Deborah Kerr plays singer Terry McKay. Cary Grant plays famous playboy Nickie Ferrante. With both of them involved in serious relationships, and with both of their significant others not on board, their cruise home to America becomes complicated. When they meet, they aren’t immediately attracted, but given time, the ship keeps them close enough to fall for each other.
Before they part, they promise to meet again in six months at the top of the Empire State Building. When Terry doesn’t show, Nickie fears she’s either married to someone else or just doesn’t love him. However, neither has forgotten the other, and a chance meeting brings them back together.
The humor in the cute beginning was well done. The story was so well acted that I almost teared up looking at Nickie (Cary Grant) simply standing in a room when he went to his grandmother’s house the second time. I could see that he desperately missed both of the women. The ending showed that they both found themselves separately before finding each other again.
Terry's sacrifice of not letting Nickie know about her circumstances is touching. It's difficult to give up what you want. She believed it was for the best.
Leo McCarey directed this movie and then two more before his death. He started out directing silent films. He worked with Bela Lugosi, Gloria Swanson, The Marx Brothers, Mae West, and Harold Lloyd. And he was responsible for pairing Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
The first time Leo McCarey directed Cary Grant was in 1937 with Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth. He’d directed films every year from 1924 to 1937, but he took off a year in 1938 and made his next film in 1939, which was Love Affair, starring Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne. After almost twenty years, he directed the remake of that film, put Cary Grant in it, and called it An Affair to Remember. This time, Cary Grant was paired with Deborah Kerr.
Deborah Kerr’s singing in this film was dubbed by Marni Nixon, the same woman who dubbed the songs of Kerr’s Anna in The King and I and Audrey Hepburn’s Eliza in My Fair Lady. Nixon also dubbed songs for Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno in West Side Story.