All Women's Talk

Top 25 Classic Romantic Movies ...

By Katie

When you think of romances, don't those same classic movies keep popping into your head? I think we've all got a list of great, timeless love stories that we watch over and over. Here are my favorite 25 classic romantic films!

1 Casablanca

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid
How could this one not top my list? Casablanca is the ultimate classic romantic movie. If you only watch one movie off my list, please make it this one. It is the exotic story of the love triangle between Rick (Bogart), Victor (Henreid), and Ilsa (Bergman). Everything about this movie, from the cast to the setting to the dramatic ending, is timeless.
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

2 Gone with the Wind

Starring: Clark Gable and Vivienne Leigh
This is my all-time favorite movie! I could watch GWTW over and over and over again. I love Scarlett's (Leigh) fiery personality and Rhett's (Butler) southern charm. This epic saga is set in the pre-Civil War South, and it follows Rhett and Scarlett through the war and Reconstruction. A beautiful tale of lovers fated never to be truly happy, this one is just too good too miss!
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

3 Giant

Starring: Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson
Okay, we all know that Rock Hudson wasn't exactly the ladies' man that Hollywood advertised him to be back in the day, but he's still a great looking guy in my opinion, and he makes a great leading man in Giant. Elizabeth Taylor is one of my favorite actresses of all time, and she's great in this film. This movie (over 200 minutes long!) is too much to summarize in one sentence, but it follows several generations of a ranching family, and it delivers some major romance and drama.
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

4 Notorious

Starring: Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, and Claude Rains
I love this movie because it is not only a classic romance, but also an exciting spy thriller with a surprising twist. Bergman stars as an innocent young woman working with secret agent Grant to infiltrate a Brazilian spy ring. This one's got it all - betrayal, romance, danger. The tension between Grant and Bergman is just great as the plot builds.
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

5 The Philadelphia Story

Starring: Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant
This is a cute little romance starring two of my favorite classic actors, Hepburn and Grant. Katharine Hepburn stars as Tracy Lord, a society girl who is torn between her fiancee and a dashing reporter (Grant). To me, this is such an example of glamorous old-time Hollywood!
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

6 The Quiet Man

Starring: John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara
I love Ireland, and the country is almost another character in this movie... the cinematography is breathtaking! But of course, love is the real reason to watch this story, and there's a great romance here, too. Wayne is a boxer who returns to his native Ireland, and O'Hara (one of my favorite actresses from this era) is a saucy little redhead that he wants to marry. These two are so great together that I almost imagine them married in real life!
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

7 The Shop around the Corner

Starring: James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan
I love this precious movie, and if you liked You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, you will love this one too! This movie is about two lonely coworkers who don't realize that they're actually each other's beloved penpal. Very sweet movie!
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

8 Gilda

Starring: Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford
Rita Hayworth is amazing in this movie! Her little striptease while singing "Put the Blame on Mame" is one of the classic scenes in Gilda. The plot of this one is complicated, with Hayworth's husband being hired to work in a casino owned by her former lover. Don't worry about all the details - I watch this one for Hayworth's sultry performance as a vulnerable yet tough dame.
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

9 Ball of Fire

Starring: Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck
This movie is exciting and romantic, two of my favorite categories all rolled into one! Cooper, a nerdy professor, hires showgirl Stanwyck to help him write an article about Jazz Age slang. When he falls for her, there's her jealous ganster boyfriend to contend with. I think this movie has such a great storyline.
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

10 An Affair to Remember

Starring: Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr
Don't judge this movie by the remake with Annette Benning and Warren Beatty... I hated that one. Instead, rent this version of An Affair to Remember (it's actually a remake, too). Kerr and Grant star as strangers who meet on a cruise and fall in love, but both are involved with other people. They agree to split up, see if the feelings remain, and meet in six months atop the Empire State Building if they still feel they want to be together. Bring your tissues - I always cry when I watch this one!
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

11 Sabrina

Starring: Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, and Humphrey Bogart
Sabrina is one of my all-time favorite romances! Audrey Hepburn stars as a chauffeur's daughter who falls in the love with the younger son of the family employing her father. She lures the son (Holden) out of a profitable arranged marriage, prompting the older brother (Bogart) to influence his brother to stay away from Sabrina. Of course, who can stay away from her? No one, and Bogart falls in love withe. Skip the remake (starring Harrison Ford), and watch the original - its a classic romantic tear-jerker.
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

12 Some like It Hot

Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis
This cute little romance is about two ladies' men musicians (Lemmon and Curtis) who are on the run after witnessing a violent crime. They dress in drag to escape with their lives, and meet up with Sugar Kane (Monroe). Curtis falls in love with Monroe, and the results are both funny and romantically sweet.
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

