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25 All-Time Favorite Romantic
Casablanca Starring - Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, Dooley Wilson. Release Date - January 1, 1942. Synopsis - The time: World War II. The place: Morocco. The film: Casablanca, perhaps the most legendary achievement in cinematic history. Suspenseful, gloriously romantic and filled with unforgettable dialog, this winner of three Oscars continues to top critics' lists of all-time favorite films, for as Roger Ebert so aptly put it: “Casablanca is the movie!” Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman light up the screen as Rick and Ilsa, former lovers briefly reunited in the chaos of war. He is a world-weary nightclub owner who “sticks his neck out for nobody” and she, a beautiful woman fleeing the Nazis with her Resistance-hero husband. Only Rick can help the pair escape... and only if Ilsa can reawaken the idealism she killed in him when she left him long ago. Bogie and Bergman are incomparable as the star-crossed lovers who'll “always have Paris” - and Casablanca is the quintessential, eminently quotable film you'll watch again and again “as time goes by”. Gone With the Wind Starring - Vivian Leigh, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel. Release Date - December 15, 1939. Synopsis - Hot-tempered, self-centered, part-Irish Southern beauty Scarlett O?Hara, played to the teeth by Vivien Leigh, loves the gentlemanly Ashley Wilkes. Smug, rebellious, honest blockade-running profiteer Rhett Butler, portrayed gracefully and naturally by Clark Gable, loves Scarlett. Ashley, who is also in love with Scarlett, marries his genteel cousin Melanie because he believes that their quiet similarities will create a better marriage than Scarlett?s passion. Meanwhile, sparks fly between Rhett and Scarlett at their first encounter and continue throughout Scarlett?s first two marriages. Scarlett and Rhett finally wed, but Scarlett continues to pine for her beloved Ashley. Set against the Civil War and Southern Reconstruction, this tragic love quadrangle offers the burning of Atlanta and fields of wounded Confederates as part of its lush scenery. Meticulous backdrops, glorious sunsets, numerous silhouettes, and the ultrasaturated Technicolor film create a hyperreal vision. The romantic score is every bit as lush and dramatic as the photography, borrowing folk melodies from the Old South to make the tragic war concrete. Heavy nostalgic tones pervade the often witty dialogue and larger-than-life charms and faults of the leads. GONE WITH THE WIND stands among the greatest epic dramas ever filmed. Roman Holiday Starring - Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Eddie Albert, Hartley power, Harcourt Williams, Margaret Rawlings, Tullio Carminati. Release Date - January 1, 1953. Synopsis - Roman Holiday was nominated for ten Academy Awards, and Audrey Hepburn captured an Oscar for her portrayal of a modern-day princess, rebelling against the royal obligations, who explores Rome on her own. She meets Gregory Peck, an American newspaperman who, seeking an exclusive story, pretends ignorance of her true identity. But his plan falters as they fall in love. Eddie Albert contributes to the fun as Peck's carefree cameraman pal. Stylishly directed by William Wyler, this romantic comedy ranks as one of the most enjoyable films of all times. An Affair to Remember Starring - Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Louis Mercier, Richard Denning, Neva Patterson, Cathleen Nesbitt, Robert Q. Lewis, Charles Watts, Fortunio Bonanova, Matt Moore.. Release Date - July 11th, 1957. Synopsis - Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant), the world's most eligible bachelor, is set to marry a young heiress worth $600 million. While the news is flashed around the world, Nickie's traveling alone on a luxury liner bound for New York. Unfortunately for his bride-to-be, a shipboard romance with a beautiful nightclub singer, Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr), makes Nickie realize he is engaged to the wrong woman. The Way We Were Starring - Barbara Steisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman, Lous Chiles, Patrick O'Neil, Viveca Lindfors, Murray Hamilton, Sally Kirkland, Susan Blakely. Release Date - October 17th, 1973. Synopsis - The story begins on a college campus where Hubbell Gardiner (Redford) is the popular star athlete while Katie Morosky (Streisand) is the abrasive defender of radical causes. It is only by chance