An Affair to Remember
In the '50s, McCarey had hit a career slump following the box office failure of his anti-Communist thriller My Son John (1952). Struck by the number of people who had called Love Affair the best romantic film they had ever seen, he decided the time was ripe for a remake. He also wanted to see if he was still as good a writer and director as he had been.
The result was An Affair to Remember (1957), one of the most popular love stories ever made in Hollywood. Many fans would hail it as the most romantic movie ever made. With its mix of sophistication and sentimentality, the film offers one of the most complete expressions of Leo McCarey's personality as a writer-director. In particular, auteur critics have hailed his ability to make the transition from comedy in the early scenes to the more deeply romantic mood of the film's ending, a characteristic of such other McCarey films as Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945). The film was also McCarey's last great success, capping a career that stretched back to the silent comedies he wrote and directed for Hal Roach.
An Affair to Remember was one of three 1957 films that brought Cary Grant out of retirement after his performance in To Catch a Thief two years earlier. With the critical and box-office failure of his other two 1957 films - The Pride and the Passion and Kiss Them for Me - it provided the success Grant needed to keep him making films until his ultimate retirement in 1966. It remains one of his most popular films and the same is true for Deborah Kerr. Throughout her later years, she was always pleased when she met fans and they told her they had most recently seen her in An Affair to Remember.
An Affair to Remember was the most successful of the three films Grant made with Kerr. Although the two seemed perfectly matched, their other vehicles, Dream Wife (1953) and The Grass Is Greener (1960), did not capture their chemistry as effectively.
An Affair to Remember was nominated for four Oscars® -- Best Song, Best Cinematography, Best Score and Best Costume Design.
In the organization's 2005 poll "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions," members of the American Film Institute named An Affair to Remember the fifth greatest love story in American film history. It came in behind Casablanca (1942), Gone with the Wind (1939), West Side Story (1961) and Roman Holiday (1953).
Director: Leo McCarey
Producer: Jerry Wald
Screenplay: Delmer Daves, McCarey
Based on a story by McCarey, Mildred Cram
Cinematography: Milton Krasner
Editing: James B. Clark
Art Direction: Lyle R. Wheeler, Jack Martin Smith
Music: Hugo Friedhofer
Cast: Cary Grant (Nickie Ferrante), Deborah Kerr (Terry McKay), Richard Denning (Kenneth), Neva Patterson (Lois), Cathleen Nesbitt (Grandmother), Robert Q. Lewis (Announcer), Fortunio Bonanova (Courbet)
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