7.5/10
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An Affair to Remember (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 19 July 1957 (USA)
Trailer
2:52 | Trailer
A couple falls in love and agrees to meet in six months at the Empire State Building - but will it happen?

Director:

Leo McCarey

Writers:

Delmer Daves (screenplay), Leo McCarey (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Cary Grant ... Nickie Ferrante
Deborah Kerr ... Terry McKay
Richard Denning ... Kenneth Bradley
Neva Patterson ... Lois Clark
Cathleen Nesbitt ... Grandmother Janou
Robert Q. Lewis ... Self - Announcer
Charles Watts Charles Watts ... Ned Hathaway
Fortunio Bonanova ... Courbet
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Storyline

Nickie Ferrante's return to New York to marry a rich heiress is well publicized as are his many antics and affairs. He meets a nightclub singer Terry McKay who is also on her way home to her longtime boyfriend. She sees him as just another playboy and he sees her as stand-offish but over several days they soon find they've fallen in love. Nickie has never really worked in his life so they agree that they will meet again in six months time atop the Empire State building. This will give them time to deal with their current relationships and for Nickie to see if he can actually earn a living. He returns to painting and is reasonably successful. On the agreed date, Nickie is waiting patiently for Terry who is racing to join him. Fate intervenes however resulting in misunderstanding and heartbreak and only fate can save their relationship. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In Italy... on the Mediterranean... across an ocean... and all over New York! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ingrid Bergman was the first choice to play Terry McKay. Doris Day was also considered before Deborah Kerr was cast. See more »

Goofs

Just after Terry and Nick get their telegrams on deck, you can see a whale repeatedly breaching in the background loop of the ocean scene. See more »

Quotes

Grandmother Janou: [talking about Nickie] Everything comes too easily to him. He's always attracted by the art he isn't practising, the place he hasn't been, the girl he hasn't met.
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Connections

Featured in Grey Gardens (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

You Make It Easy To Be True
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Harold Adamson and Leo McCarey
Sung by male chorus, Cary Grant & Deborah Kerr
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User Reviews

 
As Deep and Rich as It Is Stylish and Romantic
13 July 2007 | by Danusha_GoskaSee all my reviews

"An Affair to Remember" is an almost perfect film. It is as deep and rich as it is stylish and romantic.

And if someone tells you it is just a soap opera -- that person would be very, very wrong.

Yes, the film has style to burn. Deborah Kerr was never more beautiful. Her skin looks like cream; her pert, pinched nose like a blossom. She's never been more appealing than she is here. The scene where she smiles from a boat at her fiancé on shore alone is worth the price of admission.

Cary Grant seems to sleep in tuxedos. He is a walking model of male perfection.

Less observant viewers come away from this movie thinking that nothing happened, that nothing was ever at stake, that nothing was risked or gained. How wrong they are.

Kerr's amazing dresses -- how about the one with the pumpkin colored ribbons woven through the front? -- Grant's suavity, and the south of France settings are not just there to pose for the camera.

All of the beauty of this film is there to do very hard work -- to tell a less than beautiful story.

And, no, this is not a movie where nothing happens. Something is happening in every scene -- you just have to be paying attention, and you just have to be mature enough, or have your antenna up high enough, to catch the subtle messages the film is sending, and to feel in your own solar plexus, the resonances of loves, dreams, and selves risked and gained, or lost.

Nicki and Terry are both gambling much here. They are wounded people in a world of high glamor; they speak in arch codes, even as their hearts are bleeding, or their breath is caught against the cage of dreams.

Grant's character, Nicki Ferrante, is a lazy gigolo. "Gigolo" is a pretty word for an ugly situation. Ferrante is a talented artist, but he knows that he can market something else he does -- seduce women -- far more easily, and for a higher price, than he can get for his paintings.

Kerr's character, Terry McKay, as she says, had to grow up very fast, and fight off a boss who -- well -- she faced some bad stuff in her life. When a steady, but less than thrilling, man offered to set her up, she, no fool, took the offer.

These are two beautiful people swanning through life over some very ugly circumstances. They have both sold their best selves for easy money.

And, then, completely by chance, on shipboard, they meet their soul mates. This meeting doesn't just present them with an opportunity for a one night stand. It demands that they face their own fears, and become their best selves.

I'm one of those cynical people who doesn't believe in love, never mind soul mates, but this movie carries it all off so well, it makes me believe.

Grant and Kerr begin with the lightest, and subtlest, of exchanges. they say things to each other -- example: "I'd be surprised if you were surprised" -- that, if you are not paying attention and that if you don't know a lot about life -- would just go over your head.

Slowly but surely their effervescent, and yet irresistible, attraction becomes truly heavy. The scene with Grandmere Janou (Cathleen Nesbit) is amazing for all it says, without actually saying anything.

I could see a naive film-goer taking in that scene and then asking, "What was the point of that scene?" You really have to have your eyes on the screen, and have a sensitivity to human interactions. Who is looking at whom; whose face is suddenly hidden and why; who is saying what without actually saying it; and why does the sound of that boat whistle bring tears -- you have to be willing to pay attention, and to have a sense of life and human relationships, and, yes, an openness to the possibility of there being a God to understand that scene.

Here you have a man and a woman who have, basically, sold themselves to the highest bidder, and who, at that point, are perilously close to cheating. What happens? Their love is blessed by the Virgin Mary. Heavy stuff.

"We changed our course today." Truer words were never spoken.

I've got to hand it to Leo McCarey, who wrote and directed this film as well as the Academy Award winning "Going My Way." He so wonderfully brings the best, and most complex, aspects of Catholicism to the screen here. Catholicism is associated with the romance languages -- French, Italian -- and it also is friendly to this kind of romance -- a romance where fallen beauties are blindsided by the kind of tortuous, redemptive, overwhelming, fated love that demands, and gets, everything, after which, you are never the same.

If you haven't seen the movie, or "Sleepless in Seattle," I won't reveal the ending to you. I'll just say that merely thinking about the ending can make me cry such tears as, really, very few films I've ever seen can make me cry. These tears are their own species.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

19 July 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Leo McCarey's An Affair to Remember See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,850,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,851,689
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Jerry Wald Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.40 : 1
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