Love Affair, one of the 1939 Best Picture nominees, is next in line in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ series “Hollywood’s Greatest Year: The Best Picture Nominees of 1939” on Monday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
Prior to the film, beginning at 7 p.m., the sixth chapter of the 1939 serial Buck Rogers, starring Buster Crabbe and Constance Moore, and the Warner Bros. Oscar-nominated cartoon Detouring America, directed by Tex Avery, will be screened.
Leo McCarey produced, directed and co-wrote (with Mildred Cram) the story for Love Affair (the actual screenplay was credited to Delmer Daves and Donald Ogden Stewart), a romantic melodrama starring Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne as a couple who meet and fall in love aboard a US-bound ship. Fate, however, ends up interfering with their planned tryst on dry land.
Some prefer this version to the better known 1957 remake, An Affair to Remember, in which Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr play the two lovers. Personally, I think An Affair to Remember is superior – chiefly because of Cary Grant’s presence – but the 1939 Love Affair has its charms, including Irene Dunne’s performance and a brief appearance by scene-stealer Maria Ouspenskaya.
Love Affair received six Academy Award nominations: Best Picture (RKO Radio), Actress (Dunne), Actress in a Supporting Role (Ouspenskaya), Art Direction (Van Nest Polglase, Al Herman), Music – Song (“Wishing,” Music and Lyrics by Buddy de Sylva) and Writing – Original Story (Cram, McCarey).
Here’s hoping the Academy screening will feature a good print, as the Love Affair prints available for viewing have usually been below par.
Tickets for Love Affair and other individual films in the series are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the screening when the doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Curtain time for all features is 7:30 p.m., and pre-show elements will begin at 7 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.
Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer Love Affair 1939 images: Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library.