February, the month for romance and Valentines, is also An Affair to Remember Month, remembering the classic 1957 romantic tearjerker starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.
An Affair to Remember opened in theaters in the summer of 1957. The saga of the two lovers, both already engaged to another and how they find, lose and then rediscover one another has been called one of the most beautiful romances ever filmed, by the American Film Institute.
Cary Grant would later admit, like many of the film’s fans, he would break into tears watching it.
Fun Fact: An Affair to Remember is actually a remake. Director Leo McCarey’s 1957 version is a scene-by-scene remake of the film Love Affair which he made in 1939. Critics generally agree the film is not an improvement on the original but a fin production in its own right.
The theme song is performed by Vic Damone over the opening credits and later in the film by Marni Nixon (as lip-synced by Deborah Kerr).
Failure drove McCarey to attempt a remake of Affair. His previous film, a Cold War melodrama called My Son John, had been a flop. The director needed a hit, so he turned to Love Affair for revamping into An Affair to Remember.
The film Sleepless in Seattle was patterned mainly after An Affair to Remember. In Sleepless, several scenes evoke the earlier movie on many occasions. There was even a pivotal moment involving the Empire State Building observation deck, much like there was in An Affair to Remember.
A 1994 remake (which used the original title Love Affair) starred Warren Beatty and featured Katherine Hepburn in her final screen appearance.
Like his character in the movie, Cary Grant met and fell in love with his wife, Actress Betsy Drak aboard the Queen Mary.
During the filming, Robert Wagner, then a young aspiring actor, came by to watch Cary Grant work. One day Grant told the young Wagner how excited he was that he had finally mastered breath control while performing. This impressed the young Wagner who said, “It was his sixty-second picture, and he was still honing his craft.”
HOW TO OBSERVE
Rent or buy An Affair to Remember. Keep a tissue handy. Use #AnAffairToRememberMonth to share on social media.
An Affair to Remember Month was first observed in 1996 when it was published in Chases Calendar of events.