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According to a January 1952 Daily Variety news item, independent producer David Lewis first purchased the rights to Graham Greene's novel The End of the Affair and was considering hiring Greene to write the screenplay. The same article mentions Jean Simmons and Gregory Peck as possible stars for the film. A March 1952 Daily Variety item indicates that M-G-M studio head Louis B. Mayer acquired the rights to The End of the Affair from Lewis.
According to a Variety item, producer David E. Rose then acquired the film rights in February 1954 with Columbia set as the distributor. The film was shot on location in London, England. According to director Edward Dmytryk's autobiography, the film was met in the U.S. with "puritanical shock" and in Britain was called a "truly adult film." Columbia released a second version of Greene's story in 1999, starring Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore and Stephan Rea, adapted and directed by Neil Jordan.