The 100 best romantic movies: cultural heroes

Experts including Tom Hiddleston, Joan Collins and EL James vote for the best films about love and romance



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How did we choose the 100 best romantic movies of time? We asked the experts – and not just in the film industry. From fashion designer Bella Freud to singer-songwriter John Grant and the Royal Ballet principal dancer Lauren Cuthbertson, here are the cultural heroes’ top ten favourite romantic movies.

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John Grant

John Grant is an American singer-songwriter whose new album ‘Pale Green Ghosts’ is out now on Bella Union.

‘It doesn’t really get much darker than “1984”, but I‘m always inspired by Winston’s love for Julia. It’s like a tiny wildflower sprouting up through the smallest of cracks in an ocean of concrete and death. Of course they’re doomed and you know it, and this makes every moment they spend together that much more precious. Instead of committing suicide afterwards, go watch “The Princess Bride”.

‘One of the funniest scenes I’ve ever seen is in “Zelig”, when Doctor Fletcher has Zelig under hypnosis and he talks about how horrible her cooking is but also that he wants to make love to her and spend his life with her and make her happy. The expressions on Mia Farrow’s face are priceless.

‘It almost killed me to leave out “Hannah and her Sisters” and “Purple Rose of Cairo” and “Husbands and Wives” and and and … “Tyrannosaur” is the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. Olivia Colman and Peter Mullan left me completely bereft and the story itself is heart-breaking.’

Robyn Hitchcock

Robyn Hitchcock is a British singer-songwriter. His latest album ‘Love From London’ is available now on Yep Roc.

Tim Key

Stand-up comic and actor Tim Key is the poet-in-residence on Charlie Brooker's 'Wipes'.

‘“Taxi Driver” is in there because it was starting to happen for Travis Bickle and it breaks my heart every time when he takes Cybill Shepherd to watch a porno. “Safety Last” and “City Lights” are from the olden days, with Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin climbing clocks and pulling blind flower girls for fun, and “Fargo” is in there because I like the WPC’s marriage.

‘If you haven’t seen “The Irony of Fate”, you should. They watch it every new year in Russia. It’s a tender, funny tale about a drunkard staggering home to the wrong address and falling in love with the furious lady who takes him in.’

Mark Kozelek

Mark Kozelek is a singer-songwriter and occasional actor. His album ‘Perils From the Sea’ is out now.

‘I saw “The Bridges of Madison County” with my ex, Katy, God bless her soul, in a theatre on Union Street in San Francisco that is now closed. I related to Clint's character, the guy who is drifting through, romanticising about a simple life. I can't watch that movie without thinking of Katy. Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek are great in “Badlands”. I love the way he just walks in her house, shoots her dad, and walks off with her. That's passion.

‘I reluctantly saw “Titanic” with my ex after it was in the theatre for over a year, in another theatre that of course is now closed. We were broken up, and we were trying a night out as friends. I cried 12 times during the movie. And there is nothing more touching than Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman's friendship in “Papillon”. I saw it with my dad as a kid. it's my favorite movie ever.’

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