Feb 232022

Love Affair is the 1939 romantic-drama that pre-dated An Affair to Remember which is better known by most. This version stars Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer and the Blu-ray receives a much needed new video and audio transfers.



Love Affair
— The Criterion Collection —

Genre(s): Romance, Drama
The Criterion Collection| NR – 88 min. – $39.95 | February 15, 2022

Date Published: 02/23/2022 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Leo McCarey
Writer(s): Mildred Cram and Leo McCarey (story), Delmer Daves and Donald Ogden Stewart (screenplay)
Cast: Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya, Lee Bowman, Astrid Allwyn, Maurice Moscovich

Features: Interviews, Radio Adaptations, Short Films
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (PCM 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Full Frame 1.37
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 48.62 GB
Total Bitrate: 39.82 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

The Criterion Collection provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


Engaged ladies’ man Michel Marnet (CHARLES BOYER) encounters spoken-for singer Terry McKay (IRENE DUNNE) aboard a transatlantic cruise, where sparks fly and a romance ensues. Once they reach New York, Michel and Terry agree to go back to their significant others, and then meet atop the Empire State Building in six months, when both are free to pursue their affair. Though a tragic accident forestalls their reunion, Terry and Michel still hold out hope for a chance to rekindle their true love.



For a Criterion release, there’s not a ton of features but there are new Interviews with film critic Farran Smith Nehme (23:58) discussing the movie’s complicated production history; and Serge Bromberg (5:38), founder of Lobster Films talking about the restoration. Also included are Two Radio Adaptations (49:15/53:59) featuring actors Irene Dunne, William Powell and Charles Boyer; and Two Short Films by Leo McCarey: Looking for Sally (1925) (24:54) and Might Like a Moose (1926) (22:57).

Inside the clear HD keep case, there is a fold-out booklet containing an essay by author Megan McGurk.


VIDEO – 4¾/5

Love Affair underwent a significant restoration as outlined in one of the featurettes. The movie, presented in the original 1.37 full frame aspect ratio and given a new 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture was obtained from director Leo McCarey’s personal collection and from there the restoration process was undertaken. Detail looks absolutely incredible and the original film grain still retained while the black and white elements were very nicely balanced throughout. I did not notice any apparent flaws like dust marks, scratches, etc. Having seen what was previously available, a pirated transfer from the 16mm, the job the folks at Lobster Films and others was excellent.

AUDIO – 4¼/5

Also being restored, the PCM 1.0 track sounds quite good, dialogue coming across with great clarity with only a minor amount of hissing (more akin to white noise) in the quieter scenes, however nothing I’d say was distracting and, again, when you hear what was originally available, is a significant improvement.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>