Classic B&W in order of viewing (ongoing)by I_Won-t_Dance | created - 15 Jun 2012 | updated - 6 months ago | Public
My fascination with Classic Cinema, from the start.. Films from Hollywood's Golden Age in approx. order of viewing, NOT in order of preference.. Black & White films from the Silent era 'til the early Fifties, mainly Romance or Drama, with a sprinkling of Musicals, Screwball and Crime also..
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1. Rachel and the Stranger (1948)
Approved | 80 min | Adventure, Western
A widowed farmer takes an indentured servant as his new wife, but the arrival of his old friend threatens their burgeoning relationship.
I blame it all on Loretta! I stumbled across this Western/Romance on some minor channel while "revising (!)" my final exam 6 years ago. Since then I've seen many of her wonderful films, and while this is by no means her most outstanding work, the sweetness and honesty of the simple romance bring me back to rewatch it often.
2. It Happened One Night (1934)
Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance
A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.
Votes: 86,953 | Gross: $4.36M
3. 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.
Votes: 113,704 | Gross: $4.36M
4. Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance
A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.
Votes: 22,805 | Gross: $0.30M
5. The Lady Eve (1941)
Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Romance
A trio of classy card sharks targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.
6. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Not Rated | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.
Votes: 25,079 | Gross: $0.20M
7. My Best Girl (1927)
Unrated | 80 min | Comedy, Romance
A department store's stock girl falls in love with a co-worker, the son of the store's manager; the feeling is mutual though he is engaged to a debutante and focusing on becoming successful without the influence of his father.
Votes: 749 | Gross: $2.24M
I was lucky enough to find this on YT at one point (since taken down). My first silent film, I was stunned by the emotion and warmth portrayed just through facial expressions and little gestures. I'd definitely recommend this as an introduction to Silent film - it's adorably sweet, but mostly without the melodrama of some other Silents. My favourite scene: Mary & Buddy's lunch in the crate - adorable!
8. Top Hat (1935)
Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.
Votes: 16,119 | Gross: $3.88M
As the first Fred & Ginger movie I ever saw, Top Hat had me so hooked I just had to watch their other 9 films together (as you see below). This unequalled dancing pair have such charm and chemistry that you don't even notice the usually nonsensical plots. And how infectious is it just watching them move around the floor?!
9. Swing Time (1936)
Not Rated | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer.
10. Shall We Dance (1937)
Approved | 109 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
A budding romance between a ballet master and a tap dancer becomes complicated when rumors surface that they're already married.
11. Roberta (1935)
Passed | 106 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
In Paris, a man clueless about fashion suddenly inherits his aunt's dress shop, while his bandleader friend reunites with his old flame.
12. Carefree (1938)
Passed | 83 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
A psychiatrist agrees to hypnotize his friend's girlfriend in order to convince her to accept his proposals of marriage, but she ends up falling for the psychiatrist instead.
14. The Gay Divorcee (1934)
Approved | 107 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
An American woman travels to England to seek a divorce from her absentee husband, where she meets - and falls for - a dashing performer.
15. The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)
Approved | 93 min | Biography, Drama, Musical
Votes: 2,130 | Gross: $1.12M
16. Sabrina (1954)
Passed | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
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.
18. It Had to Be You (1947)
98 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
A woman is noted for leaving her bridegrooms at the altar until a dashing fireman walks into her life.
After watching all the Fred & Ginger movies above, I started looking up Ginger's other films, which range from the silly but sweet (like this one and "Rafter Romance" below) to touching stories dealing with deeper issues, such as "I'll Be Seeing You" and "Bachelor Mother". Ginger was certainly far more than "Fred's partner". I don't know how to describe "It Had To Be You" - the plot would look ridiculous written down, but somehow I find myself watching it often and loving the humour, the very palpable chemistry between Ginger & Cornel, and even the crazy concept..
19. Rafter Romance (1933)
Passed | 73 min | Comedy, Romance
A man and a woman share an apartment on a shift basis, never seeing each other; she dislikes him until they actually meet.