that eight years later they meet in a bar and fall in love. Their marriage is strained by their inevitable conflicts and reaches a painful end when Hubbell, now a screenwriter in Hollywood, is threatened by McCarthy's communist hunters and takes the easy way out, while Katie is determined to fight them. Nominated for six Academy Awards, The Way We Were is a love story of rare poignancy. Doctor Zhivago Starring - Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, Alec Gunness, Tom Courtenay. Release Date - December 22, 1965. Synopsis - Lara inspires lechery in Komarovsky (her mother's lover who is a master at surviving whoever runs Russia) and can't compete with passion for the revolution of the man she marries, Pasha. Her true love is Zhivago who also loves his wife. Lara is the one who inspires poetry. The story is narrated by Zhivago's half brother Yevgraf, who has made his career in the Soviet Army. At the beginning of the film he is about to meet a young woman he believes may be the long lost daughter of Lara and Zhivago. It's A Wonderful Life Starring - James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame, H.B.Warner, Frank Albertson, Todd Karns, Samuel S. Hinds, Virginia Patton, Charles Williams, Sarah Edwards, William Edmunds. Release Date - December 25, 1946.
Synopsis - George Bailey is a small-town man whose life seems so desperate he contemplates suicide. He had always wanted to leave Bedford Falls to see the world, but circumstances and his own good heart have led him to stay. He sacrficed his education for his brother's, kept the family-run savings and loan afloat, protected the town from the avarice of the greedy banker Mr. Potter, and married his childhood sweetheart. As he prepares to jump from a bridge, his guardian angel intercedes, showing him what life would have become for the residents of Bedford Falls is he had never lived. Love Story Starring - Ray Milland, Ali MacGraw, Arthur Hiller, Ryan O'Neal, Howard G. Minsky, John Marley. Release Date - December 17th, 1970.
Synopsis - "Love means never having to say you're sorry...Love Story". Everyone loves Love Story! One of the most romantic movies ever made also remains one of the most enduringly popular. This heartfelt 1970 tale of the love of a lifetime - the most successful Paramount movie up to that time - received seven Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture) and won one for Francis Lai's magnificent score. As filming was underway on Love Story, the filmmakers knew they had something special - so special that Erich Segal was simultaneously shaping his best-selling novel from his own screenplay. Stars Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw each received Academy Award nominations and became overnight movie sensations for their poignant portrayals of a young couple who cross social barriers, marry and ultimately face the greatest crisis of all. City Lights Starring - Charlie Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers, Allan Garcia, Hank Mann. Release Date - January 1, 1931. Synopsis - With City Lights, Charlie Chaplin gambled that the power of good storytelling and the appeal of The Little Tramp could overcome any perceived advantages of the captivating but still primitive technology of sound. His gamble paid off as critics and fans alike raved about this touching and simple story of a young blind woman who believes The Little Tramp is a wealthy duke. In a series of comic adventures that only Chaplin could pull off, The Tramp sets out to earn the money that will pay for an operation to restore the young woman's sight. While he succeeds, his efforts land him in jail, but the girl still has a successful operation and yearns to meet her benefactor. The closing scene in which she discovers that he is not a wealthy duke but only The Little Tramp was described by critic James Agee as "the highest moment in movies" and brought the audience to tears. Annie Hall Starring - Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Shelley Duvall, Tony Roberts, Paul Simon, Christopher Walken. Release Date - April 20th, 1977. Synopsis - Often considered the crown jewel in a highly acclaimed and prolific film career, ANNIE HALL is Woody Allen's only film to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. This recognition, however, is not what makes the film significant. ANNIE HALL marks the beginning of the second phase of Allen's career as a filmmaker, abandoning the slapstick of SLEEPER and BANANAS for more thoughtful comedies (and eventually