Affair with a Stranger (1953) starring Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Mary Jo Tarola, Monica Lewis, Jane Darwell, Dabbs Greer directed by Roy Rowland Movie Review

Affair with a Stranger (1953)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jean Simmons in Affair with a Stranger (1953)

Familiar Flashbacks

Whilst out of town on business playwright Bill Blakeley (Victor Mature) ends up agreeing to take a young actress out for dinner. The thing is that the actress has set her sights on him and so calls a gossip columnist with the news that Bill is about to divorce his wife Carolyn (Jean Simmons) and before checking her facts breaks the news on her radio show. As friends of Bill and Carolyn hear the news they reminisce over how Bill and Carolyn met and despite being chalk n cheese fall in love.

Flawed and familiar are the words which burst to mind when it comes to "Affair with a Strange" a romantic comedy from the 1950s. The flawed part comes from the casting of Victor Mature as whilst everyone including Jean Simmons is right Mature just doesn't fit. Whilst there is a dark side to the character of Bill which fits Mature the element of charmer with a mischievous glint in his eye doesn't and more of the sort of thing you expect from Cary Grant. In fact I would have loved to have seen Cary Grant along side Jean Simmons in this especially as Simmons has a touch of the Audrey Hepburn about her.

Then there is the familiar and I have lost count of the number of movies I have watched which tell the story of a relationship through a series of flashbacks but starting at a point where the relationship is in trouble. It is a concept which works but only when the writing is sharp and unfortunately whilst "Affair with a Strange" is full of romantic comedy moments they are all quite flat. Maybe that comes down to Victor Mature again as he doesn't have the right glint in his eye to make the humour work and doesn't seem to have any chemistry with Simmons what so ever.

What this all boils down to is that "Affair with a Strange" is completely middle of the road as it uses a familiar story and style but fails to make it come to life. Jean Simmons is fine from start to finish but unfortunately when it comes to Victor Mature he seems wrong for the role.