The Affair

  • Film
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For a while it seems that Cates might just pull off this modest little film, originally made for TV. Wood stars as a successful songwriter crippled by polio as a girl, with Wagner, a grey-suited straight man from her father's world of lawyers and businessmen, trying to strike up an affair with her. The predictable parallels drawn between her crippled body and emotional life are acceptable enough, because Cates handles her initial lack of interest in Wagner very sensitively, and the dialogue by Barbara Turner is exceptionally good. But about half way through, round about the time she loses her virginity (at 32), the situation runs awry. Up till then, trendy dress and soft focus visuals had been excusable because Cates handles his actors so well. Now the dialogue lapses into folksiness, then into cliché, leaving nothing but the inevitable broken glass, slashed wrists, and older but wiser body recuperating in a hospital bed.

Release details

Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Gilbert Cates
Screenwriter: Barbara Turner
Cast: Natalie Wood
Robert Wagner
Bruce Davison
Kent Smith
Jamie Smith Jackson
Pat Harrington