dramas) that explored human relationships and psychology. Allen's capacity as a creative filmmaker had also grown with the film, as he utilized creative subtitles, split screens, and animation, as well as evincing a sophisticated understanding of the potential of editing and camera movement for comic effect--consider the cutaway to Allen's character Alvy Singer, as seen through the eyes of "Grammy Hall" during the dinner sequence, or shortly afterward the slow pan to Alvy in the passenger seat of a car driven by Annie's unhinged brother Duane. The film is a brutally honest assessment of the prospects of a relationship between two very different people. Allen's Alvy is (like the filmmaker himself) an introverted, neurotic intellectual and a complete mismatch for Diane Keaton's vivacious, flaky Annie Hall. Although the romance is undoubtedly the center of the film, it affords Allen the opportunity to contrast his beloved New York culture with that of the Midwest, where Annie comes from, and Los Angeles, which tempts Annie with the possibility of fame and success as a singer. The city of New York itself plays an important part for the first time in an Allen film, with a great deal of location shooting that serves to highlight the city's character and atmosphere. Finally, the many comedic cameos peppered through the film--from Truman Capote to Paul Simon to media theorist Marshall McLuhan--pay tribute to the deserved reputation that Allen had gained for himself. My Fair Lady Starring - Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Gladys Cooper, Jeremy Brett, Theodore Bikel. Release Date - October 21, 1964 NY. Synopsis - By George, they've got it! Newly transferred from elements painstakingly restored in 1994, the film version of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady is lavish, loverly and acclaimed recipient of eight 1964 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director (George Cukor). Best Actor Oscar winner Rex Harrison reprises his signature stage role of Henry Higgins, the supremely assured phoeneticist who wagers that under his tutelage, cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle can pass for a duchess at the Embassy Ball. In one of her best-loved roles. Audrey Hepburn plays Eliza. If ever there was a face that the professor could grow accustomed to, it's hers. In Hartforn, Heresford and New Hampshire (and elsewhere) no one's fairer than My Fair Lady, one of the most irresistible musicals ever. Out of Africa Starring - Meryl Streep, Klaus Maria Bandauer, Stephen Kinyanjui, Michael Kitchen, Robert Redford, Joseph Thiaka. Release Date - 1985. Synopsis - A Danish woman marries a baron whom she doesn't love and moves with him to his Kenyan coffee plantation. After enduring his womanizing behavior, she eventually kicks him out and then meets a British adventurer with whom she falls in love. Upon her return to Denmark, she becomes a famous novelist and writes about her romantic adventure. Wuthering Heights Starring - Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Janet McTeer, Sophie Ward, Simon Shepherd, Jeremy Northam, Jason Riddington, Simon Ward, Dick Sullivan, Robert Demeger, Paul Geoffrey, Sinead O' Connor, John Woodvine, Jennifer Daniel. Release Date - 1992. Synopsis - A sweeping, epic production of Emily Bronte's classic tale of star-crossed lovers Cathy (Juliette Binoche) and Heathcliff (Ralph Fiennes), whose passionate love and tragic separation plays out against the verdant Yorkshire moors. Whereas most film adaptations of WUTHERING HEIGHTS end with the death of Cathy, this version presents the complete novel and continues the fateful consequences of the doomed love affair as it resonates throughout two generations of the Earnshaw and Linton families. Singin' in the Rain Starring - Gene Kelly, Donald O'Conner, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen, Cyd Charisse, Rita Moreno. Release Date - January 1, 1952. Synopsis - In 1927, dashing actor Don Lockwood and blonde bombshell Lina Lamont are one of Hollywood's favorite romantic teams, though Lina mistakenly believes that their on-screen love is for real. Don and his less famous partner Cosmo have worked their way to the top the hard way, through vaudeville, stunt work etc. When The Jazz Player arrives and sound changes everything in the movie business, Don is ready. Not so Lina, whose shrill voice makes a mockery of the musical that their new film has been made into, despite the best efforts of a voice coach. Aspiring actress Kathy Selden saves