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Love Affair (1939)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 7 April 1939 (USA)
A French playboy and an American former nightclub singer fall in love aboard a ship. They arrange to reunite six months later, after he has had a chance to earn a decent living.

Director:

Leo McCarey

Writers:

Delmer Daves (screen play), Donald Ogden Stewart (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Irene Dunne ... Terry McKay
Charles Boyer ... Michel Marnay
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Grandmother
Lee Bowman ... Kenneth Bradley
Astrid Allwyn ... Lois Clarke
Maurice Moscovitch ... Maurice Cobert (as Maurice Moscovich)
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Storyline

A French playboy and an American former nightclub singer fall in love aboard a ship. They arrange to reunite six months later, after he has had a chance to earn a decent living. Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

7 April 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elle et lui See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne were paired again as a romantic couple in When Tomorrow Comes (1939), made the same year as this film. Both films feature a scene where Dunne sings while Boyer plays the piano. Their third and final film together was Together Again (1944). See more »

Goofs

When Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer are on the ship during the day and they are next to the railing talking and reading their letters, the ocean is moving behind them. Just after the close up on Dunne, she turns and faces the ocean, but you can see the shadow of her head on the screen that displays the ocean. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
radio news announcers: [American announcer] Flash! Michel Marnay, the French heart crusher, sailed incog. tonight from Naples on board the Napoli. Why? Because Lois Clarke and her twenty million smackers will be at the dock palpatating for him. And it's good news for us mere men, because when he arrives, Michel Marnay goes out of circulation. This time, it's marriage.
[French announcer - undecipherable]
radio news announcers: [British announcer] Well here we are ladies and gentlemen... and a nice crisp little tidbit has just come...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are on pages of a book, through which a female hand is paging. See more »

Connections

Remade as Mann (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Plaisir d'Amour
(1775) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Martini
Libretto by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian
Performed by Irene Dunne with Maria Ouspenskaya playing piano
Played often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What a wonderful film!
27 March 2000 | by henkenSee all my reviews

This is a film of two genuine moods. The first half or so is a romantic story in the fine 1930s comedic tradition. The dialogue is witty, the characters charming, and the developing romance a joy to watch. The second half is a drama which is deep and engaging. The dignity with which the characters act through trying circumstances is wonderful, and a marked contrast and relief to the hysterical characters found in contemporary movies. To have two such different moods both handled with such extreme skill in the same movie makes this a rare gem.

The acting is superb; both Dunne and Boyer play with believable subtlety and emotional power. They drew me in so I cared enormously. Maria Ouspenskaya is, as always, superb. Compare her performance here with her blistering performance in her similar-but-opposite role in Dodsworth. The direction is very straightforward in its service to the story, with only the occasional standout moments: look for the superb shots of the couple's first kiss, of the reflected empire state building, and of the double headline. With a story and acting as strong as this, that's exactly as it should be.


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