Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Love Affair (1939)

French playboy Michel and American Terry McKay fall in love aboard ship. They arrange to reunite 6 months later on the top of the Empire State Building, but destiny prepares an unfortunate surprise. [imdb]

Nominated for 6 Oscars:

Best Picture
Best Actress: Irene Dunne
Best Supporting Actress: Maria Ouspenskaya
Best Original Screenplay
Best Original Song
Best Art Direction

I had first seen (years ago) the 1994 remake with Warren Beatty & Annette Bening; though it's considered a bad film, I remember being captivated by the plot and especially fascinated by the ending. So I said to myself: the original must be a classic! And ignoring the 1957 Cary Grant version, I went str8 for this one. A classic it is, even though it has its flaws.
My concern is with the second part, as the film slowly loses its emotional punch; until that classic ending, that is. Love Affair is a delicate movie, focused on romance and on the fantastic charisma of the two leading actors. Both of them managed to put a smile on my face: Charles Boyer is adorable and Irene Dunne is glowing. Her Oscar nomination was well deserved but she was nowhere near winning; and the songs she sings are beautiful, memorable. Maria Ouspenskaya has a short, but important role as the one to predict the love story that will follow.
I am just a bit :( by the fact that Love Affair was not even 90 minutes long; they could've added more scenes and resolve the screenplay gaps from the second half. But still: an unforgettable love story.
My rating for the film: 8.5/10. It was almost a 9. And I think I'm gonna post this film on youtube.


  1. Although the Beatty/Benning version is not perfect it's a fine film. I gave it 7/10 [closer to six, but Bening is my wife]

  2. well, I made clear what's the general idea on the 94 movie, not mine :) it got a silly Razzie nomination for Worst Remake.