the film by dubbing Lina's voice, but Don is in trouble when he starts to fall in love with her. Moonstruck Starring - Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Vincent Gardenia, Danny Aiello, Julie Bovasso. Release Date - December 16th, 1987. Synopsis - Fall under the delightful spell of Moonstruck, the mesmerizing romantic comedy from director Norman Jewison (Fiddler on the Roof) and Oscar winner John Patrick Shanley. Academy Award winners Cher, Nicolas Cage and Olympia Dukakis excel in this explosively funny tale which also features flawless performances by Danny Aiello, Vincent Gardenia and "Frasier's" John Mahoney. Cher is "devastatingly funny, sinuous and beautiful" (Pauline Kael) as Loretta, an "unlucky in love" Italian widow who finds romance through the intervention of the Manhattan moon. With her wedding to a close friend just weeks away, she meets - and falls hopelessly in love with - his vounger brother (Cage)! Her dilemma - and her equally passionate and hilariously eccentric family - make for an unforgettable film you'll find "beguiling" (Time) "enchanting" (Newsweek) and "irresistible" ("Today Show"). Vertigo Starring - James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones. Release Date - January 1, 1958. Synopsis - During a rooftop chase, police detective John "Scottie" Ferguson is overcome with a severe case of acrophobia--a deep fear of falling which results in a stultifying vertigo--that leads to the death of a fellow officer. After retiring from the police force, Scottie attempts to return to a normal life, but his life takes another unusual turn when an old school aquaintance asks Scottie to shadow his wife, the luminescently beautiful but utterly mysterious Madeleine. Scottie is wary but the minute he sees her he cannot resist the chase. As his fixation with Madeleine grows, however, so too does her obsession with death. When Scottie's vertigo prevents him from saving Madeleine's life, his one chance at perfect love comes crashing to a brutal end. Then one day, Scottie sees a woman walking down the street who looks just like Madeleine. She is Judy Barton, a salesgirl from Kansas with her own secrets--secrets that will once again turn Scottie's world into a dizzying battle between illusion and reality. Ghost Starring - Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn, Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze, Stanley Lawrence, Vincent Schiavelli, Christopher J. Keene, Susan Breslau, Martina Degnan, Richard Kleber, Macka Foley, Rick Aviles. Release Date - July 13, 1990. Synopsis - Shortly after moving into a new Manhattan apartment, a pair of lovers are separated by a street thug's bullet. Communicating through a frazzled false medium, the man's ghost tries to avenge his death and protect his girlfriend. From Here To Eternity Starring - Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Burt Lancaster, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra, Philip Ober, Mickey Shaughnessy, Herry Bellaver, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Warden, John Dennis, Merle Travis, Tim Ryan, Arthur Keegan, Barbara Morrison. Release Date - 1953. Synopsis - The epic tale of pre WWII enlisted men, their women and the grim destiny that overtook them all. Robert E Lee Prewitt arrives at his barracks in Pearl Harbor. His new commander promises that if he boxes on the company team he will be given the job of bugler, which he very much wants. But he refuses, haunted by previous ugly experiences in the ring. In revenge for this obstinacy, he is given all the dirty jobs. Meanwhile, the officer who assigns these tasks is having a secret affair with the wife of the company commander. Pretty Woman Starring - Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Ralph Bellamy, Jason Alexander, Laura San Giacomo, Alex Hyde-White, Amy Yasbeck, Elinor Donahue, Hector Elizondo. Release Date - March 23, 1990. Synopsis - Richard Gere (Red Corner) and Best Actress Academy Award nominee Julia Roberts light up the screen in this now-classic comedy hit! When successful corporate mogul Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) meets independent and carefree Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts), their two lives are worlds apart. But Vivian's energetic spirit challenges Edward's no-nonsense, business-minded approach to life, sparking an immediate attraction. He teaches her about finer things in life; she teaches him that love cound be the best investment he ever made. Capturing hearts of critics