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Most Romantic in Top 100?

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Posted · Report post

Hi all...

I am forming a Christmas list of some top movies on the Top 100 list, sight unseen, and my wife has expressed reservations that I am getting all these black & white, subtitled films that she feels she cannot enjoy with me. (It's not that they're black & white and subtitled--we love Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast"). I said that I will find a couple of classic, under-seen films that are highly romantic, and have a pristine DVD print.

I came up with a short list, (thanks to the IMDB power search engine), but think it may be a good idea to ask if there's any films in the Top 100 that qualify as "romantic" as well. For those who voted for their faves, what do you recommend?

Thanks!

Nick

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Posted · Report post

This is an excellent question. I think the spirituality in romance is often over looked. But I am saying romance and you are saying "romantic" so maybe we should begin by defining "romantic," simply for clarification.

Are we talking a love story be it chivalric, tragic, or cutsie? or Are we talking about adventure? or an Ideal?

Beauty and the Beast would be a romance.

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Posted · Report post

This is an excellent question. I think the spirituality in romance is often over looked. But I am saying romance and you are saying "romantic" so maybe we should begin by defining "romantic," simply for clarification.

Are we talking a love story be it chivalric, tragic, or cutsie? or Are we talking about adventure? or an Ideal?

Beauty and the Beast would be a romance.

I would say that Romance, whether unrequited or requited, whether comedic or tragic, whether adventurous or idealistic--it could encompass any of these things. My concern is that the Romance is the main thrust of the story. Perusing the list, "Shadowlands", "Wings of Desire", "Eternal Sunshine" and "Life is Beautiful" all have romance at the center of their stories (own 'em all). I suppose "Yi Yi", "Stevie", and "In America" also have romantic elements within them (own the first two--liked the third, but not enough to own it). "Breaking the Waves" also has romance in it, but it's story turns so that it becomes the most UN-romantic film of all time.

But I'm curious about the older, foreign titles, the ones I haven't seen. Which of these have romance at the center of its story?

Nick

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Posted · Report post

This is an excellent question. I think the spirituality in romance is often over looked.

Absolutely. We don't have any Frank Borzage films in the Top 100, which is an oversight, but the famed romantic transcendence of his films set a standard in classical Hollywood--you might start out with A Man's Castle, Street Angel, or Strange Cargo. Unfortunately, his work is more available on VHS than DVD at the moment.

Leo McCarey's original Love Affair (1939) would also be a strong contender. In The Hidden God book, Dave Kehr describes it as "one of the twentieth century's greatest works of Christian art" and I would probably concur, at least where movies are concerned.

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Posted · Report post

Leo McCarey's original Love Affair (1939) would also be a strong contender.  In The Hidden God book, Dave Kehr describes it as "one of the twentieth century's greatest works of Christian art" and I would probably concur, at least where movies are concerned.

This is on DVD, and I've had my eye on it for some time. However, being that (1) it was remade into my wife's sentimental fave "An Affair to Remember", and (2) it stars pre-Laura Charles Boyer (whom we found unbearable in "Algiers"), I've wondered if it was worth it to get Love Affair...

Nick

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Posted · Report post

However, being that  (1) it was remade into my wife's sentimental fave "An Affair to Remember" . . .

Oh, that's awesome. Actually, Leo McCarey directed both the original and the remake, and while they're both highly admired, I think "purists" tend to gravitate more toward the original. I actually haven't seen the remake yet.

McCarey's previous The Awful Truth (1937) is supremely lovely. Dave Kehr again:

"Leo McCarey's largely improvised 1937 film is one of the funniest of the screwball comedies, and also one of the most serious at heart. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are a pair of world-weary socialites who decide to drop the pretense of their wide-open marriage, but fate and Ralph Bellamy draw them together again. The awful truth is that they need each other, and McCarey, with his profound faith in monogamy, leads them gradually and hilariously to that crucial discovery. The issues deepen in a subtle, natural way: the film begins as a trifle and ends as something beautiful and affirmative. A classic."

As for Boyer...can't help you there. smile.gif

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Posted · Report post

My quick picks of the top 100 list are really no different than anyone else's.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (my TOP pick, probably of ALL TIME)

Wings of Desire

My Night at Maud's

Shadowlands

In America

It's A Wonderful Life

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The following all have a romantic notion to them, but not "romance":

The Passion of Joan of Arc

Balthazar

Ordet

Dead Man Walking

A Man Escaped

Life is Beautiful

The Straight Story

Les Miserables

The Shawshank Redemption

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Posted · Report post

Asher:

Thanks for the list. Gotta question.

Can you talk a little more about "My Night at Maud's"? From the IMDB, it appears it is the talky Waking Life/My Dinner With Andre type of film, except it's interlayed amidst this one guy's desire to ask a girl out on a date (whom he saw at church). Can such a film, a talky exercise about love, be romantic in itself? (Or have I read it wrong?)

