The 50 most romantic movies of all time

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  • Romantic movies: Click to the next image to see our 50 most romantic movies of all time

  • Romantic movies: Certified Copy (2010)

  • Romantic movies: Starman (1984)

  • Romantic movies: Happy Together (1997)

  • Romantic movies: Voyage in Italy (1954)

  • Romantic movies: Ninotchka (1939)

  • Romantic movies: Summertime (1955)

  • Romantic movies: Love Affair (1939)

  • Romantic movies: Sideways (2004)

  • Romantic movies: Now, Voyager (1942)

  • Romantic movies: A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

Romantic movies: Click to the next image to see our 50 most romantic movies of all time

Spring isn't in the air just yet, but we don't need an excuse to get our hearts pumping. Here are TONY's 50 favorite romantic movies—not, mind you, our favorite sex romps (though expect plenty of sizzle), nor our favorite romantic odes to Chinatown or the Old West or whatever. We're talking love love love: the kind of movie that starts up the waterworks and makes you believe again. Naturally, being Time Out Film geeks, we've included some off-the-beaten-path choices you might not have seen. But please don't break up with us if we've left out your favorite. Instead, write us a mash note in the comments below.


50
CERTIFIED COPY (2010)

Certified Copy (2010)

Yes, the movie came out just a month ago, but we're in the presence of greatness. A sun-dappled Tuscan village is the dreamy setting for Abbas Kiarostami's profound and playful conversation piece. What begins as an intellectual game—two strangers pretending to be married—transforms into emotional territory that leaves you breathless.—Keith Uhlich

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49
STARMAN (1984)

Starman (1984)

Long before winning his Oscar, Jeff Bridges managed to be both out-of-this-world strange and undeniably lovable (particularly to widowed earthling Karen Allen) in this affecting between-the-sheets version of E.T.The unlikely director was horror master John Carpenter, proving capable of far more than bloodletting.—Joshua Rothkopf

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48
HAPPY TOGETHER (1997)

Happy Together (1997)

It's obvious that Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung's relationship is on the skids, and that tooling through Argentina isn't going to fix a thing. But Wong Kar-wai's melancholic gay drama turns the duo's disintegration into one sad, sexy long goodbye. That peppy title pop song never sounded so perversely ironic.—David Fear

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47
VOYAGE IN ITALY (1954)

Voyage in Italy (1954)

Roberto Rossellini's heartbreaker follows an unhappily married European couple (Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders) as they visit Naples on family business. Emotions run high and quarrels are constant. Yet the breathtaking Italian landscapes act as a kind of cosmic counterpoint—perhaps their union is more solid than they realize.—Keith Uhlich

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46
NINOTCHKA (1939)

Ninotchka (1939)

"Garbo laughs!" promised posters for this immortal romantic comedy (a tagline riffing on the famous one for her first talkie, Anna Christie: "Garbo speaks!"). But the studio heads might just as well have declared "Garbo melts!"—as in, thaws into a human being. Playing this film's Soviet diplomat warming to Paris and Melvyn Douglas, she's a bonfire.—Joshua Rothkopf

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45
SUMMERTIME (1955)

Summertime (1955)

Ah, Venice—the perfect place for spinster Katharine Hepburn to fall head over heels for a local merchant. David Lean's other extravagant ode to transient love (see also our No. 10) is filled with colorful scenery and woozy innuendos—the pair's first kiss ignites literal fireworks—that make your heart explode.—Keith Uhlich

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44
LOVE AFFAIR (1939)

Love Affair (1939)

Man meets woman. They fall in love. They part ways, promising to reunite six months later. Fate intervenes. How many movie romances have been influenced by Leo McCarey's classic? There'd certainly be no Sleepless in Seattle without it. Even McCarey himself remade the film as An Affair to Remember. But the original is still the best.—Keith Uhlich

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43
SIDEWAYS (2004)

Sideways (2004)

Love is often about second chances: Alexander Payne's middle-age comedy has a beauty of a flirtation in Paul Giamatti's courtship of the never-so-radiant Virginia Madsen. But isn't the movie bromantic, too? An egocentric Thomas Haden Church, proud yet wounded, nearly steals the show.—Joshua Rothkopf

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42
NOW, VOYAGER (1942)

Now, Voyager (1942)

The incomparable Bette Davis goes from dowdy to hottie in this consummate Hollywood soaper. She's the introverted Charlotte Vale, who cuts ties with her domineering mother and falls in love with a handsome gent. Trouble is, he's married. Intoxicating twists and turns culminate with one of the greatest final lines in cinema. We're not spoiling it.—Keith Uhlich

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41
A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946)

A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

Not even the Great Beyond will keep British RAF pilot David Niven from radio operator Kim Hunter; when you've finally met your true love as you're bailing out of a plane, death is simply a speed bump. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's fantasy lets a celestial courtroom decide their fate. Take a guess whether the duo's romance wins out.—David Fear

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  1. 50–41
  2. 40–31
  3. 30–21
  4. 20–11
  5. 10–1

Users say

35 comments
Jim
Jim

You missed a few - Out of Africa, English Patient, Forrest Gump, Great Expectations, Lolita (recent), City of Angels, the Notebook...

Mary C.
Mary C.

Where's Gigi? Pretty Woman?The Notebook?Sleepless in Seattle?When Harry Met Sally?Pride and Prejudice?

