The Affair
Written byBarbara Turner
Directed byGilbert Cates
StarringNatalie Wood
Robert Wagner
Bruce Davison
Jamie Smith-Jackson
Music byGeorge Aliceson Tipton
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producersAaron Spelling
Leonard Goldberg
ProducersParke Perine
(associate producer)
CinematographyGerald Hirschfeld
EditorFolmar Blangsted
Running time74 minutes
Production companySpelling-Goldberg Productions
Original release
  • November 20, 1973 (1973-11-20)

The Affair is a 1973 American TV movie directed by Gilbert Cates and starring Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Bruce Davison and Jamie Smith-Jackson.

The film starred Natalie Wood in her first appearance since Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. Her co-star was Robert Wagner, her first husband whom she recently remarried.[2]


Courtney Patterson is a beautiful 32 year old songwriter who is physically disabled due to polio. Her condition has made her emotionally guarded, but when she meets Marcus Simon, a handsome older attorney, she cautiously moves towards romance. Although Courtney remains wary of intimacy, Marcus slowly wins her over. Unfortunately, her family is not supportive of their relationship, providing yet another obstacle that the couple must overcome.

Marcus Simon (Wagner) meets Courtney when he is briefly employed by the family to handle a legal matter for them. Both of them are timid about approaching romance - Courtney because of her medical condition; Marcus because his wife recently left him for another man and took their two sons with her. A family dinner establishes that there is some tension between Courtney's wealthy parents (Kent Smith, Frances Reid) and their two children. Courtney's younger brother (Davison) is an aspiring artist who disdains the family fortune and lives simply with his girlfriend Jennifer (Jackson).

Courtney and Marcus rent a luxury cottage and begin seeing each other regularly. Just as Courtney is getting used to the comfort of romance, Marcus attends the wedding of his ex-wife and is made fun of by the new groom for being "inadequate".

A jumpy Marcus calls off the relationship. Courtney makes a halfhearted attempt at suicide by slashing her wrists. Her brother looks after her - saying Marcus has been calling regularly and "He'll come if you want him to come".

The film ends with the question of their resuming their relationship unanswered.



Wagner and Wood made the film for Spelling-Goldberg Productions, which offered them a development deal for a series in which they did not appear. The series ended up being Charlie's Angels.[3]

It was originally called Love Song. The film's budget was twice the normal amount of the typical TV movie with Sir Lew Grade supplying the balance to enable the film to be released theatrically outside the US.[1]


The Los Angeles Times wrote "Natalie Wood turns in what is perhaps her finest performance to date."[4]

Wagner and Wood had remarried(2nd time) shortly before shooting began.As "marrieds",this may explain how some daring-for-the-time bedroom scenes remained in the film.

See also


  1. ^ a b Working Vacation for Natalie Wood Smith, Cecil. Los Angeles Times 26 Sep 1973: e17.
  2. ^ Haber, J. (Nov 19, 1973). "Sinatra: A friend in need indeed". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 157466753.
  3. ^ Haber, J. (Nov 25, 1973). "Nat and bob--together again for the first time". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 157337681.
  4. ^ Thomas, K. (Nov 20, 1973). "TV MOVIE REVIEW". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 157385350.