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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

An Affair to Remember


Starring: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr and Richard Denning
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: PG
Available 30 January 2012

Nickie Ferrante is a dilettante playboy, who once had a flair for art, but whose disenchantment with the artistic community led him to give up painting. Nickie takes a boat trip to meet his grandmother but on the way meets Terry McKay, a young woman who, like Nickie, is already involved in another relationship. However, as the couple spend time together they start to fall in love...

An Affair to Remember (1957 - 1 hr, 54 min, 48 sec) is held to be one of the most romantic film ever made, often partly reproduced as a homage - Sleepless in Seattle - and, likewise often referred or alluded to, this mini classic from a bygone era has now been restored for its Blu-ray release.

There is a single important element when casting your leading man, who will appeal to both men and women. Today you just get Tom Hanks, and previously you’d get Cary Grant. Both men were and are able to be both masculine and vulnerable at the same time - a potent combination which appeals to both sexes.

Cary Grant (Nickie Ferrante) is his usual epitome of suave sophistication. Deborah Kerr (Terry McKay) was also the embodiment of feminine beauty, so the two were well matched in the movie. Of course the path of true love never runs smoothly and whilst the pair enjoy their affair aboard the boat, they are forced to face the realities of their lives in New York. Ferrnate, a kept man, decides to prove himself and takes up painting again - determined to make a living on his own, to prove himself to his new love. They make a pact to meet at the top of the Empire State Building.

On her way to the rendezvous McKay spends so much time looking up at the top of the tower, anticipation their reunion, that she fails to spot the car that runs her down. Crippled, she no longer feels that she is worthy of his love. Ferrnate, meanwhile, takes her absence as a signal that she is not interested in him. Well, of course, the two lovers finally get to meet up, in the film's resolution.

The print has been restored and with many older films the grain in the print is evident. This is not a mistake, it was the way the original film looked at the cinema. There are a number of audio options, with two English tracks, including a 5.1 DTS HD MA and stereo track. There are also tracks for French, Spanish and a number of other European languages. There is a full length audio commentary from Singer Marni Nixon and Film Historian Joseph Mc bride, which is a good compliment to the film and certainly worth a listen.

Given the age of the movie there is a fairly impressive collection of extras. Directed by Leo McCarey (22 min, 33 sec) is a retrospective of the director’s work, not just this film. Unfortunately the whole thing looks like it was filmed on a camcorder with lines and breakup of edges which makes the piece difficult to watch.

A Producer to Remember: Jerry Wald (16 min, 09 sec) looks at Jerry’s life and work. The Look of An Affair to Remember (9 min, 01 sec) take s a look at the structure and style of the movie. AMC Back Story of An Affair to Remember (24 min, 27 sec) is the usual look at the genesis of the film and the wider history of the film and Cary’s Grants real affairs. Fox Movietone News: An Affair to Remember Shipboard Premier (56 sec).

Affairs to Remember - Deborah Kerr (5 min, 34 sec), with Deborah’s husband talking about her role and friendship with Cary Grant. Affairs to Remember - Cary Grant (9 min, 48 sec) features Grant's widow talking about him. The disc closes with the Theatrical Trailer.

So, it’s a classic of its age which has been given the Blu-ray treatment.


Charles Packer

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