LOVE AFFAIR (1939) B/W 89m. dir: Leo McCarey
w/Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya, Lee Bowman, Astrid Allwyn, Maurice Moscovich, Scotty Beckett, Bess Flowers, Harold Miller, Joan Leslie, Gerald Mohr
From The Movie Guide: "A superb romance, the film deftly mixes humor with pathos and passion, and takes us on an emotional voyage that never fails to please. Michel (Boyer) is engaged to Lois (Allwyn), and Terry (Dunne) is engaged to Ken (Bowman) when the two meet onboard ship, but their mutual attraction is instant. The two flirt, but soon realize that this is not merely a shipboard fling; there is much more to their feelings about each other. They resolve to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building if they still feel the same way about each other. Tragedy strikes Terry on her way to meet Michel, but don't worry --- 'wishing will make it so.'
"There are many wonderful moments in the picture, both comedic and touching. As the couple takes its leave of Michel's grandmother (the magnificent Ouspenskaya), Terry suddenly rushes back to embrace the old woman, and Michel can't help but fall in love with her. As the 'other man' and other woman,' Bowman and Allwyn are refreshingly adult and sympathetic, and Boyer and Dunne play beautifully together. The first half of the picture is breezy, witty, and chic, but, while the second has a decidedly more serious tone, we never have the feeling that they are divided. Reportedly, the writers were scripting new pages every day. If that's true, more power to director McCarey who brought spontaneity rather than jumpiness to his direction. Look for veteran TV actor Gerald Mohr in a tiny extra bit and Joan Leslie, in her fourth film, at the age of 14 [playing an autograph seeker]. Decently remade [by director McCarey] as AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant."
LOVE AFFAIR was nominated for six Oscars: Best Picture, Actress (Dunne), Supporting Actress (Ouspenskaya), Original Screenplay (Mildred Cram, McCarey), Song ("Wishing" by Buddy DeSylva), and Art Direction (Van Nest Polglase, Al Herman).