04 July 2013

Day 4: A Film That Makes You Sad

Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant fall in love in An Affair to Remember.

Day 4 of the 31 Day Film Challenge: A film that makes you sad.

If by 
sad you mean a film that has me bawling every time I watch it, than I would have to pick Leo McCarey’s An Affair to Remember (1957). 

The film starts off as a typical romance: Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr meet and fall in love on board a ship while returning to New York from Europe. They agree to get their personal lives in order and meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building. The day of their reunion arrives and this is where the floodgates begin to open. Rushing to meet Grant, a distracted Kerr is struck by a car, leaving her unable to walk. Meanwhile Grant waits up on the observation deck, even after it begins to rain. He finally leaves, believing she’s rejected him.

That would be sad enough but it’s the final scene that kills me. Months later they see each other at the theatre. Afterwards, Grant arrives at her flat to confront her and to give her a shawl that his recently deceased grandmother left for her (Kerr had met the woman on a stopover in France). He tells her that he had painted her in the shawl and didn’t want to part with the painting but that when he learned that a crippled woman who didn’t have any money had come into the gallery and liked it, he told the gallery owner to give it to her for free. Grant looks at Kerr, who has been seated the whole time, and realization dawns. He goes into her bedroom and sees the painting. Tears filling his eyes he asks, “If it had to happen to one of us, why did it have to be you?” She explains that it was her fault. “I was looking up, it was the nearest thing to heaven. You were there.”

If you’re not already crying by the time she gets to this line, there’s something wrong with you. Even Grant admitted that he would tear up whenever he watched the ending. Cary Grant crying! Now I'm going to be sad.

To find out more about the 31 Day Film Challenge, visit here.

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