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Love with the Proper Stranger (1963)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 25 December 1963 (USA)
Angie Rossini is an innocent Italian Catholic Macy's salesgirl, who discovers she's pregnant from a fling with Rocky, a musician. Angie finds Rocky (who doesn't remember her at first) to ... See full summary »


Robert Mulligan


Arnold Schulman
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Natalie Wood ... Angie Rossini
Steve McQueen ... Rocky Papasano
Edie Adams ... Barbie
Herschel Bernardi ... Dominick Rossini
Anne Hegira Anne Hegira ... Beetie
Harvey Lembeck ... Julio Rossini
Mario Badolati Mario Badolati ... Elio Papasano
Penny Santon Penny Santon ... Mama Rossini
Elena Karam Elena Karam ... The Woman
Virginia Vincent ... Anna
Nina Varela ... Mrs. Columbo
E. Nick Alexander E. Nick Alexander ... Guido Rossini
Marilyn Chris ... Gina
Augusta Ciolli Augusta Ciolli ... Mrs. Papasano
Wolfe Barzell ... The Priest


Angie Rossini is an innocent Italian Catholic Macy's salesgirl, who discovers she's pregnant from a fling with Rocky, a musician. Angie finds Rocky (who doesn't remember her at first) to tell him she's pregnant and needs a doctor for an abortion. He finds her a doctor and they work together to raise the money. Can these two strangers find love with one another before it's too late? Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


she needed him...he needed her...if they only realize it! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 December 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Love with the Proper Stranger See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the opening scene, the booking agent asks Rocky if he "wants a wedding," meaning does Rocky want a paying gig. But the question "do you want a wedding" also foreshadows what Rocky struggles with later in the film. See more »


During the dinner at Tom Bosley's house his mom moves a table lamp on the dinner table. Natalie Wood walks normally into the kitchen without stepping over the electric cord. When she returns to the table she runs into the cord which is off the floor and Tom Bosley has to deliberately step over the cord. See more »


Barbie: You want me to find you a doctor! You want me to find you a doctor!
See more »


Referenced in Alien Nation: Millennium (1996) See more »


Love with the Proper Stranger
Written by Johnny Mercer and Elmer Bernstein
Performed by Jack Jones
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER (Robert Mulligan, 1963) ***1/2
1 April 2009 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Watched out of necessity rather than choice (due to limitations inherent in my DVD recorder's system), I really did not expect to be bowled over by this one – not least because I had been underwhelmed by the subsequent collaboration between director Mulligan and leading man Steve McQueen, BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL (1965), earlier this year – but I was. That said, I knew of its reputation as one of the best showcases for both McQueen and co-star Natalie Wood (she even received an Oscar nod for her work here) – and I certainly agree, going so far as to say that they were probably never better. In essence, this is MARTY (1955) for a younger and more reckless generation (though the protagonists, in this case, are anything but "dogs") – demonstrating the same feeling for the place (New York) and a particular section of its people (Italian immigrants). The narrative (accompanied by a lovely, yet sturdy, Elmer Bernstein score) basically resolves itself in a series of extended scenes set in domestic, working or urban environments – with the most unusual being the opening sequence at a ballroom-cum-employment agency where musician McQueen hustles his way to the odd engagement and, later, when he and Wood hide from her overprotective brothers inside his family's dilapidated dwelling (where Jack Jones is even briefly heard crooning the film's title tune). In this respect, plaudits must go to Arnold Schulman's exceptional Oscar-nominated script: it is no coincidence that his name atypically precedes even that of the supporting cast! Incidentally, while I included the film among my "Drama" viewing (involving, after all, the attempt to abort an unwanted pregnancy borne of a one-night stand), it features almost as much comedy – that, being just as well-observed, adds another layer to the intended realism. Wood's relationship with her possessive family is especially entertaining but also her efforts to dodge, and later withstand, gawky admirer Tom Bosley (in an impressive debut) – whose equivalent in McQueen's life is played by Edie Adams: the former, in fact, has no qualms about taking 'new' girlfriend Wood to her flat while she is away at work! Also, though the latter stages descend into repetitive confrontations between the stars, this does eventually pay off in a hilarious finale – with McQueen deciding to conform to Wood's idealized view of love (even if it means embarrassing himself in public) rather than lose her. In conclusion, I had tried to get hold of this one back in January to be included in my planned retrospective to commemorate the recently deceased Mulligan: while that attempt did not pan out at the time, I happened again upon it just this week, obviously managing now to acquire a copy of the film; for the record, I still have a couple more of the director's efforts to check out (both also delayed for some reason from that initial tribute) i.e. THE GREAT IMPOSTOR (1961) and BLOODBROTHERS (1978).

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