FIFTY SHADES OF LOVE…IN BLACK & WHITE and COLOR

For Valentine’s Day the new movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” is being released. I know I know:

*    No one will be caught dead seeing this movie.
*    Critics will laugh, hate and shred this film apart.
*    The movie will be a huge box office success.

Since we’re classic film fans here, let me give me you MY choice of romantic films, in no particular order. IF I’m missing any of your favorites, please let me know a romantic shade of love you enjoy. So now, let my gushing begin:

FIFTY SHADES OF LOVE IN…BLACK  &  WHITE and COLOR:

 


VERTIGO
1. “VERTIGO”   James Stewart / Kim Novak

A detective falls in love with an illusion. It’s Kim Novak, so that’s to be expected. She’s perfectly other worldly enough to take a man over the edge.

 

CAMILLE2. “CAMILLE”   Greta Garbo / Robert Taylor

A courtesan with tuberculosis finally finds love with
an adoring younger man. Her time was so short…was her sacrifice misguided?

Robert Taylor matches the great Garbo step-for-heart breaking-step. But it is all Garbo in her greatest per-formance.

 

 

 

PORTRAIT OF JENNIE3. “THE PORTRAIT of JENNIE”   Jennifer Jones / Joseph Cotten

It’s not unusual for an artist to be in love with his muse, whether she is real or imaginary. Jennifer Jones is a vision. And so is Miss Ethel Barrymore. ( Ya thought I didn’t see you, ey Ethel? )

 

 

LOVE AFFAIR4. “LOVE AFFAIR”   Charles Boyer / Irene Dunne

A shipboard romance blossoms. Boyer is French, so that puts him miles ahead of ANYone. Lucky gal that Irene. But she’s had such a grand career with some good leading men. She’s a dream of an actress.

 

 

 

 

 

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER5. “AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER”  Cary Grant / Ingrid Bergman

Who cares if it’s a re-make. It’s Cary & Deborah having a shipboard romance. You don’t want to see that? < Sigh! >

 

ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS6. “ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS”  Jane Wyman / Rock Hudson

Love gives it the good ol’ college try as it hurdles Society’s restrictions and prejudices about age and class. Go for it, you two!

 

 

RANDOM HARVEST7. “RANDOM HARVEST”   Ronald Colman / Greer Garson

If you have no memory of who you are, how will you know who you love? This can be tricky, but oh so romantic. < “Smithy?” > They…are…perfect. BTW, seems like LOVE has a very lovely long memory.

 

 

LETTER- UNKNOWN WOMAN 8. “THE CONSTANT NYMPH”  Joan Fontaine / Charles Boyer

It’s best to fall in love with someone who speaks your same language, even if you have to wait for her to grow up. Tearjerking heartbreaker. Oh yeah, I was a sobbing wreck by this film’s end!

 

 

 LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN MAN9. “LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN” Joan Fontaine / Louis Jourdan

Another Frenchman, Joanie? Listen girls, let this film be a lesson to you…the next time you give a guy a kiss to build a dream on, make sure he knows you exist. No sense being in a relationship all by your self. No fun.  But maybe risk it for Louis Jourdan or Alain Delon, Jean Gabin, Yves Montand, or Jean-Paul Belmondo or Jeanne Moreau or…

 

HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT10. “HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT”   Charles Boyer / Jean Arthur

Boyer gets in the most deliciously romantic scrapes. This time he’s in love with Jean Arthur, whose husband is cray cray enough to destroy an ocean liner they’re traveling on. But that won’t stop Boyer from pursuing the woman he loves. 

 

 

DODSWORTH11. “DODSWORTH”  Walter Huston / Mary Astor

When you get another chance at love, you must go for it with all your heart and alimony. What a sweet mature classic. I love them together. 

 

 

PETER IBBETSON12. “PETER IBBETSON” –  Ann Harding / Gary Cooper

Neither time, nor space nor distance can keep these lovers apart. I love when Love is strong like Love.

 

 

 A FAREWELL TO ARMS13. “A FAREWELL TO ARMS” – Helen Hayes / Gary Cooper

Swooningly romantic. You give Gary Cooper a good leading lady and he’s up to the task. He’s got that with Helen Hayes. Loving during a war is intense. They will not be kept apart. Did I mention romantic? They are sooooo good together.

 

A PLACE IN THE SUN14. “A PLACE IN THE SUN”  Montgomery Clift / Elizabeth Taylor

If only Love was as perfect as this couple’s looks. He’s got the perfect girl, with a perfect life just his for the asking now that he’s proven himself with the hoi polloi. There’s just one thing he’s got to do…

Tip a canoe.

George Stevens directs a perfect motion picture.

My eyes have never been so in love and so happy as they were just gazing at these two.

 

 

ALGIERS15. “ALGIERS”  Hedy Lamarr / Charles Boyer

Love…in the Casbah. And only in zee Casbah. Trapped in the Casbah, never to leave. How can love be so cruel to love. Still say it’s better than not ever having loved at all? Hmmm….

 

 

 

 

 

PENNY SERENADE16. “PENNY SERENADE”   Cary Grant / Irene Dunne

What do you do when love is gone? You get it back, dammmmit! Play those 78rpms and spin
your way back to love. Cary & Irene: one of the  perfect screen couples of classic film. 

 

 

WUTHERING HEIGHTS17. “WUTHERING HEIGHTS”  Laurence Olivier / Merle Oberon

Brontë’s novel comes to life. A stubborn, willfull girl throws away happiness, by not following her heart and fully loving her childhood sweetheart. What a waste.

( Is Olivier dangerously drop-dead gorgeous or what?!!! )

 

 

 

ANNA KARENINA18. “ANNA KARENINA”  Greta Garbo / Fredric March

The heartache. The torture. The sweet suffering. Love rarely worked out for Garbo in the movies. Her Anna faces tragedy in love. Why do you lead with your heart, dear girl? Why.

If Love loved Garbo as much as Garbo loved love in her movies…what a sadder world classics might be. Her torture is a thing to behold.

 

 

NOW VOYAGER19. “NOW, VOYAGER” –  Bette Davis / Paul Henreid

A repressed woman blossoms into her own. One of the great romantic movies of the 40’s. ( I shall thankyouverymuch to leave 21st century sensibili-ties out of this.  Now kiss me, you fool. And pass me a cigarette! )

 

 

MIRACLE in the RAIN20.  “MIRACLE IN THE RAIN”    Jane Wyman / Van Johnson

Sweet sweet charming film. I believe. I do.

 

 

 

HIGH BARBAREE - I21. “HIGH BARBAREE”  Van Johnson / June Allyson

I’m telling you, Love will NOT be denied. Young lovers, parted by war…willed back to reuniting. I don’t care what you see, it’s passionate between them. This makes love a palpable tangible thing. See this film.

 

 

NIGHT SONG22. “NIGHT SONG”  Dana Andrews / Merle Oberon

Sometimes, we have to trick you guys. Merle pretends she’s something she’s not in order to get Dana. It’s love at first sight. Oh wait…the sight thing. It winds up the way you KNOW it will,  but doesn’t get there the way you THINK it does.

And there’s Miss Barrymore again, paired up with Hoagey Carmichael. They’re wonderful together no matter how unlikely you think that is. This is a good one.

 

 

MY FOOLISH HEART23. “MY FOOLISH HEART”  Dana Andrews / Susan Hayward

It’s the war. He’s a soldier who could die tomor-row. And you’re the girl…what a combination. Susan’s nice in this one…a girl in love. ‘Cuz it’s wartime and he’s a soldier who… 

 

WATERLOO BRIDGE24. “WATERLOO BRIDGE”  Vivien Leigh / Robert Taylor

A ballerina and a soldier meet during a London air raid. How’s that for “meet-cute”? When Time is of the essence and you have to choose between a career or love, everything is magnified. Dancing in a candlelit restaurant to Auld Lang Syne. It doesn’t get any more romantic than that.

 

 

 

IN A LONELY PLACE - ( II )25. “IN A LONELY PLACE” –  Humphrey Bogart / Gloria Grahame

…I lived a short while while she loved me.

Love…murder…Hollywood. Good film. Bogie and Grahame are excellent and believable. When the police clearing you is STILL not a happy ending… you just KNOW Love takes a beating! See this.

 

ENCHANTED COTTAGE26. “ENCHANTED COTTAGE”    Robert Young / Dorothy McGuire

Beauty is the in the eye of the beholder. ( Everyone else can jump in the lake! ) A beautiful love story.

 

 

 

REMEMBER THE NIGHT - ( III )27. “REMEMBER THE NIGHT” –  Barbara Stanwyck / Fred Mac Murray

When a D.A. falls in his love with his felonous client, all bets are off in this lovely charming love story. You don’t think Stanwyck can be soft? Ahhh, then you just don’t know her career. Lovely film.

 

 

GARDEN OF ALLAH28. “THE GARDEN OF ALLAH”  Dietrich / Charles Boyer

Could this be the Seinfeld of movies? A movie about nothing? Really, its plot can’t pass the tissue paper test. Doesn’t mean this isn’t good. Doesn’t mean this isn’t about love. A woman falls in love with a man who has run away from a monastery. Of all the bloody bad luck. Dietrich and Boyer are deeee-vine. < Sigh! > What’d I tell you about Boyer?

 

GILDA29. “GILDA”  Rita Hayworth / Glenn Ford

What is this thing…called Love? Rita IS the Love Goddess in this S & M classic of classics. Glenn, you should have just thrown yourself at her feet.

 

 

 

LOVE LETTERS30. “LOVE LETTERS”   Jennifer Jones / Joseph Cotten 

I LOVE this Cyrano de Bergerac tale with a twist of murder. Jennifer Jones positively sells it. Cotten plays a soldier who writes love letters to Jones for his buddy. But Cotten falls for Jennifer through these letters. He has a chance to meet her and finds he IS in love with her and she is with him. She has no memory of her past, but if she regains it, their love could be destroyed. You see how that’d be a problem, right? These two are just lovely together.

( KISS ) QUIET MAN


31. THE QUIET MAN   John Wayne / Maureen O’HARA

Ultimately everyone must be loved the way they feel they need to be loved.

 

 

 

I’m a couple of shades shy of love. If you have any pre-1970 suggestions, please let me know. I’ll include them with your brief comments on love. Thanks! And Happy Valentine’s Day.

xoxoxo

I have a couple of suggestions from folks that I’m adding here. I use the word ROMANCE in a very broad sense. Real or imagined, sick and twisted, tragic or happy ending, it’s all about love and pain and the whole damned thing:

 

32.  THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES 

BEST YEARS

“One film I would have included that’s gener-ally not thought of as a love story is ‘THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES’ (1946). It’s actually three love stories in one. It’s about three returning veterans readjusting to civilian life, but each of their stories is a love story when you think about it.” – Brian of Brian Camp’s Film and Anime Blog.

33.  I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING Wendy Hiller / Roger Livesey

WHERE I'M GOING... I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING

 

 

 

 

 

“A favourite of mine is ‘I Know Where I’m Going!’.  “Love arrives most inconveniently and with the greatest punchline of all time.” – Patricia of Caftan Woman. 

 

34.  MARTY Ernest Borgnine / Betsy Blair      35. HOLIDAY   Katharine Hepburn

MARTY

HOLIDAY

“In both cases we have people, Marty and Linda, who don’t think they’ll ever have love in their lives. Marty, a famously ugly little man, resigning himself to a life with his mother, and Linda, trapped in her father’s palace, prepared to content herself as a permanent third wheel in her sister’s life. Then both are saved by literally taking a chance on love.” – Debra.

( CineMaven’s Note: Beautifully put Debra! ) 
_________________________
 
LIFE & DEATH36.  A MATTER OF LIFE and DEATH David Niven / Kim Hunter
 
“It’s about a true romance, but even more…it’s about love. And not just between Niven and Hunter.”  –   Anonymous.

 

 

37.  GUN CRAZY –  John Dall / Peggy Cummins

GUN CRAZY ( I )  GUN CRAZY ( II )

“What’s more romantic than lovers on the run? Okay, THEY LIVE BY NIGHT has more of a typical romantic narrative, but guns and ammo really do go – and belong – together. If not in this life ( see A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH ), then the hereafter.”  –  Anonymous.

( CineMaven’s Note: I got a chance to meet  and get an autograph from Peggy Cummins at TCM’s Film Festival in 2013. Thrilling to meet this elegant mature woman. )

______________________________

“I always had a crush on Geraldine. What a face.” –  Rob.

GERALDINE FITZGERALD ( I )

Films I enjoyed her in were “Dark Victory” ( she was a loving best friend ) “Till We Meet Again” “The Gay Sisters” “Three Strangers” “Nobody Lives Forever” and “The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry” ( she was a devilish controlling sister ).  I can see why you’d have a crush on Geraldine Fitzgerald, Rob. She was a beautiful woman…and a good actress.

