Classic Romance Films


"He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser,
sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved,
drawing from it with his eyes and his mind
those virtues which it possesses."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Above Suspicion
Joan Crawford and Fred MacMurray are asked to do a spy mission during their honeymoon in Europe on the eve of World War II. Also with Basil Rathbone, Conrad Veidt, and Reginald Owen.

Adam's Rib
A woman accused of murdering her husband is defended in court by the wife (Katharine Hepburn) of the prosecutor (Spencer Tracy). Directed by George Cukor. Writing credits: Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell, David Wayne, Jean Hagen, Hope Emerson.

An Affair to Remember
Two people (Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr) meet and fall in love on board a ship. They make plans to meet in New York in six months but. . . . Keep tissues handy.

The African Queen
Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart star in this movie classic about a hard-drinking river trader and a prim missionary. Oscar nominees for Screenplay were James Agee and John Huston.

The Age of Innocence
An adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel about manners and morals in New York society in the 1870s. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder.

In the seedy Casbah, a thief in hiding and a lovely tourist find romance. With Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamarr.

The American President
Michael Douglas plays a widowed president who falls in love with a lobbyist, Annette Bening. Directed by Rob Reiner.

The Americanization of Emily
James Garner, a U. S. Naval officer, is set up to be the first casualty of D-Day in this romantic comedy. Julie Andrews co-stars as a British war window. Script by Paddy Chayefsky, from William Bradford Huie's novel.

Anna Karenina
A Russian woman engages in an affair with a dashing officer. By Leo Tolstoy.

Annie Hall
Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditsy Annie Hall. Directed by Woody Allen. Writing credits: Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman. Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Shelley Duvall, Colleen Dewhurst, Christopher Walken.

Arch of Triumph
Refugee doctor Charles Boyer and wanderer Ingrid Bergman heat up Paris while everyone else waits for the Germans to come marching in.

As You Like It
A Shakespeare Comedy. The love story of Orlando and Rosalind.

The Barretts of Wimpole Street
Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning fall in love and sparks fly in real life and in their poetry. Starring Norma Shearer, Fredric March, and Charles Laughton.

Belle Epoque
Four sisters try to seduce a Spanish Civil War deserter.

Beloved Infidel
This passionate love story is based on the real-life romance between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hollywood columnist Sheilah Graham. Starring Gregory Peck and Deborah Kerr.

The Best Years of Our Lives
This is a story of three servicemen who return from World War II and begin to piece their lives back together. With Myrna Loy, Frederick March, and Dana Andrews. Adapted from MacKinlay Kantor's Glory for Me, a novel in verse. The Oscar for Screenplay went to Robert E. Sherwood.

This movie tells the story of the latter years of Earl Long, a flamboyant politician. Cast: Paul Newman and Lolita Davidovich.

Blue Sky
Jessica Lange deserves three cheers for her performance as an army wife in the early 1960s. Sensuous and unpredictable, Lange bridles at the restrictions in her life and is constantly seeking attention. Tommy Lee Jones is the nuclear engineer who adores her, but is just as passionate toward his career.

Breakfast at Tiffany's
Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) wants to marry a millionaire but falls for the writer (George Peppard) who lives next door. Directed by Blake Edwards.

Broadcast News
A funny and poignant love triangle develops between a TV producer (Holly Hunter), an intelligent reporter (Albert Brooks), and a not-so-smart anchorman (William Hurt).

The Buccaneers
Four lovely American women look for romance in London. From Edith Wharton.

Bull Durham
A fan who has an affair with one minor-league baseball player each season meets an up-and-coming pitcher and the experienced catcher assigned to him. Cast: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins.

Cannery Row
The story of a former baseball star who becomes involved with a prostitute. From John Steinbeck.

The Captive Heart
A U. S. soldier is shot down, taken prisoner by the Japanese, and falls in love with a local woman. Starring Pat Morita.

