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The 10 Most Romantic Movies of All Time

19 February 2018 | Features, Film Lists | by Vitor Guima

When talking about romantic films, which one comes to mind first?

Through cinema history, many amazing love stories were told. And as a tribute to one of the most beloved genres in film, here is a selection of amazing romantic movies. Whether they’re beautiful or tragic, or regardless of whether the characters end up together, here are 10 great romantic movies.

As always, many things interfere to choose the movies that are in this article. And also as always, memory and personal preferences are the main factors. If you think any other movie should be on this list, please leave it as a recommendation in the comments section below.

So, here are the 10 most romantic films in cinema history:

 

10. My Night At Maud’s (1969; dir. Éric Rohmer)

my night at mauds

Well… an article about romantic films probably would not be complete without a film by Éric Rohmer.

“My Night at Maud’s” is the third movie of a series called “Six Moral Tales,” although it was released after the fourth installment of the series directed by Rohmer. Formed by the films “The Bakery Girl of Monceau” (1963), “Suzanne’s Career” (1963), “My Night at Maud’s” (1969), “The Collector” (1967), “Claire’s Knee” (1970) and “Love in the Afternoon” (1972), those works are truly among the most remarkable ones in Rohmer’s career.

Based on the movie “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” (1927), the masterpiece directed by F.W. Murnau, these tales have a story that is basically the same: A committed man meets a woman, but eventually returns to the one he is committed to.

In “My Night at Maud’s,” a solitary engineer in his 30s who has a truly strong connection with his Catholic beliefs spends a night with a divorced woman, a night that will change forever the way he sees life.

With amazing philosophical dialogue and character arcs, “My Night at Maud’s” is without a doubt one of the best works in the career of Rohmer, and a movie that should definitely be watched by any cinephile.

 

9. Jules and Jim (1962; dir. François Truffaut)

Jules and Jim

All right, now you are able to see that this is not actually a list that approaches romance in only one way. If you remember the end of this film, you might see that “Jules and Jim” is romantic in a very tragic way. And that not all romantic movies and well.

Directed by French master François Truffaut, “Jules and Jim” follows the heartbreaking story of a love triangle between Jules (Oskar Werner), Jim (Henri Serre) and Catherine (Jeanne Moreau).

With great directing by Truffaut, we’re able to watch the complex relationship between the three characters for years until the shocking event that happens at the end of the film.

 

8. Before Sunrise (1995; dir. Richard Linklater)

The beginning of one of the best trilogies in cinema history, “Before Sunrise” follows the story of a young woman and a young man who meet on a train in Europe and, in Vienna, spent a night together not knowing if they will ever see each other again. Starred by Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, this is truly one of the most romantic films in history.

Based almost strictly on dialogue, the amazing script of this film is able to introduce and build such complex characters in only one night – characters that we would see in the sequels “Before Sunset” (2004) and “Before Midnight” (2013).

The great performances by Delpy and Hawke, allied with the remarkable dialogue of this film, made Céline and Jesse one of the most iconic couples in the last few decades of film.

“Before Sunrise” truly deserves to be remembered among the best and most romantic films in cinema history.

 

7. 7th Heaven (1927; dir. Frank Borzage)

7th Heaven (1927)

“7th Heaven” follows the story of a Paris sewer worker, Chico (Charles Farrell), who saves the life of a prostitute, Diane (Janet Gaynor), after she is attacked by her sister. When the police arrives to arrest Diane, Chico says he is her husband. Now they live together and have to pretend they are husband and wife in order to avoid prison. They end up falling in love with each other, but World War I has begun and this conflict threatens to destroy their relationship.

With an amazing performance by Gaynor, for which she won the first Academy Award for Best Actress alongside with her performances in “Street Angel,” also directed by Frank Borzage, and “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” directed by F.W. Murnau, “7th Heaven” is truly one of the best romantic movies in history.

Having great mise en scène and a script based on the Broadway play that starred Helen Menken and George Gaul, “7th Heaven” is one of the best movies from the 1920s and definitely deserves to be in this article.

 

6. In the Mood for Love (2000; dir. Kar-wai Wong)

Considered by the BBC as the second best film of the 21st Century, “In the Mood for Love” is Kar-wai Wong’s masterpiece.

It follows the story of a man and a woman who live in the same building and who develop a friendship because their spouses are often away. When they start to suspect that their partners are being unfaithful, they find comfort in each other but choose not to make the same mistake of their spouses.

With a perfect art direction, great writing by Wong, and powerful performances by Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, “In the Mood For Love” is a very unique romantic movie that is not only one of the best films from this century, but one of the greatest in cinema history.

A masterpiece that should be watched again and again.

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