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"Most of the reviews of this film have been rather harsh. I remember watching this movie as a teenager in the 1970s on a black and white television, so I found watching this movie in color without commercial interruption a delightful experience. I think that Wood and Wagner handled a delicate relationship carefully. One must remember that the disability rights movement was in its infancy in the early 1970s, so persons with physical challenges and the social dimensions of living with a disability were not part of mainstream discourse. Wood and Wagner did an excellent job of portraying a number of emotional and social issues regarding the navigation of sexual relationships for a woman with a physical challenge. Many young viewers may also not clearly understand the impact that polio had on our whole society with many people dying from the disease or being left with a severe level of physical impairment. Time has marched on, many people who lived with the aftermath of polio have died, and some may have forgotten the impact that polio had on the everyday reality of people's lives. In all fairness to this film, I thought that the subject was handled with sensitivity by one of Hollywood's most beloved couples. If one is to judge art, the historic context, level of technology, and the target audience must be considered. "The Affair" was produced as a made for television film that enabled this couple to appear publicly, for a rare treat, on screen together during her pregnancy. 1970s technology was not superb and digitalized. Some of us still prefer records, too. As for criticism of fashion in the movie, well, styles do change... However, Ms. Wood's pants were not "bellbottoms." Anyone who has ever worn calipers or known someone who has...realizes that getting clothing to fit over braces does not provide a sleek and slender look. Pants are often baggy by necessity to fit over braces, and the metal often times still wears through the sides of slacks at the knee joint. That "look" was not retro...It was realism. Lastly, Wagner's character was not atypical of the times as men and women were struggling more over issues such as independence, sexual expression, commitment, and the accelerating divorce rate. I am certain that the notion of a man "stalking" a woman was not verbage typical of the period, nor was the gentility he displayed typical of "stalking" as it would now be defined. See "Ghostworld" and "High Fidelity" for a greater appreciation of works of art that can be appreciated for what they were meant to be. Classics are by nature supposed to be retro!"
Not your average tv movie of the week!
Stephanie S-M | 07/15/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've recently become reacquainted with Natalie Wood's films and found THE AFFAIR at a local video shop. The film was made in 1973 and appeared on television, not in the theatres. Despite its distinct 1970s TV movie aura, there is something about this film that is hard to dismiss. In fact, this movie left its sadness with me for a long while after I finished watching it. As is the case with two of Natalie Wood's other films SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS and ALL THE FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS, THE AFFAIR is a much more realistic look at love that your dreamy-eyed love-drenched variety of film. In THE AFFAIR, Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner play a couple who fall in love. I can't remember the screenwriter's name, but she does a great job with the dialogue and Natalie delivers it well, sometimes with subtle sarcasm and sometimes with honest vulnerability. Her character, "Courtney," has always kept to herself and is wary of getting involved in a relationship. She meets a lawyer who visits her father's house one day and eventually "Courtney" and the lawyer (played by Robert Wagner) become involved. Perhaps the most touching part of the whole movie is when Courtney expresses her awkwardness with love, esp. physical love during a weekend retreat the two make to a cabin. All of Courtney's previous dry wit and polite distance up til now make sense and counterpointher vulnerability perfectly. (And also click with a scene later in the movie, which highlights the sadness of the film.)Both actors do a good job, esp. Natalie Wood! But the unusual tone (particularly unusual for a 70s tv movie) and love scenes (though not at all explicit) between real-life husband and wife make for a realistic film experience that can be unnerving! Make sure you have something to cheer you up afterwards!"
NATALIE WOOD sings but Film hits a Sour Note
Johnny G | LAS VEGAS, NV | 12/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In this TV-movie made in the early 1970's Natalie Wood plays a Singer/Songwriter who falls in love with Robert Wagner. It is not generally well known, but Natalie always wanted to sing in her previous films. Her own voice was not quite up to the demands of WEST SIDE STORYand when she played a young Singer on the rise in INSIDE DAISY CLOVER most of her Vocals were also dubbed in by a studio vocalist. However, in this film she sings "I Can't See You Anymore" which for certain did not win any Grammy Awards for Best Song. She gave it her best shot,and you can judge for yourself. The film itself is uneven and to some degree, pointless, and the picture quality looks like you are watching it through a fish bowl, but it is a rare opportunity to see Natalie and RJ act together. They may have had tremendous chemistry together in person, however it did not often translate that well to the screen. Still, this movie is worth a look if just to see the beautiful Natalie Wood in what was to be one of her last film ventures."
Johnny G | 12/06/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you are looking for a feel good and cry movie this is it. A very touching story with two great stars. Natalie Wood just glows!"
Laughably Bad ... Would you like dinner?
Jolly Roger | El Cerrito, CA USA | 12/29/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The bad news is this is a bad movie.
The good news is it's so bad it's funny.
Natalie Wood does a fine job, but Robert Wagner is stiff as a board from beginning to end. It's a surprise she doesn't get splinters from touching him.
The plot, such as it is, has some confusing jumps. At one point they may break up, then the next scene shows him moving in with her. The one consistency is that Robert Wagner is always on the lookout for a meal."