Valentine’s Day the perfect time to revisit some classic films
When it comes to Valentine’s Day movies, you simply can’t beat these classics
After the candlelit dinner is over and the chocolates are unwrapped, it’s time to throw on a classic movie for an extra Valentine’s Day treat.
For decades, lovestruck stories have stayed in the minds of viewers long after the end credits roll. From the first movie to win the five big Oscars (the “big sweep”) to some more recent remakes of legendary love stories, we highlight some to warm your heart.
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert star and Frank Capra directed this screwball rom-com. Reporter Peter Warne (Gable) meets rich girl Ellie Andrews (Colbert) as she’s running away from her fiancé. They travel together, developing feelings but maintaining decorum along the way. Sales of undershirts, a popular men’s undergarment at the time, plummeted after Gable removed his dress shirt to reveal a bare chest. This flick swept the seventh Academy Awards with Oscars for best picture, director, actor, actress and adapted screenplay.
HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940)
Non-stop whip-smart dialogue fills this story of newsman Walter Burns (Cary Grant) and his ex-wife/reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell). When Burns learns of Johnson’s plans to remarry, he sets in motion a scheme to thwart the wedding by tempting her with the story of an escaped death row inmate.
A past love affair between Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) smoulders in the midst of the Second World War. As Lund’s new husband, Czech resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), asks Blaine for the papers he and Lund need to flee the Nazis for the U.S., Blaine has his own ideas. This movie has the classic line, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953)
Audrey Hepburn gets her first starring role as Princess Ann, who ditches her royal duties for an incognito outing in Rome. Reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) stumbles upon her and soon realizes he’s sitting on Europe’s biggest story. Hepburn’s efforts won her the Oscar for best actress.
THE APARTMENT (1960)
C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) climbs the corporate ladder by letting his bosses use his apartment for illicit trysts. The career boost wracks his conscience and complicates his plans to woo elevator operator Fran Kubelik (Shirley Maclaine), who’s caught up in the sexcapades. The doctor next door saves the day.
BE MY VALENTINE, CHARLIE BROWN (1975)
Linus has a crush on his teacher, Miss Othmar, and buys her a giant heart-shaped box of chocolates. Sally thinks the gift is for her and makes him a card in return. Lucy goes to a puppet show hosted by Charlie Brown. Snoopy runs the show’s concession stand and joins in the production. Pretty much every character gets an individual Valentine’s Day story in this endearing and timeless 30-minute short.
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY ... (1989)
Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) share a ride to New York City after graduating from the University of Chicago. Harry doesn’t think men and women can be friends because “the sex part always gets in the way.” There is a loud fake orgasm in a deli — but can they stay apart forever?
SAY ANYTHING ... (1989)
Man-without-a-plan Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) falls for perfect student Diane Court (Ione Skye) during their graduation ceremony. Over the summer, the two go to parties and have dinner with the parents and teach each other valuable life skills like how to drive stick. If Cusack appeared outside of your window holding a boom box, could you say no?
FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL (1994)
Charles (Hugh Grant) keeps bumping into Carrie (Andie Macdowell) at weddings and falls for her. But their fleeting romance runs askew amid the swirl of ceremonies for their circle of friends. And they must contend with their own nuptials ... but to other people. The movie, nominated for best picture and best original screenplay, propelled Grant to international fame.
ROMEO + JULIET (1996)
Director Baz Luhrmann’s modernized reboot of one of most famous love stories ever told features all the Shakespearean dialogue you can handle, but with more shooting. Young Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes star as the title characters in this tale of love, gangs, family and suicide.
A kiss is still a kiss: Love is found and lost in the Academy Award-winning 1942 wartime classic Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart, left, and Ingrid Bergman.