AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER
US, 1957, 115 minutes, Colour.
Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Richard Denning, Cathleen Nesbitt,
Directed by Leo Mc Carey.
An Affair To Remember is the kind of love story that was popular in the mid?'50s, especially after the introduction of Cinemascope. This screen process, with the use of colour, was most attractive in its presentation of love stories in large style with international backgrounds. The Canary Islands, shipboard and New York provide the background for this film. Directed by Leo Mc Carey, it was a remake of a film originally directed by him with Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne, Love Affair. This time the stars were the popular Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. They had appeared together in Dream Wife in 1953. There is also a very popularly attractive musical score and theme song. The type of perennially popular "woman's film". There is romance and suffering and very ready involvement of the audience in the plot.
1. The overtones of the title and its light touch? Did it indicate the type of film that it was? How?
2. Could this be described as a "woman's picture"? Why? Romantic? Colourful? Light? Sentiment?
3. How humorous a film was it? Situations and dialogue? Characters? How was a humorous tone given by the introduction with the variety?
4. How well did the film convey the world of the ship? Enclosed community? Romance and chance accidents? The unreality of the world of the ship compared with the real world? The choices that ship life makes? compared with final choices?
5. Was Nicky an attractive hero? The Cary Grant type? The playboy? Was he capable of loving? Why did he fall in love with Terry Mackay?
6. How attractive a character was Terry Mackay? Did she explain her background well? Deborah Kerr's personality? Why was she not in love with Ken? Why did she fall in love with Nicky despite herself?
7. How humorous were the devices for the concealing of their love? The man who wanted to meet Nicky? Photos being taken? The fact that everybody knew? What comment on romantic love did this make? Was it laughing at romantic love?
8. Did the film change its tone with the visit to the grandmother? What were your impressions of the old lady? The atmosphere at her house? Of her life? Its effects on Terry? On Nicky? The importance of her son, and its being used as the thew of the film?
9. How did their love change with the visit to the grandmother? Were their promises to meet again realistic? The importance of the fact that they were both going to work for their love and their marriage?
10. was the picture of both of them coping with work convincing? Nicky's art etc.? Terry and her nightclub singing? How did each cope with their fiances? Was this convincing?
11. What atmosphere had the film built up to their meting at the Empire State Building? How well filmed was the accident? How unexpected? Its effect on the audience?
12. Why was Terry so proud as to not communicate with Nicky? Was this wrong of her? Why?
13. The importance of her work in serving others? Did she do it well? How delightful were the scenes of the children singing? (Too sentimental?)
14. How badly did Nicky cope with his disappointment? Should he have sought her out? Was this part of the agreement? The effect of his disappointment on him? The chance of their meting at the ballet?
15. How poignant the finale? Their confrontation of each other? The Christmas atmosphere? His not realising that she was crippled? The talk about the painting? The grandmother's shawl? The music? The effect of his discovery of the truth? How realistic was her final saying of her wanting to walk again? If not, did it matter?
16. What values did the film stand for? Was it too sentimental? Or did it keep its balance? How did it reinforce noble sentiments? Is there value in a film like this? Why?