GERALDINE ( II ) GERALDINE ( IV ) GERALDINE ( III )GERALDINE ( V )

 

38.  WILD RIVER   Montgomery Clift / Lee Remick

WiLD RIVER ( II ) WILD RIVER ( I )

“One of my favorite love stories is not really romantic at all, but intensely moving. That’s ‘Wild River’. They both feel the love, but Clift needs a little push from Remick. Who could resist that appeal?” – Robert Regan.

______________________________

39. GONE WITH THE WIND   Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh

( GWTW ) THE CAST

“It seems we’ve been at cross-purposes, doesn’t it? But it’s no use now.” – Rhett Butler.

GWTW ( I ) GWTW ( II ) GWTW ( III )

“’GONE WITH THE WIND’ (1939) is an epic, twisted love story. Scarlett loves the one guy who can’t–and won’t!–love her back and remains devoted to him through thick and thin, while being married to three guys who CAN love her (well, two of them at least) but she refuses to love THEM back.” –  Brian of Brian Camp’s Film and Anime Blog.

 

( H O M E )
___________________________________________________________________________

 

22 thoughts on “FIFTY SHADES OF LOVE…IN BLACK & WHITE and COLOR

  1. Lots of wonderful movies here, Theresa.

    But, I would not call Vertigo or Letter From an Unknown Woman romantic. Although each has a distinctly romantic style, they are both about the tragedy of romantic obsession. Is it really love is you’re alone?

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      • Love stories are not necessarily romantic, Theresa, but you have chosen two of the most romantic love stories ever filmed, History Is Made at Night and A Farewell to Arms. Of course, they were both made by the one and only true Romantic among the great Hollywood directors, Frank Borzage. I’d like you to see some of the late silents he did with Charlie and Janet, especially Lucky Star.

        Sometimes a love story can be very romantic even though it does not “work out”. One that I keep going back to over and over is The Age of Innocence. Yes, Scorsese can be intensely romantic. Just watch Day Lewis remove Pfeiffer’s glove! This is one pf the few great movies based on a great novel.

        Another movie about obsessive love that soars in its romantic and melodramatic style is the recent remake of The Deep Blue Sea with Rachel Weisz. A performance that puts her alongside the great women of the black and white era.

        One of my favorite love stories is not really romantic at all, but intensely moving. That’s Wild River. They both feel the love, but Clift needs a little push from Remick. Who could resist that appeal?

        You know me, Theresa. I can’t narrow them down to one. There are so many I love, each for its own reasons. Sean Connery had beautiful chemistry with practically every woman he worked with, but I particularly like The Russia House where he and Pfeiffer get to know each other and become friends. They fall in love because they like each other, and not just because of their billing.

        Some others that I have to mention are Middle of the Night, Before Sunset, The Last of the Mohicans, Two For the Road, Robin and Marian, and The Go-Between. I could go on, but it’s getting late, and there may be more snow shoveling in the morning. Vive l’amour, my friend.

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      • Ahhhh – I got your boy Borzage in there? Splendid! You’ve spoken so well of him that I’ve made some baby stepped efforts to look into Frank Borzage. I’ve seen his films before I knew he who he was and since we’ve spoken. So far I’ve seen: “Man’s Castle” ( <— a favorite of another friend of mine ) “Living On Velvet” “Desire” “Green Light” “The Shining Hour” “Strange Cargo” “The Mortal Storm” “Flight Command” “Smilin’ Through” and “Moonrise.” ( This film haunted me for days and left me unsettled. I must check it out again. )

        I’ll try to check out his work with that great 20’s team: Gaynor and Farrell
        ____

        “The Age of Innocence.” I enjoyed Scorsese’s film and Day-Lewis was a lesson in “faint heart never won fair lady.” And Scorsese did seem to have down pat the pace and sumptuousness of an earlier time. Kudoes to Marty.
        ____

        “Wild River” – I must just break down, push everything to the side and sit with this film. Funny how I put a clip from it into a film project I’d done years ago ( “The Right Girl” ) with no real rhyme or reason other than to show Lee Remick. So you’re quite right about that appeal. Here’s something from Slant Magazine on “Wild River” by Aaron Cutler ( http://www.slantmagazine.com/house/article/thats-montgomery-clift-honey-wild-river )
        ____

        You’ve listed some very good films, and since I live in an apartment building with a very good Super who does the shoveling, I have no excuse NOT to hunker down with your suggestions. And since you know you can count me a fan of Rachel Weisz, I’m shocked and chagrined I missed: “The Deep Blue Sea.” High praise from you to say Weisz gives “a performance that puts her alongside the great women of the black and white era.” That’s enough to make me see if Amazon has it right now.