13 The Lady Eve

Starring: Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda
I think Barbara Stanwyck is such a great actress of this generation... pretty, funny, and smart. She plays Lady Eve in this movie, a gold-digging con artist who sets her sights on the hapless Henry Fonda. The romantic tension between those two is classic movie fun, and this screwball romantic comedy is great for laughs and for love!
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

14 Roman Holiday

Starring: Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck
To me, Audrey Hepburn is just too sweet, and I love any movie she makes. I'd watch anything she's in! This movie is one of those classic romances that I always think of when someone asks me about timeless love stories. I didn't put it higher on the list because I'm not a huge Gregory Peck fan ... I think Cary Grant would've been a perfect leading man for this role. But, this is still a great romance about a European princess who sneaks off and falls in love with a tough-guy reporter.
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

15 Meet John Doe

Starring: Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck
I know a lot of people don't like Gary Cooper, but I think he's got such great chemistry with Barbara Stanwyck, and never more so than in Meet John Doe. This movie is about an average guy (cooper) who gets swept up in a corrupt political campaign. Stanwyck is the reporter who falls for him and winds up saving him in the end.
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

16 His Girl Friday

Starring: Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell
This is a madcap comedy all wrapped up in a romantic love story, so I love it because it is the best of both worlds... funny and charming! Grant plays a newspaper man whose star reporter (Russell) just happens to be his ex-wife. When she wants to leave his paper, he assigns her one tough last interview with a convicted killer. Jail breaks, shootings, and a corrupt administration add lots of excitement to this love story. This is one classic that I watch over and over again!
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

17 Bringing up Baby

Starring: Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant
This is a movie that surprised me. I didn't think I'd enjoy this romantic comedy nearly as much as I did. Grant plays a very straight-laced paleontologist, and Hepburn is a flirty heiress whose dog steals Grant's dinosaur bone. This is a love-hate story, with lots of juicy conflict and flirtation between the two main characters. I was so surprised by Hepburn's ability to play this role and play it well!
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

18 My Fair Lady

Starring: Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison
My Fair Lady is a classic Hollywood romance, and if you're like me, you grew up knowing and loving this story! Hepburn plays Eliza Doolittle in this rags to riches story. She's a street girl who's taken in by the charming Henry Higgins (Harrison), who uses Eliza for his own little social experiment. The whole thing doesn't turn out quite as Henry planned! I love all the songs in this one, too.
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

19 A Matter of Life and Death

Starring: David Niven and Kim Hunter
This is a romance with life and death consequences! I watched this one with my husband a few years ago, and it got a lot of interesting conversations started. Nivens stars as a downed pilot who should've died. He has to justify his life before a heavenly panel to convince them that he deserves to live and stay with his love, played by Hunter.
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

20 The Palm Beach Story

Starring: Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert
This is a movie that a lot of my friends haven't watched, but I caught it on a classic movie channel a few years ago, and I just fell in love with it. Set in the years following the Great Depression, McCrea and Colbert play a down-on-their-luck couple who ultimately decide to divorce. Both fly off to Palm Beach, where they meet rich suitors. Ultimately, their love brings them back together, but the journey along the way is both romantic and witty!
Where to Get It: Amazon.com

21 Breakfast at Tiffany's

Starring: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard and Patricia Neal

This is a movie that is an absolute classic, not only does it have the beautiful Audrey Hepburn in it, but the entire movie is what I would imagine she is like. She is a young New York socialite that becomes interested in a neighbor that moves into her apartment building. The ultimate love story!

Where to Get It: amazon.com

22 Sleepless in Seattle

Starring: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

This is one of those movies that will warm your heart, mind and soul. It's all about a recently-widowed man and his son. His son, who wants to make his dad feel better calls into a radio talk show in an attempt to find a partner for his father. What he finds is so, so much more!

Where to Get It: amazon.com

23 Pride & Prejudice

Starring: Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen
No classic romantic movie list would be complete without this one. The spirited Elizabeth, the amazing Mr. Darcy and just the way the entire story unfolds is all so beautiful. If you haven't seen this classic love story, it's time!

Where to Get It: amazon.com

24 When Harry Met Sally

Starring: Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan
If you are looking for a love story that is all about romance, all about good friends and all about sex, this is it! This is a story that unfolds right before you! Basically, there are two friends that have known each other for quite a while, however, they fear that sex will ruin their friendship -- does it? See it to find out!

Where to Get It: amazon.com

25 Ghost

Starring: Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore
Ah, of course, the classic Ghost movie. This movie is absolutely heartbreaking and beautiful -- all at the same time. It is all about a man that loves his girl so much, he remains on earth, as a ghost. It's a must see romantic classic!

Where to Get It: amazon.com

Those movies are my favorite love stories on film of all time! Sometimes, you just can't beat romance in black and white. Do you have a classic romantic movie that I've not seen? If you do, I'd love to hear your review of it!

This post was written in collaboration with editor Heather Jensen.

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