Nick

PS added "Sunrise" to the list. Already own "A Man For All Seasons"--great film!

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Posted · Report post

Asher:

Thanks for the list.  Gotta question.

Can you talk a little more about "My Night at Maud's"?  From the IMDB, it appears it is the talky Waking Life/My Dinner With Andre type of film, except it's interlayed amidst this one guy's desire to ask a girl out on a date (whom he saw at church).  Can such a film, a talky exercise about love, be romantic in itself? (Or have I read it wrong?)

That is an interesting comparison, I don

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Posted · Report post

Here is a tie to the favorite romantic movies thread.

It is from January of 2004 and has Sunrise as my pick. I have proven, to myself, that I have some consistancy in life.

You contribute to the conversation quite a bit Nick.

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Posted · Report post

Here is a tie to the favorite romantic movies thread.

It is from January of 2004 and has Sunrise as my pick. I have proven, to myself, that I have some consistancy in life.

You contribute to the conversation quite a bit Nick.

Well, at heart I'm a softie. wink.gif

Seriously, when I made my list of romantic DVD's I want, "Sunrise" topped the list. But I also included "Trouble in Paradise", "Children of Paradise", "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" and "My Night at Maud's". My wife is going to pick the one that appeals to her most, and that will be it.

I'm actually rather surprised that none of these titles got much mention in the prior thread, but that may be because SDG was writing for a family newspaper, which finds a gentle aversion to black & white (strike one), old (strike two), foreign (strike three YER OUT) films.

Nick

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Posted · Report post

There is some philosophical pontification going on about religion and love and faithfulness but it is all contextual and in parallel to the character

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and if you want something a bit demented and sad, and slightly fatal attraction, there is always Jules and Jim, which tends to show romance void of love, grace, affection, commitment, respect. etc. This may also provide one with the Linklater sort of philosophical nowhereness.

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Agreed on Jules et Jim as well, but I must disagree with your comments on Linklater. I'd say his "randomness" celebrates the contemporary life of the mind in a way that is pretty relaxed, exciting, and relevant (to his characters and his audience), even if it often seems pastiche. You're right, though, that in Maud's, the philosophical discourse relates almost exclusively to the plot's theological and romantic concerns. It's a very interesting comparison to make between them--I'll have to think about it more...

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Posted · Report post

Agreed on Jules et Jim as well, but I must disagree with your comments on Linklater.  I'd say his "randomness" celebrates the contemporary life of the mind in a way that is pretty relaxed, exciting, and relevant (to his characters and his audience), even if it often seems pastiche.

I completely agree with your disagreement! However, I didn't say "randomness". I said, "nowhereness" and "nowheres" might be the correct real word. This statement was made with the thought that the philosopical content doesn't really "go" anywhere and that may be the exact point. It is a vehicle by which Linklater is showing his characters thoughtful struggle with life.

I can't say that I find his "randomness" a celebration of "the contemporary life of the mind" as much as I would say that it is a definite statement of a more contemporary thought-process life of the mind.

As part of his audience, and I do enjoy Linklater, I am not certain how relevant I find it apart from a statement of disconnectedness in relation to his characters. I think Linklater's dialogue is a definite part of the world he is creating and an important part at that. My comment was more in relationship to the comparison of the Rohmer film, which I found to posses a less meandering quallity.

With Jules and Jim I found the disconnectedness and meandering quallity quite important to establishing the characters, their relationships and thier ideas of what a relationship is.

Does this make sense??

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Posted · Report post

I find this string fascinating. I do not think that ROMANCE is where we find love - at least not in its mature form. As I look through the list it is interesting how clearly the "romantic film" is NOT frequently represented as a significant work.

Denny

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For those of you who are registered at IMDb, I've created a public list of the 2005 Top100 here.

You can use this list to sort the Top100 films by genre. So, for example, here, officially, are the "Romance" movies in the 2005 Top100:

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Shadowlands (1985) (TV)

Himmel

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Posted · Report post

The Razor's Edge with Bill Murray just came to mind the other night, I guess I am plagued by these conversations sometimes.

Anyway, it has two interesting romance stories as well as some romantic notions.

It might also be interesting to consider this for the Top 100 spiritually significant films as the lead character is struggling to find meaning and significance in life and looks to religion.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The Village Voice offers some thoughts on the films of Frank Borzage on the occasion of the retrospective currently playing at the Museum of the Moving Image. Let's hope it travels.

"His melodramas posit love as a secular religion, and many of his films imply a spiritual continuity between this world and the next, allowing the dead to speak in voiceover (in the closing scene of The Mortal Storm, 1940) or appear in double exposure (in Three Comrades, 1938); Borzage's universe also permits returns from the dead (7th Heaven, 1927), angelic visitations (Street Angel, 1928), and godlike transformations (Strange Cargo, 1940)."

Edited by Doug C

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