10 classic romance films to spread the love
Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck star in "Roman Holiday."
Updated: March 8, 2013 6:10AM
Don’t spend Valentine’s Day cuddling up with Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum or some other more recent romantic movie star.
Spend the holiday that’s all about love with classic romance. We’ve picked 10 classic films that will get you in the lovey-dovey mood.
1 “The African Queen” (1951) — Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart star in this film about a riverboat captain helping a British missionary at the outbreak of war. The two bond over a plot to fight some Germans and end up married.
2 “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (1954) — This movie doesn’t have just one love story, there’s seven. A bunch of backwoodsmen are made over by their new sister-in-law (Jane Powell), in the hope that they’ll meet some girls they can marry. They do, but they’re also involved in a big brawl, kidnapping and an avalanche before love blooms.
3 “Some Like It Hot” (1959) — A Marilyn Monroe flick that has Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in drag, hiding from gangsters in an all-woman band. Joe (Curtis) tries to woo vocalist/ukulele player Sugar Kane (Monroe) by taking on a second disguise — a millionaire who has a cold heart. Shenanigans commence and the moral of the story is “nobody’s perfect.”
4 “Roman Holiday” (1953) — Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar for her role as a princess who wants to tour Rome without her entourage. Gregory Peck is a reporter who finds the wandering princess without recognizing her immediately. After he does figure out her identity, he takes her around town, creating an exclusive story for himself. He eventually decides to not run what he has since he cares for her.
5 “An Affair to Remember” (1957) — While traveling, Terry and Nickie (Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant) become close acquaintances. The friendship blossoms into a relationship, but is cut short by an accident and a misunderstanding. The two reunite after some time as if no time had passed. The film was the basis for 1993’s “Sleepless in Seattle.”
6 “Philadelphia Story” (1940) — Divorce might not be the end for some couples. For Tracy and Dexter (Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant), it’s the beginning of new flirtations even though socialite, Tracy, is about to marry another man. There’s a third man in the picture, a tabloid journalist (James Stewart), who is also attracted to Tracy. Who will she marry in the end?
7 “The Shop Around the Corner” (1940) — As the precursor to “You’ve Got Mail,” the stars of this film, two rival employees at a gift shop, fall in love via handwritten correspondence. James Stewart is Alfred Kralik, the top salesman at the shop. He finds out that his annoying coworker Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) is the wonderful woman he’s been corresponding with.
8 “Easter Parade” (1948) — Fred Astaire and Judy Garland star in this romantic musical. The two start as song and dance partners, but there is romance in the air. Don (Astaire) tries to mold Hannah (Garland) into his perfect partner, but then discovers her natural charms. There are a few bouts with jealousy and some misunderstandings, but the co-stars end up happy together.
9 “It Happened One Night” (1934) — An heiress (Claudette Colbert) wants to live life for herself without all her father’s rules. After her father has her marriage annulled, she runs away in the hopes of finding her husband. She meets a reporter (Clark Gable) who offers to help for an exclusive story. Instead of a story, or finding that spouse, the two fall in love.
10 “Pillow Talk” (1959) — It’s no party when the telephone company forces Jan (Doris Day) and Brad (Rock Hudson) to share a phone line. Brad meets Jan in real life and pretends to be a Texan named Rex. The two start a relationship, but Jan figures out his deceit and breaks it off. However, Brad has really fallen for her and tries to find a way back to Jan’s heart.