Fox Home Entertainment
Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in "An Affair to Remember."

"AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER" (Fox, 1957, two discs, $19.98)

During the 1980s, when home video was still in its first act, "An Affair to Remember" was at one point the most-requested title not yet on VHS.

Then, as now, the major studios paid more attention to newer films and the more lucrative teen audience than Golden Oldies and adults. And "sell-through" had not yet been firmly established; rental stores were the studios' primary sales venue.

When "Affair" was finally released, Fox was surprised at its popularity, but by 1994 the video had become one of its biggest sellers.

The liner notes in this new 50th-anniversary special edition attribute that to renewed interest after "Sleepless in Seattle" — which pays homage to "Affair" — became a 1993 hit. To some degree that's probably true, but I think it underestimates the purchasing power of "Affair's" rabid fans — primarily over-30 women.

Watching the film again through 21st-century eyes, it feels contrived and silly in places — but no more so than the current films "Atonement" and "P.S. I Love You."

Once you get into the rhythm of "Affair's" shipboard romance, which is part comedy, part tragedy and very much a story of redemption, it gets under your skin. Also, the still-riveting screen charm of Deborah Kerr and especially Cary Grant can't be overestimated. And that final scene remains a sentimental grabber.

This edition's bonus features include an audio commentary by film historian Joseph McBride and singer Marnie Nixon, who dubbed Kerr's singing voice (just as she did for "The King and I"), along with skimpy featurettes on Kerr, Grant and producer Jerry Wald and, the best of these, an overview of director Leo McCarey's career.

Extras: widescreen, audio commentary, featurettes, episode of "AMC's Backstory," newsreel, trailer, poster/photo gallery; liner notes, four postcard-size b/w lobby cards.