Love Stories

by Loxi | created - 24 Jul 2011 | updated - 8 months ago | Public

34 favorites, different types, for different reasons.

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1. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 487,763 | Gross: $1.02M

One of just three movies that I've ever given a rating of ten. Unlike some viewers, I find both Bogart and Henreid very attractive in this film. (Bergman too of course, just not in quite the same way).

2. Laura (1944)

Passed | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 39,462 | Gross: $4.36M

Mark McPherson is my favorite romantic hero, and Laura contains my favorite movie love-scene (the interrogation scene), which I find quite !!!.

3. Tombstone (1993)

R | 130 min | Action, Biography, Drama

50 Metascore

A successful lawman's plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.

Directors: George P. Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre | Stars: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton

Votes: 117,790 | Gross: $56.51M

One of the best movie love stories I can think of is this one, between two men, Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell), and Doc Holiday (Val Kilmer). It was not a sexual love story, but otherwise a love story involving the characters' deepest feelings.

In my opinion, each man is betrayed by the woman he has chosen, which I ascribe to the fact that neither relationship (Wyatt/Mattie - Doc/Kate) was a proper romantic choice to begin with. When Kate learns the implications of Doc's illness, she does not try to help him get better. She pretends to believe that he is not ill, in order to squeeze from him whatever she can get before he dies. Mattie's betrayal of Wyatt is to destroy herself completely with drugs.

Doc had lost the love of his life early and experienced no spiritual connection with any other woman. Wyatt had never found the right woman, until he met Josephine.

But even after Mattie completely self-destructs, Wyatt cannot pursue Josephine, because he cannot leave Doc. He can only "go get that spirited actress and make her [his] own" after Doc is at death's door, and makes Wyatt leave him. I had to see the movie a lot of times before I finally figured out that it's primarily a love story between two men.

4. Notorious (1946)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

100 Metascore

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern

Votes: 86,715 | Gross: $10.46M

I like the Cary Grant / Ingrid Bergman conflict / relationship, and think that agent Devlin falls in love with Alicia before he meets her, by listening to a recording made by the OSS (Office of Secret Service) of her repudiating her (Nazi) father.

Devlin plays this recording for Alicia near the beginning of the story, as a means of letting her know that he knows of her idealism, and approves it. She is affected.

However, she's already dangerously far along the road to self-destruction, directing all her considerable power of character to suppressing her idealism, because she's convinced that it's useless.

The rest is merely uphill sledding.

5. North by Northwest (1959)

Not Rated | 136 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller

98 Metascore

A New York City advertising executive goes on the run after being mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis

Votes: 278,751 | Gross: $13.28M

A great movie in so many ways. And the Cary Grant / Eva Marie Saint relationship is very enjoyable.

6. Dark Passage (1947)

Passed | 106 min | Film-Noir, Thriller

A man convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison and works with a woman to try and prove his innocence.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bruce Bennett, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 16,363

Best scene — they're waiting for the taxi to come. It's hard to think of ever having seen two people more in love with each other on film. I presume that their real-life feelings for each other didn't hurt the success of that scene, exquisitely played. Really an amazing feat they pulled off there, i.e. expressing the most intense feelings, by means of not expressing their feelings.

7. Wife vs. Secretary (1936)

Passed | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

The wife of a publishing executive mistakenly believes that her husband's relationship with his attractive secretary is more than professional.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, May Robson

Votes: 2,848

Love triangle. Jean Harlow is really sexy in this, and a great actress too. I never saw her or Clark Gable in better roles. Gable is perfect. He IS that character, and the relationship between him and Myrna Loy is fun to observe until.... Anyway, the premise, and the unfortunate (if accurate) title practically promise that this will be a stupid movie. However, it's not.

8. Out of the Past (1947)

Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming

Votes: 29,823

The last thing I expected from this film — on a first viewing — was a good love story. However, I can think of nothing to say about that aspect that doesn't spoil the plot. Only the ending can tell you who loves whom, and how much.

9. Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)

Approved | 102 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

A widowed doctor of both Chinese and European descent falls in love with a married American correspondent in Hong Kong during China's Communist revolution.

Directors: Henry King, Otto Lang | Stars: William Holden, Jennifer Jones, Torin Thatcher, Isobel Elsom

Votes: 4,113

Straightforward romance, but not a happy ending.

10. Random Harvest (1942)

Passed | 126 min | Drama, Romance

An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Ronald Colman, Greer Garson, Philip Dorn, Susan Peters

Votes: 6,481 | Gross: $10.14M

The man in the story is not important in himself, but only insofar as he is the person that this incredible woman loves.

11. The World of Suzie Wong (1960)

Approved | 126 min | Drama, Romance

A businessman moves to Hong Kong to pursue a career as an artist and falls in love with a prostitute he hires as a model.

Director: Richard Quine | Stars: William Holden, Nancy Kwan, Sylvia Syms, Michael Wilding

Votes: 2,011 | Gross: $7.30M

Maybe not most people's idea of an old-fashioned romance, but that's what it seems like to me.

Trivia: In the movie, A Touch of Larceny (1959), Max Easton (played by James Mason) pretends to have mislaid the novel he's been reading, The World of Suzie Wong, as a pretext for diverting the attention of his co-workers from his true purpose.

12. The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Not Rated | 96 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

While travelling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, May Whitty

Votes: 43,756


13. To Catch a Thief (1955)

PG | 106 min | Comedy, Mystery, Romance

A retired jewel thief sets out to prove his innocence after being suspected of returning to his former occupation.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams

Votes: 58,260 | Gross: $8.75M

Hitchcock-lite. Fun. Grace Kelley is gorgeous, and sports a stunning new outfit in almost every scene.

14. The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)

R | 113 min | Crime, Romance, Thriller

72 Metascore

A very rich and successful playboy amuses himself by stealing artwork, but may have met his match in a seductive detective.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary, Ben Gazzara

Votes: 82,779 | Gross: $69.30M

Beautiful people, clever plot, great production.

15. The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 142 min | Action, Drama, Romance

During the French Revolution, a mysterious English nobleman known only as The Scarlet Pimpernel (a humble wayside flower), snatches French aristos from the jaws of the guillotine, while ... See full summary »

Director: Clive Donner | Stars: Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, Ian McKellen, James Villiers

Votes: 4,069

A lot of fun, and quite romantic.

16. The Winslow Boy (1999)

G | 104 min | Drama, Romance

79 Metascore

Following the theft of a postal-order, a fourteen-year old cadet is expelled from Naval College. To save the honour of the boy and his family, the pre-eminent barrister of the day is engaged to take on the might the Admiralty.

Director: David Mamet | Stars: Rebecca Pidgeon, Jeremy Northam, Nigel Hawthorne, Matthew Pidgeon

Votes: 6,991 | Gross: $3.96M

Drama, wherein romance isn't the main point, but still, an important and enjoyable aspect of the story. For the ladies (or gentlemen who are so inclined) — the character played by Jeremy Northam is — mmmmm.

17. Emma (1996)

PG | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

While matchmaking for friends and neighbours, a young 19th Century Englishwoman nearly misses her own chance at love.

Director: Douglas McGrath | Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, James Cosmo, Greta Scacchi, Alan Cumming

Votes: 33,550 | Gross: $22.20M

ROMANTIC comedy. Lovely leading lady, gorgeous gentleman 'friend,' plenty of period costumes, wit, and romance. Good production of a Jane Austen novel.

18. Moonstruck (1987)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

Loretta Castorini, a bookkeeper from Brooklyn, New York, finds herself in a difficult situation when she falls for the brother of the man she has agreed to marry.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello

Votes: 45,008 | Gross: $80.64M

One of the most fun romantic comedies. Comedy, love, and family — New York City Italian style.

19. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby

Votes: 181,280 | Gross: $92.82M

1980s-style friendship, dating, and marriage. Probably funniest to those who lived through the times, though it's good comedy, even if you didn't.

20. You've Got Mail (1998)

PG | 119 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

57 Metascore

Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love over the Internet.

Director: Nora Ephron | Stars: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey

Votes: 181,145 | Gross: $115.82M

1990s remake of the 1940 romantic comedy, The Shop Around the Corner.

21. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

81 Metascore

Over the course of five social occasions, a committed bachelor must consider the notion that he may have discovered love.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, James Fleet, Simon Callow

Votes: 129,909 | Gross: $52.70M

Situation comedy / soap opera — about a group of friends and how they find romance.

22. His Girl Friday (1940)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 49,570 | Gross: $0.30M

Fast-talking romantic COMEDY.

23. Libeled Lady (1936)

Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Romance

A newspaper man, his ignored fiancée, and his former employee, a down on his luck reporter, hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth in order to prevent a high-society woman from suing for libel.

Director: Jack Conway | Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy

Votes: 6,548

What four very talented stars and great writing can provide — a fun screwball-comedy romp.

24. A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)

PG | 88 min | Comedy

51 Metascore

A wacky inventor and his wife invite two other couples for a weekend party at a romantic summer house in the 1900s countryside.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, José Ferrer, Julie Hagerty

Votes: 17,469 | Gross: $9.08M

Silly comedy of errors, with a beautiful backdrop and some lovely music.

25. My Man Godfrey (1936)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler - but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.

Director: Gregory La Cava | Stars: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick

Votes: 19,213

Two comedy stars shine in this absurd screwball-comedy / romance.

26. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

96 Metascore

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey

Votes: 59,588

Witty, preachy, romantic comedy with very clever dialog and nothing but first-rate acting.

27. Romancing the Stone (1984)

PG | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

63 Metascore

A mousy romance novelist sets off for Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure hunting for treasure with a mercenary rogue.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Zack Norman

Votes: 77,293 | Gross: $76.57M

A romance novelist finds herself in the middle of a parody of a romance novel plot. She is the heroine in distress involved in harrowing adventure, pursued by absurd villains, and aided by a romantic hero who is — apparently — less-than-ideal.

28. My Cousin Vinny (1992)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Crime

68 Metascore

Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in rural Alabama while on their way back to college, and one of their cousins--an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer not accustomed to Southern rules and manners--comes in to defend them.

Director: Jonathan Lynn | Stars: Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio, Mitchell Whitfield

Votes: 98,745 | Gross: $52.93M

New Yorkers meet the deep South — and wish they hadn't — in this very well-conceived and directed courtroom comedy, where the defendants' lives, and their lawyer's future marriage, hang in the balance. Twice as funny if you're from — or familiar with — the deep South, and/or the NY metropolitan area.

29. Groundhog Day (1993)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

72 Metascore

A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis | Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 550,217 | Gross: $70.91M

The premise is far more clever and original than is usual for a comedy. And (ironically :) the movie holds up well on repeated viewings. A little preachy.

30. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 269,670 | Gross: $198.68M

Great film with interesting, if not admirable romance; wherein Rhett Butler's self-esteem is so low that he goes one rung lower than marrying the prostitute who loves him. He marries the one who doesn't.

31. Rebecca (1940)

Not Rated | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidated by his first wife's spectral presence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Votes: 113,429 | Gross: $4.36M

The man is a weak and conflicted character, and the woman (also a weak character) loves him in spite of finding out [she thinks] that he murdered his first wife. Still, great flick. To hell with the romance. Bring on that smarmy cousin, and the always-cuddly Mrs. Danvers! Bwahahaha!

32. Sabrina (1954)

Passed | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family's chauffeur, but it's his more serious brother who would be the better man for her.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden

Votes: 54,831

Let's see... The lovely Audrey Hepburn, good screenwriting, great acting — a few reasons why I like this coming-of-age story.

33. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

R | 155 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema's projectionist.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili, Isa Danieli

Votes: 208,542 | Gross: $11.99M

A love story about a time, a place, a boy, his mentor, and the boy's — then man's — pursuit of love and happiness in career and romance.

34. Enchanted April (1991)

PG | 95 min | Drama

78 Metascore

Four English women, after WWI, who are unhappy with their lives, and their time away on vacation in a beautiful Italian villa.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Alfred Molina, Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Polly Walker

Votes: 5,743 | Gross: $13.20M

About choosing to make love and happiness priorities.

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