Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Top Secret Affair Reviews

Warner Bros. bought Marquand's book Melville Goodwin, U.S.A., then dispensed with it entirely and had a new screenplay written. Originally tailored as a film for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, when Bogie became terminally ill, two unlikely comedy actors, Douglas and Hayward, were tapped for the leads. Hayward is a Clare Luce-type who runs a news magazine. She is behind a civilian candidate for an important diplomatic job, so, when she learns that Douglas, a general, has gotten the nod, she is irate. She decides to discredit Douglas, so she invites him and public relations officer Backus out to her posh Long Island estate for what she says is an interview. She hires Fox, a photographer, to snap some shots as she inveigles Douglas into doing silly things. As they tour New York nightclubs, she tries to get Douglas tipsy, but fails. They go to a jazz club, and she gets him to sing with the group. Douglas is finally catching on that something is awry here, so he goes back to her house without her. She arrives later, having had too much to drink, and almost drowns in her pool, but he saves her. They kiss and sparks fly. In the morning, she admits that she is entranced by him. Douglas tells her that his life is the Army and that the only woman he ever felt anything for turned out to be a spy whom he had shot. Hayward is livid and again plans to print the terrible article about him. In the meantime, Douglas realizes that he loves her, so he returns to the mansion to declare as much. He's waited too long, however, and the article appears. He must now face a Senate committee. Hayward, however, feels awful about what she's done. She plans to flee the US on a convenient vacation, but she gets a summons from the Senate. She admits that what was written was not true, with the exception that Douglas did, in fact, know a spy and may have inadvertently blabbed something to her. Now we learn that Douglas was ordered to give the spy erroneous information regarding the Korean police action. Once that's taken care of, Hayward and Douglas are free to have a relationship that will surely lead to marriage. A few farcical scenes are all the comedy mustered in this feeble precursor of the Cary Grant-Doris Day movies. Neither Douglas nor Hayward is able to bring off the delicacy of the situations. Paul Stewart scores as Hayward's assistant. It's not that he gets the best lines; it's merely that he knows what to do with them. The head of the Senate group is Roland Winters, who was still going strong in 1986 when he was elected president of the Players' Club in Edwin Booth's townhouse on Gramercy Park in New York.