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Saturday Night Cinema: An Affair to Remember

6

Of course tonight’s Saturday Night Cinema classic would have to be New Year’s Eve-themed, or at least one with the perfect New Year’s Eve kiss. And I do not disappoint. An Affair to Remember is considered one of the great romantic films of all time.

Before the film’s release, producer Jerry Wald told reporters the film was sure to succeed, because it had been so long since anyone had made a sophisticated romance like the ones made in the 1930s. He also claimed that Kerr and Grant were the rare actors who could make such a film work, noting, “Today’s actors either look good and talk lousy, or they look lousy and talk good.”

And that was 1957. Imagine how we feel. Today they look good or talk good.

For those of us who like to immerse ourselves in sense-assaulting love stories, this 1957 Leo McCarey classic is as good as it gets. A relentlessly heart-tugging tale of two soulmates whose love even great tragedy cannot tear asunder, An Affair to Remember tosses and turns the emotions but never descends into schmaltz; it stays compelling – partly down to its smart, surprisingly sassy script, which often holds back when it could go for the cheap weep, but also because it is brought to us by two of the classiest acts in Hollywood history: Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.


Grant in particular is in devastating form as the charismatic womaniser who is struck down by lovesickness for a woman he believes has rejected him. Even for those who have never seen it, An Affair holds a unique place in the collective memory of American film-goers, comparable perhaps to the place Brief Encounter has in British hearts and minds. But the film that reduced Meg Ryan to a snotty, gibbering wreck in Sleepless in Seattle is no iconic fossil – that final scene retains its powers to enthral and discombobulate to this day. (Guardian)

Nickie Ferrante . . . . . Cary Grant
Terry McKay . . . . . Deborah Kerr
Kenneth . . . . . Richard Denning
Lois . . . . . Neva Patterson
Grandmother . . . . . Cathleen Nesbitt
Announcer . . . . . Robert Q. Lewis
Hathaway . . . . . Charles Watts
Courbet . . . . . Fortunio Bonanova
Father McGrath . . . . . Matt Moore
Mario . . . . . Louis Mercier
Miss Webb . . . . . Geraldine Wall
Gladys . . . . . Nora Marlowe
Miss Lane . . . . . Sarah Selby
Bartender . . . . . Alberto Morin
Gabrielle . . . . . Genevieve Aumont
Landlady . . . . . Jesslyn Fax

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