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Friday, May 14, 2010

My Top Ten Romantic Movies

10. East of Eden--1955 film about a wayward young man who, while seeking his own identity, vies for the affection of his Bible-toting father against his favored brother. It is a retelling of the biblical story of Cain and Abel. The film stars Julie Harris, James Dean (in his first major screen role), and Raymond Massey. Of the three films in which James Dean played the male lead, this is the only one released during his lifetime. ***Romance is not the focus of the movie, but Dean’s and Harris’s characters share a deep connection. Very emotional and touching movie.***



9. An Affair to Remember is a 1957 film starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. It is considered to be the most romantic film of all time. Contributing to the success of the 1957 film is its theme song "An Affair to Remember” (Our Love Affair). ***I liked this one a lot—it leaves the viewer a little melancholy, though.***


8. Titanic is a 1997 American epic/disaster/romantic/drama film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron about the sinking of the RMS Titanic. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson and Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater, two members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ill-fated maiden voyage of the ship. ***I’ve watched this movie three times. I especially love the song “My Heart will Go On” sung by Celine Dion.***

7. The Last Time I Saw Paris—a 1954 romantic drama. The film starred Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson, with Walter Pidgeon, Donna Reed, Eva Gabor, Kurt Kasznar, George Dolenz, Sandy Descher and Roger Moore. This epic romance is a captivating blend of Parisian expatriate high society and the struggles in post-WWII Europe. When war writer and veteran Charles Wills (Van Johnson) meets the lovely and restless Helen Ellswirth (Elizabeth Taylor) in Paris after the war, the two strangers instantly fall in love, basking in the glory of a free Paris. Charles and Helen get married and have a family, but life becomes more difficult as they continue on with their free-spirited and reckless adventure. ***Like so many romantic movies of the 50’s, there’s a touch of sadness about this movie. The ending? Take a hankie.***
6. Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing is an American 1955 drama-romance film. Set in 1949-50 Hong Kong, it tells the story of a married, but separated, American reporter (played by William Holden), who falls in love with a Eurasian doctor (played by Jennifer Jones), only to encounter prejudice from her family and from Hong Kong society.***I love this one because my husband took me to see it on our very first date. We were very young!***
5. Splendor in the Grass, an American movie from 1961, tells a story of sexual repression, young love, and heartbreak. Starring the very young and beautiful Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty. ***I loved this movie, but much of the movie is heartbreaking, until she finally finds love with another man.***



4. An Officer and a Gentleman is a 1982 American drama film that tells the story of a U.S. Navy aviation officer candidate who comes into conflict with the Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who trains him. It starred Richard Gere, Debra Winger and Louis Gossett, Jr. Richard Gere plays an enrollee at a Naval officers candidate school, Debra Winger is the woman who loves him, and the secondary characters are great. ***Of course, I loved this one. A very young Richard Gere and a story with a HEA.***

3. OPEN RANGE is a powerfully gripping story, and stars Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner, and Annette Bening . A group of free grazers, four men trying to escape their past, are driving cattle and living off the land on the open range. When a ruthless, evil rancher tries to run them out of town, the men's peaceful existence takes a tumultuous turn and ends in the grittiest, most explosive gunfight on film as two men battle a town for honor, justice, and a way of life that's quickly disappearing. ***The tender love story between Charlie (Costner) and Sue (Bening) is so touching in its simplicity, I remember exact scenes.***
2. Doctor Zhivago-1965--a sweeping movie about a doctor-poet in revolutionary Russia, starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. The screen is crammed with spectacle, and the theme song “Lara’s Theme” has been played countless times. ***One of my all-time favorite movies. Yes, it maudlin and soap-operish, and some characters seemed to be mis-cast, but still, the movie is wonderful. ***




1. MY NUMBER ONE MOVIE: PICNIC--An odd choice, maybe, but this is one movie that has stuck in my head all these years. I’ve watched it too many times to count, and if it appeared on AMC or TCM, I’d drop everything and watch it again. Picnic is a 1955 film which tells the story of an ex-college football star turned drifter who arrives in a small Kansas town on Labor Day and is drawn to a girl who is already spoken for. With a cast headed by William Holden, Kim Novak, Susan Strasberg, Cliff Robertson, Arthur O'Connell, Nick Adams, Betty Field, Rosalind Russell and Verna Felton, the film is sometimes cited as a richly detailed snapshot of life in the American Midwest during the 1950s. ***I give it first place because every time I’ve watched it, I noticed something different. Very poignant and fulfilling in the end.***

Celia Yeary
Romance…and a little bit o' Texas
TEXAS BLUE-eBook and Print
SHOWDOWN IN SOUTHFORK—eBook
ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS-eBook and Print
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
www.thewildrosepress.com

25 comments:

missbreezysbox said...

Wow. The only one I've seen is "An Officer and a Gentleman". I think I'll have to do some movie requests from my city library. Great post!

Lindsay Townsend said...

Great choices, Celia! I'm going to have to look PICNIC out - I've never heard of it!

Thanks for sharing.

Celia Yeary said...

Yes, Miss Breezy, but possibly you're not old enough to have seen some of these!!! Thanks for visiting--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Lindsay--Well, one must be of a certain age, I guess, or live in the US in the 50's! Glad you liked them. Celia

Bekki Lynn said...

