An Affair to Remember Screen 10 articles

An Affair to Remember

1957

An Affair to Remember Poster
  • The film is for some the last surfacing of his old talent, though for all its significant pleasures it feels like a holding pattern...

  • The Empire State Building, the pair’s intended meeting place, comes off as a phallic cathedral, and the obstacles that fate throws in their way—as if in retribution for the sins of betrayal, lust, and hope for celestial happiness on Earth—are riotously cartoonish but provoke no change in directorial tone. The suddenly sanitized tale lurches toward the finish with an all-time howler of a last line.

  • It was the last time that McCarey was able to triumph with his extraordinary brand of emotional voltage over growing formal deficiencies in the narrative structure of his films. His remake of his 139 Love Affair is considerably cooler than his first pass, and Grant and Kerr project more maturity and reserve than the original lovers, Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne. However tailored to the more careful, Eisenhower era, the stars remains staggeringly effective.

  • McCarey's last great film—a tearjerker with comic interludes and cosmic undertones that fully earns both its tears and its laughs, despite some kitschy notions about art and a couple of truly dreadful sequences... Neither star ever showed quite this much delicacy before or after, and McCarey's elliptical way of framing key emotional moments meshes perfectly with their sublime performances.

  • In 1957, when McCarey remade Love Affair as An Affair to Remember, cinema's rules of craft had long since been institutionalized, and McCarey's personality is driven under the film's surface. But the results are hardly less appealing, and beneath a smooth exterior one detects something oddly tremulous and true about the ill-fated passion of shipboard lovers Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.

  • The last scene is divided into several stages, like the corresponding scene in Love Affair. The difference between the two is that the former has elements which radically change the film’s meaning, just as it changes Nickie’s stride when he opens that mysterious door.

  • The scenes in Affair to Remember are such a TREAT because the two of them are such good listeners. It’s hard to even know who to look at – you could watch each scene twice – just to make sure you catch all the little moments... The film addresses that thing that happens between two people who fall in love in that particular way: you can read each other’s thoughts. You can hear the unspoken. You know what the other person is thinking … Language becomes extraneous.

  • The film progresses as a graceful switch from romantic comedy to weepie melodrama, reflecting the director’s deep-rooted belief in the intricate bond between laughter and tears... Txhe story revives the comic vitality of McCarey’s ‘30s pictures, gliding along to the stars’ impeccable, often improvised repartee.

  • Leo McCarey's superb AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER is the perfect reminder that still waters run deep. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr are as cool a romantic couple as you can have—for much of the film they are awkwardly trying to ignore their feelings for one another. Their careful and reserved manner is complimented by McCarey's subtlety and formal restraint. He realizes that a quick glance or tiny gesture can be more emotionally devastating than tear-jerking bombast.

  • One thing that doesn’t get brought up enough about An Affair To Remember, one of the great tearjerkers of the Golden Age of the Cinemascope weepie, is that it’s incredibly funny. Laugh-out-loud funny, in fact. Writer-director Leo McCarey could appeal to emotion with the best of them (see: the devastatingly sad Make Way For Tomorrow), but he also had a knack for loose, semi-anarchic comedy. This is, after all, the guy who directed Duck Soup.

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