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AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER ($35) is long considered the king (or queen) of weepy tearjerkers; having its a status brought home to a new generation of movie fans, when the film became an integral part of the plot of the wildly popular SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. Aside from its more weepy aspects, AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER is a highly entertaining movie because of the wonderful interplay of its two stars Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, which shows the two British thespians at the top of their game. Grant and Kerr exhibit an incredible screen chemistry in this film, as well as interjecting a great deal of humor with the playful nature of their performances. Of course, when AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER shows its serious side, both performers are more than up to the task, especially Grant who demonstrates a level of emotional depth that one rarely sees in the characters the screen legend usually played.

In AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER Grant portrays well known playboy Nickie Ferrante, who is making a transatlantic voyage to America to marry his very wealthy fiancée. While at sea, Nickie has a chance encounter with fellow passenger, Terry McKay (Kerr), who is returning to America to the man she loves. Wholly aware of Nikkie’s reputation with the ladies, Terry maintains a polite detachment in her dealings with the notorious playboy. However, when the two disembark at a port of call that allows Nikkie to visit his elderly Grandmother Janou (Cathleen Nesbitt), romance finally blossoms between Terry and Nikkie. Upon their return to American the lovebirds agree to meet again in six months at the top of the Empire State Building, allowing each enough time to end the prior commitments in their lives. However, at the appointed time of Nikkie and Terry’s rendezvous, destiny steps in, threatening to permanently end their love affair. The cast of AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER also includes Richard Denning, Neva Patterson, Robert Q. Lewis and Charles Watts.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The Blu-ray is indeed a winner and the 1080p presentation comes across as far superior to all previous editions of the film. High definition mastering pulls every last bit of detail out of AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, with the levels of sharpness, dimensionality and fine detail coming across in a fairly impressive manner for a vintage film shot with early CinemaScope lenses. Meticulous color correction has been employed, as this is the absolute best that the problematic 1950s era DeLuxe color hues have ever looked at home. Saturation levels tend to be quite good, except for process shots. The deeply tanned Cary Grant was the George Hamilton of his day, while Deborah Kerr’s fair complexion offers a marked contrast. Blacks are relatively deep, while the whites are crisp. Contrast is generally smooth. Shadow detail is more than adequate. The elements from which AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER has been transferred appear to have been digitally cleaned up to remove almost all signs of age. Film grain is noticeable throughout, with some sequences showing more than others.

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The vintage soundtrack has certain limitations in fidelity that are directly related to the age of the recordings and the technology available in the 1950s. The lossless encode makes the most of what the recordings contain, with Hugo Friedhofer’s music getting the biggest benefit. Separations are somewhat restrained and the rear integration isn’t particularly enveloping. Dialogue is crisp and easy to understand. English and French Dolby stereo tracks are also provided, as is a Spanish monaural track. Subtitles are available in English and Spanish.

A touch of animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a nice body of supplements, many of which have been ported over from the DVD release. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with film historian Joseph McBride and singer Marni Nixon (who provided Deborah Kerr's singing voice in this film, as well as THE KING AND I). This is a very informative and entertaining track, with both participants providing interesting bits on the production and the personalities involved. Next up is AMC Backstory: An Affair To Remember, a twenty-four minute program that offers a look at the making of the movie, as well as profiling Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr and director Leo McCarey, who utilized this opportunity to remake his classic 1939 film LOVE AFFAIR in CinemaScope. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Directed By Leo McCarey (twenty three minutes), Affairs To Remember: Deborah Kerr (six minutes), Affairs To Remember: Cary Grant (ten minutes) and The Look Of An Affair To Remember (nine minutes). Filling out the supplements is a MovieTone News Clip of the film's shipboard premiere and a Theatrical Trailer. AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER features book styled packaging that contains twenty-eight pages of photos and production notes.

As I stated above AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER is the king (or queen) of weepy tearjerkers. The Blu-ray presentation bests previous editions by a wide margin. If you are a movie buff, Cary Grant or Deborah Kerr fan, or are just looking to have a good cry, you will want to add AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER to your collection. Highly recommended.

 


An Affair To Remember [Blu-ray] (1957)

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DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright © 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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