Sunday, February 13, 2011

Monty's Top 5 Favorite Classic Romantic Films

Here's my ode to Valentine's Day and my 5 favorite classic romantic films. Me and Dawn agreed on both doing lists ranking our favorite romantic films. So here I go.
5.) CAMILLE (1936) No doubt a star vehicle for Greta Garbo who works her magic as the doomed Parisian courtesan who loves the young Duval (played by Robert Taylor) but leaves him at the bequest of Duval's father. Later she is stricken with illness and Duval comes back. Tragic tear-jerker that benefits from the great performance of Garbo. Pure excellence.
4.)  FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) While this story takes place during Pearl Harbor, there is plenty of romance to go around. From Deborah Kerr's wife who strays from her loveless marriage into a torrid affair with Burt Lancaster to Mongtomery Clift's relentless pursuit of Donna Reed. A great romantic film that just happens to be set during one of the biggest attacks of American military by enemy forces.

3.) PENNY SERENADE (1941) The story has Cary as dashing news reporter Roger Adams, who meets and falls in love with record store clerk Julie (Irene Dunne). They get married and travel to Japan for Grant's assignment. It's there where an earthquake hits and Julie who is pregnant loses the baby and the ability to conceive again. The couple are able to adopt a little girl later on but tragedy strikes again. Expertly directed by George Stevens who is able to mix light comedy with the heavy drama with ease. Grant and Dunne are superb together and it proves my point that Irene was Cary's best co-star. Look for Edgar Buchanan in a scene stealing role as Uncle Applejack, who helps the couple out from time to time. And for those who say Cary can't really act outside of screwball comedies, just take a look at the scene where he pleads with the judge to not take his adopted child away from him. That 5 minute sequence is one of Cary's or anyone else for that matter, best film performances ever. Penny Serenade is a great movie.

2.) THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946) Returning soldiers fromWorld War Two face all kinds of problems when returning home. Which includes romantic troubles. While the main story focuses on Fredric March adjusting to his life and family which includes wife Myrna Loy and daughter Teresa Wright, there are several more romantic subplots going on. Including Dana Andrews and his unfaithful wife (Virginia Mayo). Teresa Wright falls in love with him and does her best efforts to be with him. And the most touching plot of this movie has to be real life veteran Harold J. Russell who lost both his hands during the war, and his re-connection with his girlfriend (Cathy O'Donnell). Excellent film-making.
1.) WATERLOO BRIDGE (1940) Heart-breaking movie with Vivien Leigh's best performance ever. Yes even better than Gone With The Wind. In my opinion that is. Her tragic romance with a British officer stationed in England before the start of World War Two is one of the most unbelievably romantic and touching and tragic films I've seen. I personally rank it this high and deserves to be in same group of other classic films such as Dark Victory and Now Voyager.

So those are my top 5 favorite romantic films. Would love to hear what everyone else favorites are.


  1. All good ones. I would have to add, "Love In The Afternoon." When she is chasing after him on that train and he pulls her up into the train, I get goosebumps every time!

  2. Oh, absolutely on From Here to Eternity. Seriously, how could Deborah Kerr not fall for the strapping Burt Lancaster?

  3. Monty, thank you for posting your wonderful list of favorite Valentines Day favorite films.

    I have seen them all and they are all wonderful. If I were to pick just one from your list, I think it would be... CAMILLE (1936).

    I will post my list tomorrow. :)


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