Review: ‘An Affair to Remember’

Adding comedy lines, music, color and CinemaScope, Jerry Wald and Leo McCarey turn this remake of the 1939 Love Affair into a winning film that is alternately funny and tenderly sentimental. An Affair to Remember, using plenty of attractive settings (on and off the USS Constitution), is still primarily a film about two people; and since those two happen to be Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr the bitter-sweet romance sparkles and crackles with high spirits.

Adding comedy lines, music, color and CinemaScope, Jerry Wald and Leo McCarey turn this remake of the 1939 Love Affair into a winning film that is alternately funny and tenderly sentimental. An Affair to Remember, using plenty of attractive settings (on and off the USS Constitution), is still primarily a film about two people; and since those two happen to be Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr the bitter-sweet romance sparkles and crackles with high spirits.

Story [by McCarey and Mildred Cram] has Grant and Kerr fall in love aboard ship, though both are engaged to other people. They decide to meet in six months atop the Empire State Building. Meanwhile, Grant, a faintly notorious bachelor, is to change his life in a more useful direction. He shows up for the rendezvous, but she is struck by a car on her way to the meeting and may never walk again.

McCarey, who with Delmer Daves wrote the screenplay, has done a fine job, and has gotten the most out of his players’ talents. Both are experts in restrained, sophisticated comedy. Both are able to get a laugh by waving a hand or raising an eyebrow. The Grant-Kerr romance is never maudlin, not even at the end.

1957: Nominations: Best Cinematography, Costume Design, Score of a Dramatic Picture, Song (‘An Affair to Remember’),

An Affair to Remember

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Leo McCarey; Producer Jerry Wald; Writer Delmer Daves, Leo McCarey; Camera Milton Krasner Editor James B. Clark; Music Hugo Friedhofer Art Lyle R. Wheeler, Jack Martin Smith

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1957. Running time: 115 MIN.

With

Cary Grant Deborah Kerr Richard Denning Neva Patterson Cathleen Nesbitt Robert Q. Lewis

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