Leo McCarey, Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr open presents during the making of An Affair to Remember (20th Century Fox, 1957)
Why did you decide to remake Love Affair as An Affair to Remember?
Because a lot of people said it was the best love story they ever saw on the screen — and it’s also my favorite love story. Two decades had passed: a lot of young people couldn’t have seen the first version, so I felt I should tell the story again - for them.
For the remake, I also wanted to see if I was as good a writer and as good a director as I’d been twenty years before when I made the original. Every night I stayed up trying to improve the picture. I rewrote nearly a third of the dialog. I wanted to surpass the McCarey of twenty years ago. I always remember the time I met Deborah Kerr in Madrid and she said, “Do you remember the dialog on the bridge? ‘Winter must be very cold for those who have no memories to keep them warn, and we have already missed the spring.’ Do you remember that, Leo?” I said, “Of course, I stayed up one whole night writing that line.”
Leo McCarey, Who the Hell Made It: Interviews with Legendary Directors by Peter Bogdanovich