One of the greatest films ever made and was based on the play Everybody Comes to Rick's, by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison. The cast includes Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Sydney Greenstreet, Paul Henreid, and Dooley Wilson. The winners for the Screenplay Oscar were Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, and Howard Koch.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
From a Tennessee Williams play.

The Clock
Judy Garland, an office worker, meets soldier Robert Walker, who has a two-day leave in New York. A charming love story directed by Vincente Minnelli. If you like WW II romances, you'll love this one.

Closely Watched Trains
Vaclav Neckar stars in this Czech film that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. It's the story, part tragedy, part comedy, of a naive apprentice train-dispatcher during the German Occupation. A coming-of-sexual-age tale.

Coming Home
While her Marine captain husband is in Vietnam, a woman volunteers at a V.A. hospital and becomes emotionally and intimately involved with one of the patients. Her husband comes home, disillusioned by the war, and tries to cope with his wife's infidelity. Writers: Waldo Salt and Robert C. Jones, from a story by Nancy Dowd. Stars: Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, and Bruce Dern.

Dark Journey
Touching love story, set in Stockholm, about a dress-shop-owner-double agent (Vivien Leigh), who becomes involved with the head of German Intelligence.

Desire Under the Elms
A young man falls under the spell of his father's lovely bride. From Eugene O'Neill.

A delightfully witty comedy about love and matchmaking. Based on a Jane Austen novel. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Austen's benign busybody, Emma Woodhouse--so busy trying to arrange the lives of others that she is sidestepping her own.

Ethan Frome
A tale of a tragic love triangle in rural New England in the early 20th Century. From Edith Wharton.

A Farewell to Arms
A haunting World War I love story. From Ernest Hemingway.

Father Goose
Cary Grant wants to sit out WW II as a beach bum on an island in the Pacific, but he soon finds himself guarding Leslie Caron and seven schoolgirls. Oscar-winning script by Peter Stone and Frank Tarloff.

For Whom the Bell Tolls
The great screen romance during the Spanish Civil War. From Ernest Hemingway. Starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman.

From the Terrace
An ambitious young executive climbs to the top. Starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

A Guy Named Joe
A sweet story based on the legend that pilots never die but return to guide fledging airmen. Starring Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunn, and Van Johnson. Oscar nominees for Original Story were David Boehm and Chandler Sprague.

Hanover Street
Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down, and Christopher Plummer are great in this WW II romance between a married British woman and an American soldier who is sent on a mission behind enemy lines. Directed and written by Peter Hyams. Harrison Ford rules.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The deformed bellringer comes to the aid of the beautiful gypsy girl. From Victor Hugo.

I Was a Male War Bride
To enter the U. S. with his new wife, French officer Cary Grant disguises himself as her sister.

In 1830s France, pianist/composer Frederic Chopin (Hugh Grant) is pursued romantically by the determined, individualistic woman who uses the name George Sand (Judy Davis). With Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters.

In 1930s Indochina, a woman manages her rubber plantation but loses her French lover, a naval officer, to her adopted Indochinese daughter. The lush scenery is spectacular. Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez, and Jean Yanne.

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontė's classic tale of a governess and her moody employer.

Gene Tierney is the dead woman who ends up as the heroine. Dana Andrews plays the detective in love with her. With Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson. Directed by Otto Preminger.

Love Is a Many Splendored Thing
A well-done soap opera set in Hong Kong during the Korean War. Jennifer Jones, a Eurasian doctor, falls in love with William Holden, a war correspondent. A beautiful film with a lovely theme song.

The Lover
An adolescent French girl becomes the lover of a well-to-do Chinese man in 1920s Saigon, but their love is forbidden by the social order of the era. Filmed in Vietnam. Not really a war movie, but well worth watching just for the spectacular Vietnam scenes. Writers: Gerard Brach and Jean-Jacques Annaud, from the novel by Marguerite Duras. Stars: Jane March and Tony Leung.

Mansfield Park
A story of true virtue winning in stuffy 18th Century England. Based on a Jane Austen novel.

