Leo McCarey is one of those filmmakers whose name has almost been forgotten by time, even though some of his work has not. Although he only made twenty-five feature films over a period of five decades, he was involved in hundreds more. Writing, directing and producing. He’s probably best-known today for Duck Soup, making a number of slapstick comedies before turning his hand to more thoughtful and spiritual subjects. Such as An Affair to Remember, which is a remake of his own 1939 film, Love Affair.
On a trip across the Atlantic, famous painter and infamous womaniser Michel Marnet (Charles Boyer) gets a surprise in the form of American singer Terry McKay (Irene Dunne). The pair instantly hit it off, but there’s one problem. They’re both engaged. They make a pact to meet in six months’ time at the top of the Empire State Building. This will give him time to prove that he can mend his errant ways and financially support them both.
Love Affair is one of those beautiful romantic comedies which takes you in directions you would have never expected. This is largely down to clever writing and the chemistry between Boyer and Dunne. They build up a wonderful rapport and she, in particular, has great comic timing. They are completely at ease within McCarey’s heart-wrenching tale. Love Affair mixes light and frothy humour with serious drama to create a film to remember.
- New 4K digital restoration by The Museum of Modern Art and Lobster Films, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New interview with film critic Farran Smith Nehme about the movie’s complicated production history
- New interview with Serge Bromberg, founder of Lobster Films, about the restoration
- Two radio adaptations, featuring Irene Dunne, William Powell, and Charles Boyer
- Two shorts directed by Leo McCarey, both starring silent comedian Charley Chase: Looking for Sally (1925) and Mighty Like a Moose (1926)
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- PLUS: An essay by author Megan McGurk
Love Affair is released on Blu-Ray as part of the Criterion Collection in the UK on 21 February.