Leo Mccarey

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An Affair To Remember Review

The good thing about being an international playboy who looks and sounds like Cary Grant (well, one of the good things) is that there isn't much you have to do to pay for your fabulous jet-set lifestyle, except marry the occasional filthy-rich heiress (who's hardly bad-looking herself, so that doesn't hurt). So we shouldn't feel too bad for scandal-sheet regular Nickie Ferrante (Grant) when we're introduced to him at the start of the glossy, late-studio-period romance An Affair to Remember, at which point he's leaving behind his French lover, and presumably many years of others like her, in the interest of future security. Nickie's on an ocean liner steaming back to the U.S. to marry the heiress whose financial largesse will keep him in tuxedos and pink champagne for a good many years to come, when he runs into the woman he's fated to fall in love with, Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr), also no slouch in the looks department. But even after the fateful meet cute -- a nicely-framed bit with a cigarette case and some snappy quips -- and all the emotional and moral confusion it causes, there's little reason to feel bad for the guy.

Whether or not one should feel concern for Nickie's state of mind is important here, because director and co-writer Leo McCarey seems to have much more on his mind here than a simple romantic soufflé. The first half of the film takes place almost entirely on the ocean liner, and it's here that the film is at its best. Although both Nickie and Terry have significant others waiting for them on the pier in New York, they can't stop from engaging in some sharp romantic badinage, setting the tongues wagging among their entertainment-starved shipmates. The first sign that the film is moving into different territory, though, is when Nickie goes ashore in France to visit his grandmother and brings Terry along. It's a lengthy and overplayed sequence at a sleepy villa in which Terry, who had previously felt impervious to Nickie's attempts at pitching woo, gets a window into his soul via the grandmother and so falls for him. McCarey also introduces an overtly religious theme here (having Terry and Nickie pray briefly in the chapel) that will come back later in an even more heavy-handed fashion.

Continue reading: An Affair To Remember Review

Going My Way Review

What's the point of this? Unsure, but in 1944 Bing Crosby dancing and prancing -- as a priest -- must have been a welcome respite from the War. Best Picture? Wow. They had cynics back then, didn't they? Father O'Malley (Crosby) prefers a baseball jersey to his priest's cloth, but more than anything the man loves to sing. Countless excuses (including an urchin's boys' choir) arise to allow for said singing, despite the curmudeonly oversight of Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald). Other sappy movies of the era (It's a Wonderful Life comes to mind) have held up over the years. Going My Way, sadly, has not.

The Awful Truth Review

The print may be fading, but the comedy is solid. Cary Grant rules in this classic of the screwball comedy genre, but the dog steals the show. With Irene Dunne as his estranged wife, boy loses girl then tries to get girl back in one of the best comedies of its era (the 1930s). Grant's antics are hysterical.
Leo Mccarey

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