An Affair to Remember (1957)
Grant Thinks she Doesn't Kerr
The Empire State Building is the closest thing to heaven in this city -Terry
"An Affair to Remember" starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is with out doubt one of the most popular romantic movies of all time and in all fairness deserves the high praise it often receives. From the well designed storyline, the beautiful settings, the performances from Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr as well as the direction of Leo McCarey, there is very little to criticize. In fact "An Affair to Remember" is such an iconic movie that various other movies such as "Sleepless in Seattle" have paid homage to it, which makes the fact that "An Affair to Remember" is in fact a remake of a 1939 movie called "love Affair" a little bit ironic.
Whilst travelling back to New York from Europe on a cruise, Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant - To Catch a Thief) meets the lovely Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr - Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison) a night club singer. As they spend time together aboard the cruise they start too fall in love. But it is complicated, as they are both involved with people back in New York. They decide that maybe it would be better to stop the affair, but agree that if in six months time they still feel the same way about each other that they will meet again at the top of the Empire State Building.
The storyline to "An Affair to Remember" is both charming and captivating as we follow two strangers fall in love but forced to go their separate ways due to life back in New York. It's a nice set up and in many ways plays like a bit of a holiday romance which has to end once the holiday is over. But by adding on the nice touch of the open ended date in 6 months makes it intriguing, you are willing for it to go ahead and as you become so attached to the main characters of Nickie and Terry you feel like screaming at them when you can see certain things which they can't.
What also makes the storyline work so well is that it introduces elements which you don't expect that make it a lot more dramatic than your average romance movie. Things happen which complicate the characters lives making you wonder what will eventually happen. It's brilliantly done because it draws you into the characters and their lives to the point you feel like you are actually there in the actual scene.
Helping "An Affair to Remember" to be so memorable is that it brings together two icons of the golden age of cinema Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. Cary Grant plays the part of suave bachelor Nickie Ferrante with such ease, and I can only imagine how much of a heart throb he was back in 1957. Opposite Cary Grant is the divine Deborah Kerr, who absolutely shines as Terry McKay. The casting of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr probably makes "An Affair to Remember" so good, as the on screen chemistry between them is totally believable and you start to really sympathize for them as they deal with their problems.
Although "An Affair to Remember" relies heavily on the appeal of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, without a brilliant supporting cast it probably wouldn't have been so enjoyable.
One quirky fact about "An Affair to Remember" is that it is directed by Leo McCarey who also directed the original "Love Affair". McCarey has done a wonderful job of demonstrating the growing romance between Ferrante and McKay, even though that they both had commitments outside of it. He has also allowed Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr to shine with out ruining the story, so much so, that several scenes between Grant and Kerr were adlibbed.
The use of music in the movie plays an important part in telling the story, and the theme song received an Oscar nomination along with the original music score by Hugo Friedhofer. It's a great soundtrack full of romantic pieces which sweep the movie along and build up the charm in all those romantic scenes.
What this all boils down to is that "An Affair to Remember" deserves all the praise it gets for being a great romantic the movie. The storyline which firmly lives in the real world has a magical charm about it which draws you into the lives of the main characters causing you to champion them despite the complexity of their relationship. Plus the pairing of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is cinema gold with the chemistry coming across as completely believable and giving the movie some true class.
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