MoMA Presents

Leo McCarey’s Love Affair

Dec 21–28, 2021

MoMA

Love Affair. 1939. USA. Directed by Leo McCarey. The Museum of Modern Art Film Archive
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1 The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center

Proof of vaccination is required for on-site film screenings. Learn more about visiting us safely.

From the moment an invisible breath propels a telegram meant for a notorious international playboy (Charles Boyer) into the hands of a nightclub singer heading into a loveless marriage (Irene Dunne), Leo McCarey’s 1939 masterpiece ranks among the greatest comedies and melodramas of the American cinema. The warmth and depth McCarey draws from his performers plays out against the transcendent themes of his mise-en-scène, which includes a vision of the Empire State Building as the closest thing to heaven on earth. Amazingly, this perfectly structured film was largely improvised, after censors abruptly rejected McCarey’s initial screenplay. We are proud to present a new and definitive restoration of this major film, a glowingly beautiful digitization based on the unique nitrate print in MoMA’s collection and realized in partnership with Lobster Films.

Organized by Dave Kehr, Curator, Department of Film.

Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black and by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston.

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].