I know Norman Foster's voice and acting talents are not to everybody's liking, but I just adored him and Ginger in this boy-meets-girl tale based in the big city. Plus it's a charming peek into urban life, work and flirting in the Thirties! I've been looking for any similar work by Mr Foster for a while, but haven't come across anything yet. Funnily enough, I discovered recently that the film which got me started watching B&W Cinema was directed by none other than Norman Foster (see #1!)
20. Midnight (1939)
Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Romance
A chorus girl stranded in Paris is set up by a millionaire to break up his wife's affair with another man, while being romantically pursued by a cab driver.
21. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance
A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.
22. Once Upon a Honeymoon (1942)
Approved | 117 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
In Europe at the start of World War II, a woman notices that wherever her husband goes, the Nazis seem to follow. Meanwhile, a charming reporter is following them.
Votes: 2,430 | Gross: $0.86M
24. Magnificent Obsession (1935)
Approved | 112 min | Drama, Romance
The life of spoiled rich Robert Merrick is saved through the use of a hospital's only resuscitator, but because the medical device cannot be in two places at once, it results in the death ... See full summary »
25. Love Affair (1939)
Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A French playboy and an American former nightclub singer fall in love aboard a ship. They arrange to reunite six months later, after he has had a chance to earn a decent living.
27. Pygmalion (1938)
Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A phonetics and diction expert makes a bet that he can teach a cockney flower girl to speak proper English and pass as a lady in high society.
Votes: 7,317 | Gross: $3.05M
29. The Awful Truth (1937)
Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Romance
Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.
30. The Palm Beach Story (1942)
Passed | 88 min | Comedy, Romance
An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.
Votes: 10,064 | Gross: $0.44M
31. The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940)
Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Romance
A best-selling author of women's issues and a medical academic find it is to their mutual advantage to falsely claim that they are married.
33. A Woman of Distinction (1950)
85 min | Comedy
Ice-cold college dean Susan Middlecott feels there's no room in her life for romance. Enter Prof. Alec Stevenson, British lecturer on astronomy, touring North America and in possession of a... See full summary »
34. Hired Wife (1940)
Approved | 96 min | Comedy
Cement company CEO Stephen Dexter asks his secretary Kendall to marry him as a wife in name only, an arrangement made to protect his finances from an attempt at a hostile business takeover.... See full summary »
35. Love Is News (1937)
Approved | 77 min | Comedy, Romance
Financier's daughter spars with newspaper reporter: he by writing about her, she by announcing their engagement.
What a gorgeous pair! You almost think the screen can't contain both Loretta and Tyrone's beauty! Plenty of sparks - this is the first (not counting "Ladies in Love") and my favourite of their films together.
37. I'll Be Seeing You (1944)
Approved | 85 min | Drama, Family, Romance
A soldier suffering from combat fatigue meets a young woman on Christmas furlough from prison and their mutual loneliness blossoms into romance.
Unusual for a Ginger film, "I'll Be Seeing You" deals with some pretty heavy material (incl. Post Traumatic Stress & Manslaughter) but she shows she's more than up to the challenge. Sentimental but very charming, I loved the way Ginger and Cotten's flawed characters supported each other (how could Ginger have such perfect chemistry with ALL her male leads?!!)
38. Café Metropole (1937)
Approved | 83 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
In Paris, a young American is in debt to a nightclub owner, who forces him to woo an heiress in hopes of reaping her fortune.
39. Daddy-Long-Legs (1919)
Unrated | 85 min | Comedy, Drama
An orphan discovers that she has an anonymous benefactor who is willing to pay her college tuition, unaware he's the same man who has been romantically pursuing her.
40. Heartbeat (1946)
Approved | 102 min | Drama, Romance
In Paris, a young woman runs away from a reform school, joins a pickpocket academy, and finds herself falling for the handsome diplomat she's been blackmailed into stealing from.
41. Honor Among Lovers (1931)
75 min | Drama, Romance
Jerry Stafford, a businessman, is in love with his secretary but she deserts him for another man. When she realizes her mistake, she goes back to him. Doris Brown is her girlfriend who is in love with a man named Monty Dunn.
42. I'll Never Forget You (1951)
90 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance