A Sort of Life

Source: Graham Greene, A Sort of Life (Hardmondsworth: Penguin, 1974 orig. pub. 1971), p. 9

Text: If I had known it, the whole future must have lain all the time along those Berkhamsted streets. The High Street was wide as many a market square, but its broad dignity was abused after the first great war by the New Cinema under a green Moorish dome, tiny enough but it seemed to us then the height of pretentious luxury and dubious taste. My father, who was by that time headmaster of Berkhamsted School, once allowed his senior boys to go there for a special performance of the first Tarzan movie, under the false impression that it was an educational film of anthropological interest, and ever after he regarded the cinema with a sense of disillusion and suspicion.

Comments: Graham Greene (1904-1991) was a British novelist, many of whose works were filmed and who was a notable film critic in the 1930s. The first Tarzan film was Tarzan of the Apes (USA 1918), starring Elmo Lincoln. The above are the opening lines of Greene’s first volume of autobiography.

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