Love with the Proper Stranger is a 1963 American romantic comedy drama film made by Pakula-Mulligan Productions and Boardwalk Productions and released by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Robert Mulligan and produced by Alan J. Pakula from a screenplay by Arnold Schulman.
The film stars Natalie Wood, Steve McQueen, Edie Adams, Herschel Bernardi and Harvey Lembeck. The film also marked the screen debut of Tom Bosley and features a brief, uncredited appearance by the director's younger brother Richard Mulligan, who later became a well-known television actor.
The film's title song, written by Elmer Bernstein and Johnny Mercer, was recorded by Jack Jones.
The film tells the story of Angie Rossini (Natalie Wood), a salesclerk at Macy's department store who finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand with musician Rocky Papasano (Steve McQueen). When she tracks him down, he doesn't remember her. She does not expect him to marry her; all she wants is enough money to pay for an abortion. Meanwhile, Angie is being pressured by her older brothers, played by Herschel Bernardi and Harvey Lembeck, to marry the unappealing cook Anthony (Tom Bosley).
Rocky scrapes up money for the crude backroom abortion. But when he and Angie meet the abortionist, who turns out not to be a doctor, Rocky refuses to let her go through with the dangerous procedure. The maturity he shows in doing this brings them closer. After meeting her brothers, Rocky decides to "take his medicine" by marrying her. Angie is insulted and refuses. Angie wants a love relationship, with "bells and banjos."
As an act of independence Angie moves out of the family home. She begins dating Anthony, who offers to marry her. By acting aloof she attracts Rocky, whom she invites to dinner. At dinner he makes advances on her and is rejected. Angie says she doesn't want to make the same mistake again. They quarrel and she throws him out. The next day, Rocky waits for her outside Macy's, ringing bells and playing a banjo, and wins her over.
The film was nominated for five Academy Awards for:Best Actress in a Leading Role (Natalie Wood)
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration Black-and-White (Hal Pereira, Roland Anderson, Sam Comer, Grace Gregory)
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White (Milton R. Krasner)
Best Costume Design, Black-and-White (Edith Head)
Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen (Arnold Schulman).
The film was also nominated for two Golden Globes Awards for Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories.
2002: AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – Nominated
Also, the film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists: