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Love Affair – 1939 McCarey
- If you’ve come to this story from Mccarey’s 1957 remake (An Affair to Remember) of his own work first, you’ll be struck by the amount of similarities: dialogue and specific shots. This is in black and white and shorter. I doubt anyone ran into the 1994 version with Warren Beatty and Annette Benning first- haven’t caught that myself actually and should.
- You can see why the material was remade twice (and then lives on in 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle, too)— it is a great story- irresistible
- Six Oscar noms- a tight 88 minutes and it skips nothing of importance (either in story or artistic advancement) from the 1957 version. Between that and points for originally- it’s the slightly superior version
- Irene Dunne has a playfulness that Deborah Kerr doesn’t- she’s better at the scenes of flirtation. She’s not quite as good in the scenes in the hospital playing the victim though.
- Boyer is superb as well- I won’t go as far as to say he’s Cary Grant-smooth—but still. Grant was such a big admirer of this film and apparently urged McCarey to do the remake.
- It is a McCarey film—so you have gallons of syrup– a sweet old lady, cute kids singing and pining for the camera. You have a youth choir director- he’d use that again in Going My Way in 1944.
- Pink champagne (love the level of detail here) and the empire state building movie iconography
- Boyer’s mother is played by Maria Ouspenskaya from The Wolf Man in 1941- she’s strong here
- It is McCarey- so there isn’t a lot of care for composition or framing- but there is a gorgeous shot at 23 minutes with Boyer and Dunne in the chapel. Dunne has the hat on and the sun is pouring in on them in the shadows.
- At 44 minutes you get the shot where Dunne opens the window with reflection of the empire state building—I love this shot- McCarey would do it again in An Affair to Remember
- At 55 minutes the accident happens and the camera floats up to the building
- Recommend/Highly Recommend border