Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Love Affair" with Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne

This was a nice surprise, in a couple of ways, as I had never seen it before; and having just come from a visit to New York City, where the bulk of the story takes place, it just seemed appropriate.

The story is old style corny; a French playboy, Charles Boyer of course, is traveling by boat to meet his wealthy heiress fiancee, and falls in love with another woman, Irene Dunne. They have an affair and agree to meet again in 6 months atop the Empire State Building. She is struck by a car on the way to meeting him, and paralyzed, leaving him wondering, and waiting. A real tear jerker.

Aside from the corny plot, the film did garner 2 Academy Award Nominations; both Irene Dunne and Maria Ouspenkaya were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, repectively. In addition it was nominated for Best Story and Best Song- the poignant ballad "Wishing".

It also had me "Wishing" that I had spent just a bit more time wandering the streets of New York while I was there. Best line in the movie is spoken by Irene Dunne's character, Terry McKay, who avers, "The things we like best are either illegal, immoral or fattening." Low key, and later remade as "An Affair to Remember" with Cary Grant, this is an often overlooked film that is well worth the time it takes to watch.

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