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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
The End of the Affair: Collector's Edition (1999)

The End of the Affair: Collector's Edition (1999)

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Released 24-Oct-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Theatrical Trailer
Audio Commentary-Neil Jordan (Director)
Audio Commentary-Julianne Moore (Actor)
Featurette-Making Of
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Isolated Musical Score
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 97:29
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (53:54) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Neil Jordan

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Ralph Fiennes
Julianne Moore
Stephen Rea
Ian Hart
Jason Isaacs
Case Brackley-Trans-No Lip
RPI $39.95 Music Michael Nyman

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Isolated Music Score Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
German Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
German Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The End Of The Affair is based on a book by Graham Greene. It revolves around three main characters, which I will tell you more about shortly, plus three additional characters - Father Smythe (Jason Isaacs), a detective by the name of Mr Perkis (Ian Hart) and his son (Samuel Bould).

    This portrayal of a war-time romance is actually a rather gloomy piece, with few smiles to be had by the characters or the audience. The set design and costumes, however, are magnificent to behold. They effortlessly transported me into the story, and thus I found myself walking the streets of war-torn England with the characters.

    For those of you who have seen Interview With The Vampire, you should recognize the actor who plays Henry Miles (Stephen Rea). He is a conventional man who appears to have little or no sexual passion for his beautiful wife Sarah Miles (Julianne Moore), despite loving her intensely. We first meet Henry walking in the rain without an umbrella. Enter Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes), who also happens to be walking in the rain this night, but who has had the sense to take an umbrella with him. Not surprisingly, we soon learn that Henry was miserable even before he went out walking in the rain and got drenched to the bone. Henry believes his wife is having an affair, but he does not have the courage to hire a detective to find out for sure. Bendrix offers to hire a detective - "I could pretend to be a jealous lover. Jealous lovers are less ridiculous than jealous husbands". On the surface this seems to be an offer of kindness, but in fact Bendrix's real motives are far more selfish - he wants to find out who Sarah (his former mistress) left him for.

    Since Sarah left Bendrix approximately two years ago, he has become bitter and hateful. Through the unfolding story we learn that he was always a jealous lover while they were together. This was primarily because Sarah would not leave her husband (Henry) to be with him, even though they loved each other dearly.

    At first we only see the affair through Bendrix's eyes, but later on we start to see the affair through Sarah's eyes too. This is beautifully done, as we get to see the same scenes from both perspectives. Eventually, we found out why Sarah left Bendrix, even through she loved him so much she thought she would wither and die without him!

    Early on in the movie you get a pretty good idea of how this movie is going to end ((SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) which is badly - romantically speaking - but you may have already guessed this already). Strangely, this does not seem to detract from the story. There aren't any big surprises in this movie, but the story is presented in such a wonderful way that it kept me interested throughout.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer quality of this disc can only be described as superb. I did not see one single transfer-induced fault for the entire movie.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is extremely clear with an excellent amount of foreground detail. At 2:03, I gasped in amazement at the extraordinary amount of detail contained in a close-up of Ralph Fiennes' face. The background detail tends to be softer, but I imagine that this is due to the style of photography that was used during filming. A number of scenes have a surprising lack of deep black. This is almost certainly due to the way these scenes were filmed. This lack of deep black was not distracting or detrimental to the picture quality, it was just something that I found to be unusual about this particular movie's presentation. No low-level noise, excessive edge enhancement or edge bleeding was noticed.

    Overall the colour is excellent. Many of the outdoor scenes used a slightly muted colour palette, which I imagine is in keeping with colours of the 1940s. This for me created such a look of realism that I found myself transported back to England with the characters. Perfect skin tones and deep reds and blues are plonked smack dab in the middle of all of this drabness. The overall effect was so realistic that many scenes became breathtaking to behold.

    There was no grain or pixelization that I could put my finger on, but I got the distinct feeling that it was there...somewhere.

    No MPEG artefacts were noticed. No aliasing was noticed, either. Film artefacts were very rare, with just a handful of small specks noticed.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring between Chapters 17 and 18, at 53:54 on a scene change. This is an excellently placed and executed layer change. I was only just able to detect it while watching the movie and actually had to go back to confirm that it indeed was the layer change and not just my imagination.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are three audio soundtracks plus two commentary tracks on this disc. The audio soundtracks are, English 448Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1, German 448Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 and a 448Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 Isolated Music soundtrack. The commentary soundtracks are both 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded.

    I would like to praise Columbia Tristar for using the superior 448Kb/s audio stream, instead of a more standard 384Kb/s audio stream.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout the entire movie, except for one occasion where Julianne Moore is whispering at 86:50.

    No audio sync problems were noticed with this transfer. No distortion or over-compression was heard, either.

    Michael Nyman's musical score suited the movie well, and the theme song in particular eloquently portrayed the movie's sombre tone.

    The surround channels were predominantly used for music and ambience with the occasional directional effect. There are also quite a few scenes where the surround channels are used to great effect - 31:17, 45:27, 46:18 (best) and 55:25. For much of the movie the sound is subtly enveloping, with excellent placement within the sound stage.

    The subwoofer has little to do for most of this movie, with just the odd occasion where it is used to add some impact to the soundtrack, like when the buzz bombs are exploding. Given the content and the genre of this movie, the limited but perfectly integrated .1 LFE channel use is more than adequate.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There is quite a good selection of extras on this disc, plus the cool new Columbia Tristar DVD logo before the main menu and the Dolby Digital City trailer once you press play.


    The Menu is presented in a 1.33:1 (4x3) aspect ratio and has a still picture of Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore about to kiss, as shown on the DVD cover. The menu selections are; Languages/Audio Set Up, Subtitles, Scene Selections (28), Extra Features and Play Movie.

Theatrical Trailer (1:38 minutes)

    This is of good quality, but it is overly dark and suffers from some minor grain. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (4x3) with both English and German 448Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks.

Featurette - Making Of (6:58 minutes)

    This featurette is of very good quality. It is presented in 1.85:1 and 1.33:1 aspect ratios, with a 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. It is basically a short promotional piece for the movie, with limited behind-the-scenes details.

Talent Profiles

    This section contains Filmographies & Biographies for Neil Jordan, Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore and Stephen Rea.

Commentary - Neil Jordan (Director)

    This commentary features Neil Jordan in the centre channel speaking over the film's 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. Neil Jordan almost continually talks throughout the entire movie, giving his thoughts on many aspects of the movie. There is nothing profoundly insightful revealed about the actual making of the movie, but it is still well worth listening to.

Commentary - Julianne Moore (Actor)

    This commentary features Julianne Moore in the centre channel speaking over the film's 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. There are many sections without commentary that last for several minutes at a time. Content-wise, this commentary has insights into Julianne's character and also some more information about what went on during the making of the movie. It is another worthwhile addition to the disc.

Isolated Musical Score

    I listened to the isolated musical score for a short period, and found it to be of excellent quality.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     With the R4 disc only missing out on a promotional trailer and an additional Pan & Scan version, there is no compelling reason to purchase one disc over the other. Having said that, it is worth remembering that the R4 version will not suffer from 3:2 pull-down artefacts and will have approximately 20% more picture detail than the R1 version, purely because it uses the superior PAL format.


    The End Of The Affair is a non-feel-good love affair movie, presented on excellent DVD.

    The video quality is superb.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    There is quite a good selection of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Wednesday, September 20, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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