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An Affair To Remember

An Affair To Remember

By Patrick Samuel • January 31st, 2012
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (Blu-ray)
20th Century Fox Home Ent.

Release date: January 30th, 2012
Certificate (UK): U
Running time: 115 minutes

Year of production: 1957

Director: Leo McCarey
Writers: Delmer Daves, Leo McCarey
Composer: Hugo Friedhofer

Cast: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr

When it comes to the romantic classics I guess I’m really a sucker for them. Whether it’s Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961), Love Story (1970) or The Way We Were (1973), these oldies really knew how to capture both the joy and heartbreak of falling in love and being in love, yet there’s one that’s been a personal favourite for such a very long time.

As a remake of the 1939 film Love Affair, starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer, An Affair To Remember just had the perfect combination so it never took either feelings too far, but just where it needed to go to give you enough hope that in the end love really does conquer all.

Directed by Leo McCarey, it follows Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant), a playboy who meets Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr), a former nightclub singer, as they sail on the transatlantic ocean liner SS Constitution en route from Europe to New York. From the start they face obstacles as they’re both already in relationships with other people. He’s with a wealthy heiress and she’s married.

An Affair To Remember

No sooner than they dock they realise that despite their best efforts not to be seen together, they’re actually falling in love. On the last night of their cruise they decide to make a pact, in six months time they will meet at the top of the Empire State Building at 5PM. Terry says to Nickie, “It’s the closest thing to Heaven we have in New York City!”

Of course, fate has other plans for this pair of star-crossed would-be lovers. On the day they’re supposed to meet, rushing to get there, Terry is struck down by a car while crossing the street. Although she survives, she will be paralysed. Nickie meanwhile is waiting for her at the top of the Empire State Building and after several hours, concludes that she has given up on him.

The story doesn’t end there though. As Nickie tries to get on with his life he can’t forget Terry and ends up spending a year looking for her. She however doesn’t want to be found and is scared of him seeing her paralysed.

An Affair To Remember is rightfully regarded as one of the most romantic films to have come from America during this time, yet tragic romances like these are what classic Indian films were also built on and is perhaps one of the reasons I love this one so much.

For example, in Yeh Vaada Raha (1982) a car crash results in the disfigurement of the heroine’s face and by the time she has plastic surgery and emerges with a new face, her lover has moved on and doesn’t recognise her. In both films the drama builds up to the moment the couples reunite, despite the odds placed against them doing so.

Even though An Affair To Remember continues to receive praise for it’s beautiful story and well acted performances, this wasn’t the case when it was first shown to the press:

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Audio commentary
  • Affairs to Remember: Deborah Kerr (05:34)
  • Affairs to Remember: Cary Grant (09:47)
  • Directed by Leo McCarey (22:33)
  • A Producer to Remember: Jerry Wald (16:06)
  • The Look of An Affair to Remember (09:01)
  • AMC Backstory: An Affair to Remember (24:27)
  • Fox Movietone News (00:56)
  • Trailer

SOURCES:

  • (1) Michelangelo Capua, Deborah Kerr: A Biography (2010), McFarland
“When the picture opened in July, 1957, it suffered at the hands of the critics. The New Yorker dismissed it as “awfully maudlin,” while Time commented “Only sensitive acting from Deborah Kerr can save this saccharine trifle from suffocating in its sentimental wrappings.” Nonetheless, An Affair To Remember did very well at the box office, quickly becoming one of the year’s biggest hits. Over the course of the years, Deborah received more fan mail on this film than for any other she made.” (1)

As An Affair To Remember makes its way to another new generation of audiences I wonder how many lovers have made their way to the top of the Empire State Building since first seeing the film. Even if it doesn’t inspire you to make the trek all the way to New York it will spark something in your heart with its final scene and the words “If you can paint, then I can walk”.

An Affair To Remember

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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