An Affair to Remember

1957, Romance, 1h 55m

31 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

There's not too much to it besides Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, but that's still enough to make this An Affair to Remember. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A man and a woman have a romance while on a cruise from Europe to New York. Despite being engaged to other people, both agree to reunite at the top of the Empire State Building in six months. However, an unfortunate accident keeps her from the reunion, and he fears that she has married or does not love him anymore.

Cast & Crew

Cary Grant
Nickie Ferrante
Deborah Kerr
Terry McKay
Neva Patterson
Lois
Cathleen Nesbitt
Grandmother Janou
Delmer Daves
Screenwriter
Leo McCarey
Screenwriter
Hugo Friedhofer
Original Music
Harry Warren
Original Music
Milton R. Krasner
Cinematographer
Lyle R. Wheeler
Art Direction
Paul S. Fox
Set Decoration
Walter M. Scott
Set Decoration
Ben Nye
Makeup Artist
Helen Turpin
Hair Stylist
Gilbert Mandelik
Assistant Director
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Critic Reviews for An Affair to Remember

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (11)

Audience Reviews for An Affair to Remember

  • Jan 25, 2018
    I'm a sucker for romantic films (full disclosure), and this one is so beautiful. The story is pretty well known, having been re-made several times (and heavily referenced in 'Sleepless in Seattle'), so I won't summarize it. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr are absolutely charming, with their natural sophistication and class combined with little moments of humor, sadness, and dialog that is very natural. Their time on the ship and then with his grandmother (Cathleen Nesbitt) in her hilltop home on the French Riviera is magical. The film has a couple of artificial plot devices and is unrestrained in going for the emotional jugular at the end, which will have cynics howling. On the other hand, there is a lovely element of restraint in the pair's passion for one another. The two don't "do anything" despite their feelings, and director Leo McCarey even films one of their few kisses by showing their legs only on one of the ship's staircases. At the same time, everyone knows that Grant's character is a womanizer, he clearly tries to seduce Kerr in the beginning, and there is a sexual subtext to it all. There are many very nice little moments along the way to the ones people remember most. Grant getting flustered early on when rebuffed. Kerr saying "well that's the only page" with steely eyes, after Grant tells her that her life story is "only one page." The entire scene with Nesbitt, with her sweet old face and knowing eyes. As Nesbitt plays piano, Grant looking intently at Kerr singing (actually lip-synching Marni Nixon). Kerr saying "while we miss each other" as she pushes Grant out of her room, and then him poking his head back in to say "oh that was very sweet", lightly kissing her hand, and then "what you just said." What a great little bit of acting that was. The bigger moments are pretty special too. Grant's expression as he waits at the top of the Empire State Building, with the elevator operator noticing him again and again. That moment when they meet after the ballet, in the company of others. Does he fly into a rage or make an angry remark? No, he simply helps her with something she's dropped, though his eyes speak volumes. And of course, the final scene, when he finally does meet her alone, still not knowing her condition, and pretending he was the one who didn't show up that night. Yes, it's contrived, but her sacrifice and his regret for saying things without knowing the whole truth strike a chord. Who hasn't done something foolish in their love life at one point or another? I truly wish the last line had been changed ("If you can paint, I can walk..."), and the film is also a little heavy-handed in its Catholic references. The biggest issue, however, is in the scenes when the couple is separated in the second half of the film. The two songs from the children's chorus are excessively long, not particularly charming, and in one (of course) the African-American boy and girl pop out to do a dance. Kerr's singing performances are uninspired and also just get in the way. The back half of the film should have been tightened up, and Kerr's condition made permanent, to keep this already sweet film balanced. For that I lowered my review score a teeny bit, but it's still a classic romance in my book.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2013
    Silly, sentimental and stuck in its period, an Affair to Remember is nonetheless very charming. This is the best of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr who play off each other in such a wonderful way.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 14, 2012
    Tedius piece of work which has its amusing moments because of of the good acting.
    George M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2011
    The product of superb acting and poor direction. Many scenes felt as though they were meant to be much more moving than they really were. The swelling music and the long silences made me look at my watch more than it made me reach for the tissues. With that said, Grant's charm cuts through every scene and I completely understand why the mere mention of this film's title gives most women heart palpitations. Also, what the hell is with all of the songs?
    Reid V Super Reviewer

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