Wow -- some of these I don't recall. I will definitely keep an eye out in my movie ventures.

Titantic - I went 'only three times?' lol I watched it twice just this last weekend. My favorite scene is when they are on front of the ship -- when he glides his hands into hers -- makes me shiver.

Great post -- I love old movies.

Celia Yeary said...

BEKKI--glad you liked it. I had fun deciding on ten movies. The old ones have something the new ones don't--something elusive--but on the other hand, often the old ones are a bit melodramatic. Celia

Savanna Kougar said...

PICNIC, now that's one I've missed. If I did see it, it was as a kid and I don't remember it.

DR. ZHIVAGO hit me deep, everything about the film, including the music. I thought all the characters were perfect... though I haven't seen it recently. It was that magical, fiercely intense romance against a backdrop of cruel political change.

EAST OF EDEN made a major impact on me, especially James Dean's relationship with the heroine. I saw it at a young age.

I know I'm in the minority, but I've only seen scenes out of Titanic. I mean, I just couldn't handle an unhappy ending.

All those movies are powerful and I've seen most of them, though, it's been awhile.

Great and fascinating choices, Celia. Thanks for sharing. Memory lane is definitely worth walking down again. Oh, a young Natalie Wood, I so remember her in that role. Talk about a magic persona on screen.

Savanna Kougar said...

P.S. Loved AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN!!!

StephB said...

Celia, was a great list of movies. I enjoyed Officer and a Gentleman because, for me, it's a good coming of age story. I think I saw Titanic once. The love story didn't resonate with me. I don't know why. I loved the history the movie captured.

Being a Russian fanatic, I enjoyed Dr. Zhivago - especially the music.

I'm definately going to have to check out picnic. I never heard of it.

Smiles
Steph

Lilly Gayle said...

I've seen a lot of these, but it's been so long ago I don't remember more than the title on any but An Officer and a Gentleman and Titanic. I love Ever After with Drew Barrymore and Doug Ray Scott. Classic Cinderalla story.

Linda Banche said...

I've seen some of these, but I would classify most as love stories rather than romances. Titanic is a love story--there's no happy ending. I want happy endings!

Julia Barrett said...

Fabulous choices - very unusual. East of Eden is one of my very favorite books but I've never thought of it as a romance. An Officer and A Gentleman is a great pick. I would add Urban Cowboy and McCabe and Mrs. Miller - but it's a tragedy...

Maeve said...

These are some great choices but I'd also love to add "The Quiet Man" with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. I just loved the chemistry between those two.

liana laverentz said...

An amazing list! You'll have to teach me how to post so many pictures like that. Happy Sunday! If it were raining, it would be a good day to watch a movie!

Celia Yeary said...

SAVANNA--I'm happy to know your choices were East of Eden and Dr. Zhivago.Both are viscerally emotional. Zhivago--that was a movie in which I never took my eyes away from the screen for fear of missing something. Music, also, hits me right in the gut--to me, music often makes a move and I'll remember the soundtrack sometimes more than actual scenes. I'd had friends say--the music? I never notice the music in a move. How can they not? I have the soundtrack for Titanic, Dr. Zhivago, Tin Cup, and more--because I loved the music.
And oh yes! Officer and Gentleman--the music at the end--fantastic! Celia

Celia Yeary said...

STEPH--it doesn't surprise me that the history of Titanic resonated with you more than the love story--knowing what an avid history-lover you are. And of course--Dr. Zhivago would interest you a great deal! Celia

Celia Yeary said...

LILLY--I remember the Drew Barrymore movie--didn't see it, just remember the name. I go to about one movie a year now, because of so many things I simply can't connect with. Thanks for your comment! Celia

Celia Yeary said...

LINDA--interesting, but you're right. A romance must have a happy ending. the sad ending in Titanic caught me off guard, and I didn't like that. An Affair to Remember--sad ending. The Last Time I Saw Paris--sad ending. Good point. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

JULIA--I had to stretch to put it in the love story category. The synopses on different sites, alwasy mention the romance--but in passing. The real story was about Cal and his father.
And I forgot about Urban Cowboy--I loved that one, too.Celia

Celia Yeary said...

MAEVE--how interesting that you mentioned The Quiet Man. On any list I Googled to find top romance movies, The Quiet Man was ALWAYS listed at the top. But I never saw it, not being a John Wayne fan--I know, it's so un-American! But he just never appealed to me--except in Red River where he did not portray the ultimate hero. Now, he was good in that. Thanks for visiting--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

LIANA--I'd be glad to teach you how to post so many photos. It's fun!Celia

EA said...

Celia, you've picked some very good ones. I saw "An Officer", "Titanic" and "Dr. Zhivago". All bittersweet in their own way. Thought this was a fun list. :)

Celia Yeary said...

Thank you--some of the others are from the fifties--not many people have seen them, which is a shame. Celia

Caroline Clemmons said...

Celia, great choices. My top 10 would be slightly different, but then so am I. LOL

Zach said...

Good choices,from a person who has seen most of them except Picnic. Hmmmm. Oh oh, shows my son is logged in instead of me. Going to have to do something terrible to him. Oh Well. Patsy