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  2. Excellent choices! THANK YOU for including Miracle In The Rain. I discovered it not very many years ago and to me it is a small miracle. May I add Marty to this list? And Holiday? Two more stories about love in NYC.

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    • Glad you liked the list Debbie. And “Miracle…” IS a lovely tearjerker, isn’t it? Tell me, why would you add “Marty” and “Holiday” to the list? Give me a reason for both, and I’ll put ’em on.

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      • In both cases we have people, Marty and Linda, who don’t think they’ll ever have love in their lives. Marty, a famously ugly little man, resigning himself to a life with his mother, and Linda, trapped in her father’s palace, prepared to content herself as a permanent third wheel in her sister’s life. Then both are saved by literally taking a chance on love.

        Like

  3. Wow, 31 films and only 5 in color. I like it. Glad you included PORTRAIT OF JENNIE in there, and LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN, starring the late, great Louis Jourdan who died on Saturday, Valentine’s Day. I like that so many of these films are not traditional love stories; some are very dark indeed. One film I would have included that’s generally not thought of as a love story is THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946). It’s actually three love stories in one. It’s about three returning veterans readjusting to civilian life, but each of their stories is a love story when you think about it.

    Like

    • I know…only five in color. Yikes! I’m glad you liked the list; my tastes really do run dark. I like your suggestion of “Best Years…” I’ll add it and give your reason. Thanx for reading, Brian.

      Like

    • Hey there Caftan. I’ve never seen the movie but it’s been recommended to me. I’m going to add your favorite to my list with your comment. Hope that’ll be okay. Thanx for the comment.

      Like

  4. Ms. Maven – The two additions I’d suggest are:

    A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH – It’s about a true romance, but even more…it’s about love. And not just between Niven and Hunter.

    GUN CRAZY – What’s more romantic than lovers on the run? Okay, THEY LIVE BY NIGHT has more of a typical romantic narrative, but guns and ammo really do go – and belong – together. If not in this life (see A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH), then the hereafter.

    Like

    • Thank you for your suggestions, Anonymous. I’ll add these to my list. ( Sorry I’m calling you Anonymous. I don’t know your name. ) “Gun Crazy” ( Mad Dog & Englishwomen ) is a wild film and Annie Laurie is a mad dog. Her love is twisted. I love her. And yes, “…Life & Death.” Whew! Powell and Pressburger simply enchant me. Thanks again. I like your choices.

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  5. It’s Rob. Nice bunch. I won’t bombard you with “You left outs” In the 1939 Wuthering Heights, I kept wishing that Heathcliff would give Geraldine Fitzgerald a shot. (I know. Impossible) She adores him and he ignores her Irish beauty! I always had a crush on Geraldine. What a face.
    Well-written, T., as always.

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    • HIYA ROB! Thanx for coming over. No worries on the “left outs.” I was hoping that might encourage folks into naming films they found romantic. What’s one or two films you would add to the list and why?
      __

      Geraldine Fitzgerald? She was a gorgeous beauty. Funny how Heathcliff didn’t give her a shot. The heart wants what the heart wants and I guess Cathy had imprinted herself on Heathcliff. And the lack of love for Fitzgerald’s character made her bitter. Films I enjoyed her in were “Dark Victory” “Till We Meet Again” “The Gay Sisters” “Three Strangers” “Nobody Lives Forever” and “The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry.” I can see why you’d have a crush on Geraldine Fitzgerald, Rob. She was a beautiful woman…and a good actress.

      Like

  6. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) is an epic, twisted love story. Scarlett loves the one guy who can’t–and won’t!–love her back and remains devoted to him through thick and thin, while being married to three guys who CAN love her (well, two of them at least) but she refuses to love THEM back.

    Like

    • The Big Kahuna – “Gone With the Wind.” Yes Brian. How wild was that. Rhett—-> Scarlett—-> Ashley—-> Melanie. And all this wrapped by the Civil War. Funny, even with big big seismic events, it’s all about the people. And this epic is testimony to that. Sometimes I like watching movies where our hero or heroine is wrong-headed. We can learn lessons watching the mighty…and beautiful, fall. Good choice “GWTW.” Thanx!

      Like

    • Hi there Rob. People seem to like what I’ve written. All I can do is get the word out there. But there’s stiff competition in the classic film blogging world. Sooooo many good writers. Well,in any event, this keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. Take care. Maybe I’ll see you at the Viva Latino Film Festival International.

      Like

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