Romance, Romance

For Valentine’s Day, I selected 15 of my favorite romantic movies. They are in in no particular order, happy or sad, but  they are all romantic. Each caption link will lead you to something you may not know about these iconic films.

Pillow Talk, Doris Day, Rock Husdone

Who doesn’t like when chaste interior decorator Doris tussles with playboy Rock and “hate decorates” his apartment.? Love and Oscar nominations ensue, of course. Great sets.

The Age of Innocence, Scorcese, Day-Lewis, Pfeiffer, Ryder

There is an exquisite moment ,when Daniel Day-Lewis conveys passion just by touching Michelle Pfeiffer’s glove. Meticulous recreation of Edith Wharton’s New York.

Moulin Rouge, Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman, Baz Luhrmann

Gorgeous, creative and surprising. This link compares the John Huston film with the  over-the-top sets and costumes, which are a collaboration of husband and wife Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.

Doctor Zhivago, David Lean, Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Boris Pasternak, Maurice Jarre

When I was a kid, this defined romance for me. – Yuri and Lara against the background of the Russian Revolution. There are so many memorable moments – especially the iconic scene in the ice palace.  And then there’s that music.

The Way We Were, Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Sydney Pollack, Hamlish

Sometimes it’s just a gesture. Katie pushes Hubbel’s hair off his forehead with her well-manicured nail (twice). That says it all.  As much as I love this movie, the studio deleted scenes from the book that make the story much stronger. You can find these rare cut scenes here.

Audrey Hepburn Gregory Peck Roman Holiday, William Wyler, Eddie Albert, Oscar

The ultimate incognito-princess-in-Rome-meets-gorgeous-Gregory-Peck-movie. Audrey’s only Oscar (for acting). The New York Times created a guide to follow the locations in Rome.

Jake Gylenhaal, Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee, Annie Proulx, Anne Hataway, Michelle Williams

The ultimate gay cowboy movie. Is it the only one? An archetypal American story, it was filmed where?

Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Edith Head, To Catch a Theif, Monaco

Everything is beautiful: Cary, Grace, her Edith Head wardrobe, his clothes, Monaco, and that Mercedes.

Paul Henreid, Bette David, Now, Voyager, Warner, Claude Rains, Irving Rapper

Bette and Paul in a classic love-that-can-never-be movie. Click to the link for an article on how to make an entrance.


Beatty Keaton Nicholson Stapleton Oscar Best Director John Reed

I seem to like romantic movies set against the background of the Russian Revolution. I guess it’s my Russian heritage. Here we have beautiful Communists in love.

Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Barefoot in the Park, Neil Simon, Mildred Natwick, Charles Boyer, Neil Simon

Fonda and Redford’s first collaboration.  They are at their most beautiful and it’s fun to see New York locations in the 1960’s

The Americaization of Emily, James Garner, Julie Andrews, James Coburn, Melvyn Douglas, PAddy Chayefsky,

This is a powerful anti-war movie, that has a great romance between cad, Jame Garner and lovable, but tough, Julie Andrews. Very adult for its time.  Interestingly, it was released the same year as Mary Poppins.

Carol, Cate Blancehtt, Rooney Mara, Todd Haynes, Patricia Highsmith, Kyle Chandler

This is a heart-breaking story of love at time when it couldn’t be expressed. Todd Haynes directed an impeccable film, as always. The costumes and art direction are perfection.

The English PAtient, Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Kristin Scott Thomas Willem Dafoe, Minghella

Jerry Seinfield did a whole episode about how he hated this film, but I loved it.  I didn’t think they would be able to film this complex book, but they did a beautiful job. Hard to imagine, but the producers wanted Demi Moore as the female lead.

Daniel Day-Lewis, My Beautiful Laundrette, Stephen Frears

Interracial gay love in the shadows. This was ground-breaking for it’s time. Remember when Daniel Day-Lewis got to let loose?

There are so many more unforgettable couples in movies like: Gone With the Wind, Titanic, Bringing Up Baby, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sabrina, To Have and to Have Not, From Here to Eternity, Camille, It Happened One Night, Adam’s Rib, to name a few, but these top my list.

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