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LOVE AFFAIR (1939)


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This film was remade twice, but nothing surpasses the original. I am watching it this afternoon. Such a beautiful film, brings tears to my eyes. 

 

I love the sequence where they visit Maria Ouspenskaya's character and pray at the church together. Exquisite, simple, lovely. What a classic romance!

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I don't understand why TCM seldom plays this film. It's such a crowd-pleasing classic. 

It may be due to the fact that "An Affair To Remember" with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr has became such a famous film throughout the years.

 

Sometimes, the remake eclipses the original.

 

For example, the first and second remakes of "Waterloo Bridge".

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It may be due to the fact that "An Affair To Remember" with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr has became such a famous film throughout the years.

 

Sometimes, the remake eclipses the original.

 

For example, the first and second remakes of "Waterloo Bridge".

Yes, that's a strong possibility. But I don't think the Grant-Kerr pairing comes anywhere close to capturing the magic that Dunne & Boyer have in the original. 

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Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-08-10%2Bat%2B5.41.1

 

Boyer and Dunne made two more films after LOVE AFFAIR. There was WHEN TOMORROW COMES, a romance drama for Universal which hit screens later in 1939 (TCM has never aired it). And then in 1944, they reunited for Columbia's romantic comedy TOGETHER AGAIN.

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This film was remade twice, but nothing surpasses the original. I am watching it this afternoon. Such a beautiful film, brings tears to my eyes. 

 

I love the sequence where they visit Maria Ouspenskaya's character and pray at the church together. Exquisite, simple, lovely. What a classic romance!

Yes. The leads are superb and it's a wonderful opportunity to see a sophisitcated Maria Ouspenskaya, who too often was cast as grisled ethnic character types. She glows in this movie.

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Yes. The leads are superb and it's a wonderful opportunity to see a sophisitcated Maria Ouspenskaya, who too often was cast as grisled ethnic character types. She glows in this movie.

 

Great comment Dougie. I think one of the reasons I love the Republic western WYOMING (1947) so much is because Ouspenskaya plays an ethnic character but she has a tender quality, suggesting a life of sophistication back in Europe before coming to the American west. Then there's Republic's musical I'VE ALWAYS LOVED YOU (1946), directed by Frank Borzage, where she plays a patroness of the arts, which is kind of a glamorous role for her. She's interesting to watch on screen.

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I haven't seen either WYOMING or I'VE ALWAYS LOVED YOU, but I'll look for both. Type-casting was (and is) cruel because B level and below stars didn't always get to express their full range. A-listers were sometimes indulged with a wider range of roles.

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I haven't seen either WYOMING or I'VE ALWAYS LOVED YOU, but I'll look for both. Type-casting was (and is) cruel because B level and below stars didn't always get to express their full range. A-listers were sometimes indulged with a wider range of roles.

 

WYOMING should be a better known 'A' western. I'VE ALWAYS LOVED YOU was the first of three that Frank Borzage did at Republic in the postwar years. It was also a rare example of Republic making a musical in Technicolor-- they tended to film in black-and-white until December 1946 when the studio began to use its own Trucolor process. Ouspenskaya is perfectly cast in both and does get a chance to show her range as a performer.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-17-at-10-12-40-am.jp

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Yes. The leads are superb and it's a wonderful opportunity to see a sophisitcated Maria Ouspenskaya, who too often was cast as grisled ethnic character types. She glows in this movie.

Maria was memorable in the Wolf Man, playing the fortune teller.  Granted, it goes to your point that she was often stereotyped. 

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A beautiful film :) I grew up watching the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr version and was never a big fan of that version; for many years I was unaware that another version existed. I watched Love Affair not expecting much and was surprised to find it such a touching, warm film that really pulls at the heartstrings :) Well cast, beautifully done. Ouspenskaya and Boyer in particular left an impression. I think the scene at the end with Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne is my favorite; I watched a comparison of that scene in both this version and the remake. In the Cary Grant remake it seemed a bit over the top because it didn’t seem as real to me, the emotion wasn’t believable so it seemed corny. In the Boyer/Dunne original, it seems so much more sincere. Boyer’s expressions as he goes about the apartment, confused over the situation and her behavior, slowly started to puzzle out what’s going on, superb acting. When he finally understands the reaction seems genuine. Wonderful movie.

