no original score, but instead features indigenous music from Sierra Leone in West Africa, where location filming took place. The interiors were filmed at Shepperton Studios in London. It was lensed in black and white by noted cinematographer Jack Hildyard.

Differences between film and book[edit]

The main difference between the film and the book is in the ending, which is almost equally bleak, but reversed from Greene's original story. In the book, Scobie's servant is killed (apparently an act of revenge by Yusef, here played by Gérard Oury). Scobie commits suicide. In the film, Scobie intends to kill himself, but is interrupted by a fight breaking out. He intervenes and is shot. The servant (John Akar) does not die, but instead Scobie dies in his servant's arms.


  1. ^ Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p501
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Heart of the Matter". Retrieved 2009-01-21. 

External links[edit]