|Directed by||William Dieterle|
|Produced by||Hal B. Wallis|
|Written by||Fritz Rotter
|Music by||Victor Young
|Cinematography||Charles B. Lang
|Editing by||Warren Low|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release date(s)||18 October 1950|
|Running time||104 minutes|
|Box office||$1,425,000 (US rentals)|
Marianne "Manina" Stuart (Joan Fontaine), a prominent concert pianist, meets David Lawrence (Joseph Cotten), a businessman, on a flight from Rome to New York. Their plane is diverted to Naples for engine repairs, and they decide to kill time by doing some sight-seeing.
At lunch, a recording of the Kurt Weill/Maxwell Anderson song September Song, sung by Walter Huston, is playing. Manina is single, and David is unhappily married with a son in his late teens. They talk too long and miss their flight, and decide to stay on for a few days, getting to know each other. They quickly fall in love.
Then they hear that the plane they were scheduled to catch has crashed into the ocean, and all on board are presumed dead. Due to a clerical mixup, they were believed to have been among those aboard. A list of the victims is published in a newspaper they pick up. Thinking their absences won't make any difference to the larger world, they decide to "stay dead" and begin a new life together in Florence. They make no contact with their families or friends, including Lawrence's wife Catherine (Jessica Tandy) and son David Jr (Robert Arthur).
Manina had been originally intending to play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in New York, and she keeps up her practice during the secret affair. She also has contact with piano teacher Maria Salvatini (Françoise Rosay), who agrees not to reveal Manina is very much alive, but continues to tutor her.
David transfers a large sum of money to Maria Salvatini by issing a check dated prior to the flight. They use the money as a nest egg for their life in Florence. Catherine and her son travel to Florence to learn more of David's fate, discover he is alive, and confront him. Manina goes on to perform the Rachmaninoff concerto as originally planned in New York. In the end, Manina breaks up with David, who returns to his wife and son.
The primary music score was written by Victor Young.
September Song, music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Maxwell Anderson, is heard, originally in the recording by Walter Huston. Later, Johnny Wilson (Jimmy Lydon), a sailor, sings it live. Huston’s recording had been made in 1938, but the film gave it a new lease of life and it made it to the top of the 1950 hit parade.
The voice of Enrico Caruso is also heard in an off-screen recording.
The costume design was by Edith Head. The film was shot on location in Naples, Capri, Florence and other places in Italy.
- Joan Fontaine - Manina Stuart
- Joseph Cotten - David Lawrence
- Françoise Rosay - Maria Salvatini
- Jessica Tandy - Catherine Lawrence
- Robert Arthur - David Lawrence Jr
- Jimmy Lydon - Johnny Wilson
- Fortunio Bonanova - Grazzi
- Grazia Narciso - Bianca
- Anna Demetrio - Rosita
- Lou Steele - Vittorio Portini
- Frank Yaconelli - Mr. Peppino
- Hal B. Wallis makes an uncredited cameo appearance as a tourist in a souvenir shop.
- 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1951', Variety, January 2, 1952
- Review from New York Times
- September Affair at the Internet Movie Database
- September Affair at the TCM Movie Database