An Affair To Remember


(out of 5)

plays a woman engaged to be married to a wealthy New York businessman, traveling from Europe to the Big Apple on an ocean liner when she meets world-class playboy . They fall in love, partly because Kerr is the only woman who doesn’t fall flat on her back when she sees Grant, which to him signifies a challenge, but he is too famous, requiring their romance be kept a secret so that neither of their fiancees find out. Eventually they reach harbour and decide to meet after six months, to see if they really do want to be together, and even pick a romantic meeting spot: the top of the Empire State Building (those of you who are thinking, Wow that’s just like Sleepless In Seattle, well you’re right, but you’ve got it backwards). There’s a sappy, pat happy ending that is all Hollywood and makes me want to throw up (after I dry my eyes, I hate this movie but it always makes me cry).  Leo McCarey directs this remake of his own Love Affairfilming it in queasy colour (disgusting, overly bright colour which was the fashion for CinemaScope romances in those days), extending the running time as well. The best part of any version of this story is Grant taking Kerr on a trip to the coast of France to visit his widowed grandmother (, Maria Ouspenskaya in the original 1939 version, Katharine Hepburn in the 1994 version where the scene took place on a South sea island instead of France). It’s a testament to Kerr’s profound powers as an actress that she can take a character who could potentially be a complete ninny and make her a vibrant and passionate woman who maintains stately poise without compromising any inner passion. All in all it’s a film so purple it’s scary, but it seems to deserve its status as the most famous romance film from its time. It has all the trappings it needs: tragic story, beautiful actors, full-throated monologues, and not a hint of believability. If you have the patience, grab a Kleenex box and dive on in.

USA, 1957

Directed by

Screenplay by , Leo McCarey, , from a story by Leo McCarey,

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by ,

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , ,

Academy Award Nominations
Best Cinematography (Milton Krasner)
Best Costume Design (Charles LeMaire)
Best Music (Scoring) (Hugo Friedhofer)
Best Music (Song) (“An Affair To Remember”, music by Harry Warren; lyrics by Harold Adamson, Leo McCarey)

Directors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Leo McCarey)



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