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On 2/20/2018 at 6:45 AM, Natalie Webb said:

A beautiful film :) I grew up watching the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr version and was never a big fan of that version; for many years I was unaware that another version existed. I watched Love Affair not expecting much and was surprised to find it such a touching, warm film that really pulls at the heartstrings :) Well cast, beautifully done. Ouspenskaya and Boyer in particular left an impression. I think the scene at the end with Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne is my favorite; I watched a comparison of that scene in both this version and the remake. In the Cary Grant remake it seemed a bit over the top because it didn’t seem as real to me, the emotion wasn’t believable so it seemed corny. In the Boyer/Dunne original, it seems so much more sincere. Boyer’s expressions as he goes about the apartment, confused over the situation and her behavior, slowly started to puzzle out what’s going on, superb acting. When he finally understands the reaction seems genuine. Wonderful movie.

Great post Natalie. I especially like what you said about the ending. It probably is one of Boyer's best scenes. 

Have you seen TOGETHER AGAIN (1944)...? It's a screwball comedy that reunited Dunne & Boyer. Not as good as LOVE AFFAIR, but still quite charming.

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1 hour ago, rayban said:

As I remember it, it fell far short of the original film and the re-make.

Yes, that's what I heard. I still haven't seen it.

It was Kate Hepburn's last feature. She takes the role played by Maria Ouspenskaya in the original.

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48 minutes ago, DougieB said:

Love Affair is coming up on Valentine's Day, appropriately, but it's on at 6 AM. It's part of a day with mostly romance movies. It seems like such a natural. Has TCM done this before? If so, I never noticed.,

I agree it's perfectly suited for Valentine's Day programming.

According to MovieCollector's database, LOVE AFFAIR (1939) has aired 87 times on TCM. The most recent broadcasts were on January 2018 and July 2017.

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On 6/6/2018 at 11:16 PM, TopBilled said:

Has anyone seen this version:

screen.jpg

I have. It takes a  while to get going (the music in the first 30 minutes is very distracting and draws attention away from what's happening onscreen), but then the old magic clicks in, even if it is still the least of the three versions. (Such is the problem of trying to compete with not just one but two pairs of Hollywood screen romantic legends) At that 30 minute point, which happens to be around the time Kate enters,  the annoying  music gets replaced by a lush, lyrical Ennio Morricone score, and one begins to notice how beautiful Conrad Hall's cinematography is, and how gorgeous New York City looks in here in these silky amber colors. In this regard, its one of the most visually striking American films of the 90s.

As for everything else, Bening shines, Beatty is good, Hepburn just has the one extended scene. She is saddled with some unfortunate 4-letter words to say from the script, but she steals the show with a very poignant, moving performance (her final moments on the big screen which show her seated alone after Bening and Beatty have left and  contemplating her impending mortality are heartbreaking). Pierce Brosnan, Garry Shandling, Kate Capshaw, Brenda Vaccaro, Chloe Webb, Harold Ramis, Carey Lowell, Rosalind Chao, and Paul Mazursky breeze by in fleeting cameos.

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3 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

I have. It takes a  while to get going (the music in the first 30 minutes is very distracting and draws attention away from what's happening onscreen), but then the old magic clicks in, even if it is still the least of the three versions. (Such is the problem of trying to compete with not just one but two pairs of Hollywood screen romantic legends) At that 30 minute point, which happens to be around the time Kate enters,  the annoying  music gets replaced by a lush, lyrical Ennio Morricone score, and one begins to notice how beautiful Conrad Hall's cinematography is, and how gorgeous New York City looks in here in these silky amber colors. In this regard, its one of the most visually striking American films of the 90s.

As for everything else, Bening shines, Beatty is good, Hepburn just has the one extended scene. She is saddled with some unfortunate 4-letter words to say from the script, but she steals the show with a very poignant, moving performance (her final moments on the big screen which show her seated alone after Bening and Beatty have left and  contemplating her impending mortality are heartbreaking). Pierce Brosnan, Garry Shandling, Kate Capshaw, Brenda Vaccaro, Chloe Webb, Harold Ramis, Carey Lowell, Rosalind Chao, and Paul Mazursky breeze by in fleeting cameos.

What a great summary. I particularly like how you went over the music, cinematography and Hepburn's performance. Thank you for sharing your impressions!

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