Merle Borja
Merle Borja

Cinema Paradiso is actually the most romantic movie of all time.

lauriellen
lauriellen

hold up! Why isn't dirty Dancing on this list when you have KING KONG! I requested BEST romantic movies and Dirty Dancing is definitely up there with Moulin Rouge and Shakespeare in Love. Plus where is 16 candles on here? C'mon!

Claire
Claire

What is wrong with you people....are you all 13teen year old re-tards I'm 16 and I have seen a lot of these movies and every single one of them are one hundred times better than twilight..you ask why twilight isn't on the list...it because that movie is a joke..you ask why enchanted isn't on the list, it's because that is a child's movie ...please don't comment on this list if you have no idea what great movies are...please go get an education

mitchell
mitchell

No ones seen any of these movies and even less have seen them as romances. Where on earth is the note book and twilight?

lasharrifia
lasharrifia

Wall-E on the list but TWILIGHT ISNT!!!!

Cori
Cori

Terrible list!!

Christine
Christine

Hellooooooo..... What about the Notebook... How was that left off?

haylen
haylen

this is a terrible list, that's all I gotta say.

Steph Fahey
Steph Fahey

Where is It Happened One Night??? Bringing up Baby & His Girl Friday are amazing Cary Grant movies and i think Titanic is too low.

Tiffany
Tiffany

Ok.. Wall-E is on this list, but Serendipity isn't .. I don't get it ?

Jack
Jack

how did when harry meet sally not get on this

jericho
jericho

Enchanted is one of the most romantic movies ever, and its a shame that it didn't make the list.

Tim
Tim

What I want to know is, where's Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow?

Bones.
Bones.

The English Patient.

Perversion
Perversion

Kudos to Before Sunrise/Sunset that high on the list. The former is still in my top five films of all time, although, I personally feel that one needs to be at about the same age as the characters (early to mid twenties) to have the most impact. Also, fully agree with others that Roman Holiday should be on the list. It's my second-favorite romance movie (after Before Sunrise). Although, thank you for not including the overrated Breakfast at Tiffany's. That slightly lessens the indignity of not including Roman Holiday.

charlottebartlett
charlottebartlett

When George smooches Lucy in the field of poppies in "Room With a View" - wow. And then she rejects him for the rest of the movie until.....

Titanic
Titanic

Brokeback Mountain #6, Titanic #29? Who would even agree with that? Brokeback Mountain? LOL Top 50 most romantic movies, obviously not ranked in the correct order. Titanic is #1 hands down.

Solar la
Solar la

I like your all posting pictures and inspired much to see that.....

Rosie
Rosie

This reads like a best romantic comedy list by someone that doesn't actually like romantic comedies: No Roman holiday, no Harry and no Sally, no Room with a View? no Notebook, no Pretty woman, Doctor Zhivago, nothing by Austen? no Affair to Remember??!! I hate it when people are more concerned with being clever than pointing out movies people love and actually want to watch!

Goran
Goran

Roman Holiday ??? Doctor Zhivago ??? Ryan`s Daughter ??? A Room With a View ??? Why these films are not on the list ???

megan
megan

the notebook???? water for elephants? twilight series? casanova? love and other drugs? p.s i love you?

clitania
clitania

aaawwwhhh maw gawddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! guuuurrlrlrlrrllrllrllll!! u fogotz lemonade moutthh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that be number 1!!!!!!!! bitchz u all wrong!!!!!!!

mike
mike

no affair to remember????????????? no griffin and phoenix??????????????where are you guys.................??????????????

john sommers
john sommers

where is roman hoilday at a love story should be on there too

xxxx
xxxx

Wherie is Amelie? One of most romantic movies that anyone can see.There are some movies on this list that aren´t very good.

Jessica
Jessica

The Notebook was meant to be on there do you must have made a mistake. I agree on The Last Of The Mohicans being on the list, but Titanic should have been closer to the front. Try to have some of these movies in the 2000nds because I go to sleep or change the channel whenever I see a black and white movie. (No disrespect)

Debbie
Debbie

Where is Shakespeare in Love? And The English Patient? Both are incredibly romantic.

Adrian
Adrian

Vertigo is one of the most un-romantic movies ever! It's creepy and sick- in an awesome way, it's one of the best thrillers ever made, but romantic it is not.

Veronica
Veronica

I think that Phantom of the Opera is a great love story as well.

Amber
Amber

The Notebook?

Carolina
Carolina

The Notebook ~ The Notebook ~ The Notebook why isn't it there.

Saadia
Saadia

Personally, my top ten (classic Hollywood) romance films would be 1. Casablanca 2. Brief Encounter 3. Notorious 4. Now voyager 5. Sabrina 6. Roman Holiday 7. Laura 8. An affair to remember 9. A letter to three wives 10. Young at heart

JoAnne
JoAnne

I'd also agree that Breakfast at Tiffany's needs to be on this list, though you've done a GREAT job listing so many of my favorites. The choices are incredible, really, especially the older rom-coms. Used this list of all romantic comedy movies as my jumping off point for my own top 5 (Breakfast at Tiffanys, Roman Holiday, Philadelphia Story, Sleepless in Seattle and Annie Hall): http://www.ranker.com/list/romantic-comedy-movies-and-films/reference