The 50 most romantic movies of all time

Prepare to swoon at our loveliest of lists.

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  • Romantic movies: WALL-E (2008)

  • Romantic movies: Videodrome (1983)

  • Romantic movies: Bringing Up Baby (1938)

  • Romantic movies: The Clock (1945)

  • Romantic movies: Head-On (2004)

  • Romantic movies: Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

  • Romantic movies: The Apartment (1960)

  • Romantic movies: The General (1926)

  • Romantic movies: Bull Durham (1988)

  • Romantic movies: Badlands (1973)

Romantic movies: WALL-E (2008)

40
WALL-E (2008)

WALL-E (2008)

We went to the theater expecting Pixar's usual genius with animation. But who knew we'd be romantically wrecked by a pair of robots? Set in a postapocalyptic wasteland eons after the abandonment of our planet, WALL-E reminds viewers of the purest of needs: companionship, protection and trust.—Joshua Rothkopf

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39
VIDEODROME (1983)

Videodrome (1983)

Romance probably isn't the first word that leaps to mind when thinking about David Cronenberg. Yet his most extreme movie is built upon the steamily amorous relationship between TV programmer Max Renn (James Woods) and his boob-tube-residing lover, Nicki Brand (Deborah Harry). Their face-to-screen kiss belongs in the pantheon of lip-locks.—Keith Uhlich

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38
BRINGING UP BABY (1938)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Here's your recipe for a screwy romance: Mix one uptight egghead and one daffy rich dame. (It helps immensely if they're Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.) Add in a rare dinosaur bone, a pet leopard, some pratfalls and witty dialogue set to warp speed. Then sit back and see how two stars make you believe they fall for each other.—David Fear

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37
THE CLOCK (1945)

The Clock (1945)

She made a great foil for Mickey Rooney and James Mason, but Judy Garland's most romantically vulnerable turn is in this star-crossed love story, about a female office worker and a handsome soldier on leave (Robert Walker), who spend two days together. If their frantic search for each other in Penn Station doesn't choke you up, it's time to see a doctor.—David Fear

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36
HEAD-ON (2004)

Head-On (2004)

Never mind Sid and Nancy; Fatih Akin's tale of two beautiful losers in a marriage of convenience is the greatest punk-rock romance ever to grace a screen. Stumbling around Berlin in a nihilistic haze, these two self-destructive immigrants eventually find within each other a reason to live—which only makes the dead-end last act more devastating.—David Fear

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35
MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937)

Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Love has lasted for Barkley and Lucy Cooper, an elderly couple about to be separated so as to lessen the financial burden on their grown children. Leo McCarey's superb family drama shows how the duo's ardor endures, even in the face of unspeakable heartache. Orson Welles famously said the film would make a stone cry.—Keith Uhlich

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34
THE APARTMENT (1960)

The Apartment (1960)

Its premise is smutty—a corporate lackey lends his flat out for afternoon delights—but Billy Wilder's comedy couldn't have a sweeter coupling at its core. You know that Jack Lemmon's white-collar nebbish and Shirley MacLaine's elevator operator are perfect for each other; the fun is in watching how these two fight it out before giving in.—David Fear

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33
THE GENERAL (1926)

The General (1926)

Buster Keaton's Civil War comedy may seem like a love story between a man and his runaway train. But watch Keaton's romantic interest, Marion Mack, hand him a useless splinter of firewood. Keaton mock-throttles her—then plants a loving smooch on her. That one moment tells you everything about this movie's goofy attitude toward affection.—David Fear

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32
BULL DURHAM (1988)

Bull Durham (1988)

Has any film made baseball, the men who play it and the females who go gaga for over them seem so incredibly sexy? Love of the game is catcher Kevin Costner and supergroupie Susan Sarandon's foreplay—and once this couple takes things to third base and beyond, you may want to stand back from the heat.—David Fear

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31
BADLANDS (1973)

Badlands (1973)

Two lovers hit the road, escaping the law for just a span of a daydream. It's a premise good enough for many great romantic movies, but Terrence Malick's achingly gorgeous version—starring a pre-Carrie Sissy Spacek and the equally moving Martin Sheen—might be the best of them.—Joshua Rothkopf

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