I first saw this film when I was fifteen and at the end, you could hear the sound of weeping throughout the cinema. I absolutely loved it, for its glamour, gentle romance and bitter-sweet ending. I also developed a lifelong enthusiasm for heart-throb Cary Grant. I still think he was the most gorgeous creature on two legs. (All my heart-throbs are now dead - Frankie Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Gregory Peck and, above all, the incomparably witty and sophisticated Cary Grant! I, of course, am still 27...)
Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr play two people on an ocean liner who, although involved with other people, fall in love. The romance is depicted with gentle sophistication; it comes from an age where there was no premature rolling in the hay and relationships had time to develop naturally and with restraint. Both characters have a past and Nicki, Grant's character, has never had to earn a living or take responsibility. At the end of the cruise, they agree to part for six months in order to sort out their previous relationships and Nicki promises to learn to work for a living,
True to the romanticism of the story, he does no do any ordinary job, but becomes a painter and begins to experience success. However, though he waits at their agreed meeting place until midnight (the top of the Empire State Building), Kerr's character, Terry, does not show up. The rest of the film unravels the reason for this until the inevitable happens and they find each other. In the meantime, both grow up, rather belatedly. When the reason for their not meeting is revealed, we all cry.
The film is a taste of a gentler, more innocent era, where romantic tension was still possible because of the greater sexual restraint. It is quite charming and, all these years later, I still enjoy watching it.