and moviegoers alike, this modern-day rags-to-riches romance entertains with its upbeat blend of humor, passion and unforgettable fun! On Golden Pond Starring - Henry Fonda, Dabney Coleman, Jane Fonda, Katherine Hepburn, William Lanteau. Release Date - 1981. Synopsis - Based on the play by Ernest Thompson, ON GOLDEN POND tells the deceptively simple tale of one family's summer. The story centers around the bickering but loving relationship between Ethel and Norman Thayer (Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda), an elderly couple who are spending their 48th summer at their New England country home and celebrating Norman's 80th birthday. When their independent, insecure daughter, Chelsea (Jane Fonda), and her new boyfriend, Bill Ray (Dabney Coleman), come for Norman's birthday, they also end up asking the couple to look after Billy Ray (Doug McKeon), Bill's teenage son, while they travel to Europe. Over the summer, Norman becomes closer to Billy Ray than he has ever been to his daughter, sparking Chelsea's long-repressed resentment when she returns. In this beautifully filmed story, there are many things going on along the surface of Golden Pond, including the presence of the loons--who represent all things wonderful about their summer house and their life to Ethel. Director Mark Rydell elicits deeply touching performances from his cast (particularly Henry Fonda in his final screen appearance), and the dialogue of Thompson's script is equally graceful. The odds were against this decidedly quiet, small ensemble piece when it was released in 1981, but the timeless material and the confident direction triumphed. Now, Voyager Starring - Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Dame Gladys Cooper, Bonita Granville, Ilka Chase. Release Date - January 1, 1942. Synopsis - Charlotte Vale is becoming an old maid, thanks to her domineering mother. Psychiatrist Dr. Jaquith urges Charlotte to make several radical changes in her life and slowly, Charlotte begins blossom into an attractive, confident woman. While on a long ocean voyage, she falls in love with Jerry Durrence, who is trapped in a loveless marriage, and becomes a surrogate mother to Jerry's introverted daughter, who is on the verge of becoming the wallflower that Charlotte once was. King Kong Starring - Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Charles Grodin, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois. Release Date - 1976. Synopsis - The Big Apple is again besieged by the monstrous King Kong. Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange star in the ambitious remake of the original, which adds a great deal of camp and good fun to the story. Again, the gargantuan ape battles attacking aircraft high above the streets of New York, this time plunging from the top of the World Trade Canter to his death amidst thousands of horrified onlookers. King Kong won an Oscar for special effects, and the horror and the thrills are brought anew to another generation in this classic and classy production. When Harry Met Sally... Starring - Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby, Steven Ford. Release Date - July 12th, 1989. Synopsis - Does sex make it impossible for men and women to be true friends? This romantic comedy chronicles this dilemma through the eleven year relationship between Harry and Sally who meet in college, then pursue their own lives until they reconnect ten years later. The Lady Eve Starring - Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette, William Demarest. Release Date - 1941. Synopsis - The film stars Barbara Stanwyck as Jean Herrington, a sly con artist aboard a transatlantic ocean liner who happens to run across Charles Pike (Henry Fonda), a snake expert returning from a year in the Amazon jungle. Since Pike is the wealthy and shy heir to a beer fortune, he seems like the perfect target for one of Jean's cons, but as she deceives him she finds herself falling in love. One of Sturges's most hilarious comedies, THE LADY EVE is a romantic comedy masterpiece with two of Hollywood's stars at the top of their form. The Sound of Music Starring - Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood. Release Date - April 1, 1965. Synopsis - A former nun leaves the convent to become a governess for the seven children of a wealthy, Austrian widower who has grown into a cold disciplinarian. Soon, the she opens the children to the wonders of life and the joy of music - and eventually softens the heart of their father and gains his love.