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare comedy. Four young lovers are teased by spirits in an enchanted forest.

Mrs. Brown
A romantic drama in the Masterpiece Theater vein, this John Madden film looks at the relationship between Queen Victoria and John Brown, a commoner who, though a servant, becomes her closest friend and confidant. Starring Judi Dench.

Much Ado about Nothing
Shakespeare comedy. A romantic story filled with laughter, mistaken identities, jealousy, and wit.

Northanger Abbey
An enchanting tale of intrigue, romance, adventure, and mystery. From a Jane Austen novel.

Out of Africa
Sydney Pollack's 1985 multiple-Oscar winner is a sumptuous and emotionally satisfying film about the life of Danish writer Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep), better known as Isak Dinesen, who travels to Kenya to be with her German husband (Klaus Maria Brandauer) but falls for an English adventurer (Robert Redford).

Painted Veil
A love triangle story, by Somerset Maugham, set in China.

Pat and Mike
Tracy is a sports promoter and Hepburn is an all-around athlete. Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin were nominated for an Oscar for Story and Screenplay.

A woman rejects a poor man's marriage proposal; and, years later,
he comes back into her life. From the Jane Austen novel.

Peyton Place
From Grace Metalious' steamy novel, this film is about small-town morals and stars Lana Turner. Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium Oscar nominee was John Michael Hayes.

Pride and Prejudice
A social satire by Jane Austen about five sisters looking for husbands.

A professor of phonetics wagers he can change a Cockney girl into a princess. Starring Leslie Howard. From Shaw's play. The Oscar winners for the screenplay were George Bernard Shaw, Ian Dalrymple, Cecil Lewis, and W.P. Lipscomb.

The Quiet Man
John Wayne plays an American prizefighter who returns to Ireland and courts Maureen O'Hara. From Maurice Walsh's short story "Green Rushes." Frank S. Nugent was an Oscar nominee for his screenplay.

Racing With the Moon
Sean Penn and Elizabeth McGovern star in this story of teenagers in love in a small California town during WW II. Romance blossoms just as the young lover is about to be shipped off to war. Directed by Richard Benjamin, and starring Nicholas Cage and Carol Kane. It captures the mood of the 40s.

Random Harvest
Ronald Coleman is an amnesiac who falls in love with Greer Garson. Based on a James Hilton novel. The nominees for an Oscar for their screenplay were George Froeschel, Claudine West, and Arthur Wimperis.

A Hitchcock film based on Daphne du Maurier's novel. Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine. Robert E. Sherwood and Joan Harrison were nominated for an Oscar for their screenplay.

The Return of the Native
The lush Thomas Hardy story of a maiden's love for two young men.

Roman Holiday
Audrey Hepburn plays a princess on a tour of Rome who meets dashing Gregory Peck, an American reporter. Ian McLellan Hunter and Dalton Trumbo won an Oscar for Motion Picture Story.

Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare tragedy. The sad story of star-crossed lovers.

Sense and Sensibility
Two sisters try to find romantic happiness in stodgy 19th Century England. From Jane Austen's novel.

About writers C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger. Director: Richard Attenborough.

Shining Through
An enticing mix of romance, adventure, and heroism set in WW II Germany. Melanie Griffith and Michael Douglas star as spies sent behind enemy lines.

A Streetcar Named Desire
Vivien Leigh as Blanche DuBois and Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski. Tennessee Williams was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay.

The Taming of the Shrew
Shakespeare comedy. Women's liberation in the 16th Century battles male chauvinism.

Wuthering Heights
Based on Emily Bronte's classic story of passion, hatred, and revenge. With Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. Screenplay Oscar nominees were Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.

A Yank in the RAF
A vintage WW II film with Tyrone Power romancing Betty Grable in London. Lots of wonderful music from that era.

Spectacular story of WW 2 romances between British women and U. S. soldiers. Starring Richard Gere, William Devane, Vanessa Redgrave, and Wendy Morgan. The songs are wonderful.

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