Order your glass of chilled pink champagne, slip into your most elegant evening wear, and meet atop the Empire State Building. Why? To help me celebrate the 60th anniversary of this classic romantic film.
Whether you saw this film first, or you came to love it after you sought it out because it featured in Sleepless In Seattle(that’s how I first became aware of it); please share your thoughts on this one below.
Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr are at their best here as the couple who meet aboard a passenger ship. Famous playboy Nickie(Cary Grant)finds himself falling in love for the first time, with the elegant singer Terry(Deborah Kerr). As their friendship grows deeper, they discover they are developing romantic feelings for one another. Unfortunately, both are engaged to someone else, in both cases that someone else is waiting for them to dock in New York.
The pair make a promise to each other, if in six months time they still love each other they will meet on top of the Empire State Building. Both go to keep the date, but tragedy strikes, and Nicky is left believing that Terry had decided not to come to him. He learns (in one of the saddest and beautiful finales in film history)the bitter truth at a much later stage, but only after he has grown bitter towards Terry.
This is directed by Leo McCarey, and is a remake of his own 1939 film, Love Affair, which starred Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne. I’m not really a fan of remakes, and I love the original of this story, but this remake is actually my favourite of the two versions. I think it is because of Grant and Kerr, they make me feel for them so much and are both so good at playing hesitant and tender scenes.
My favourite scenes are where they go into the ships restaurant, pretend not to be together and get seated back to back, much to the amusement of the other guests. Nicky introducing Terry to his beloved grandmother(Cathleen Nesbitt), and the scene where Nicky finds Terry crying on the ship, the pair then share a hidden kiss on a staircase. The finale gets me every time I see it.
Charles Le Meir’s gorgeous costumes are a joy to see, Deborah gets some beautiful and elegant evening gowns; I particularly love the orange/white one she wears, I don’t think she has ever looked lovelier on screen than she does here. Grant is at his most effortlessly charming, stylish and well dressed. Beautiful people, beautifully dressed living a beautiful life, what’s not to love?
Happy 60th anniversary to one of the best romance films ever made.