An Affair To Remember (1957)

"If you can paint, I can walk - anything can happen." Terry

"If you can paint, I can walk - anything can happen" Terry


An Affair to Remember (1957) is the Mona Lisa of romantic films.

Directed by Leo McCarey.

Starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.

I've watched, "An Affair To Remember" countless times. I view the film to study Cary's impeccable acting technique. I could never understand, why I was drawn to the film itself. I decided to do a film review to uncover the attraction I hold for this film.

The story is pretty straight forward. Boy meets girls, they are instantly attracted to each, they each are spoken for, they fall in love, complications arise and in the end, they live happily ever after. I've seen this kind of film countless times and they've never caught my fancy in any language.

This film has always had a bewitching spell on me, Why?  The quote above caught my attention for some unknown reason. I decided to use it as the film's main quote and put it under the movies picture. As I read the typed quote, I started thinking about Cary's work in the picture and scenes from the film started flashing across my mind. Suddenly it dawned on me, why I was so, drawn to this picture.

The film seduces me, because it is a tale of redemption, forgiveness and hope. These are universal human themes that all adult audiences can understand regardless of their race, culture, education or background.
Both Cary and Kerr play individuals who have sold their bodies to others for a life of lavish luxury. Cary's character comes from a privileged background, Kerr's does not. Each sold their bodies to the highest bidder to attain wealth. As I looked deeper into the story, I discovered a subtle Catholic redemptive theme throughout the latter half of the film. Its theme is done as a subtext through visual images and alluded in references in the dialogue. The film gives hope to those who have fallen. "If you can paint, I can walk - anything can happen".

In the scene below, Cary's comedic timing powers is showcased. Watch how he instinctively reacts, mirror like to Kerr's every gesture without ever looking at her. Marlon Brando in Elia Kazan's, "A Street Car Named Desire", may have been the first to modernize acting, but Cary was the first to become his character and develop it throughout his life in both film and real life, without ever losing his sanity in public. I hope you add this film to your library. Enjoy!

Trivia - Ingrid Bergman was originally chosen to play the Deborah Kerr role of Terry McKay.