The 100 best romantic movies: film industry insiders

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

How did we choose the 100 best romantic movies of all time? We asked the experts, including some of the behind-the-scene folks who make the film industry tick. These are film festival directors, cinema programmers and film company head honchos… plus a silent film pianist. Among them is the London Film Festival's Clare Stewart and the founder of Future Cinema Fabien Riggall. Here are the industry insiders’ lists of their top ten favourite romantic movies.

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Geoff Andrew

Geoff Andrew is head of film programming at the BFI Southbank. He’s also a contributing editor to Time Out London.

‘Also, “In the Mood for Love” and “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp”. Love may be electrically, vulnerably, a thing of the moment, the here and now... At the same time, it may return, repeatedly, unexpectedly, forever.’

Robin Baker

Robin Baker is head curator at the British Film Institute National Archive.

‘These are the films whose overwhelming sense of heady, swooning romance catches me by surprise every time. Too often British cinema is stereotyped by its apparent dispassionate sangfroid, generally by people who have not bothered to look at very much of it. Just watch the opening minutes of “A Matter of Life and Death” and that particular myth can be quickly laid to rest.

‘From the top of my list it would be easy to assume that WW2 had a monopoly on romance, so it was good to be reminded by Andrew Haigh’s “Weekend” that love can still hit you between the eyes in contemporary Britain.’

Robert Beeson

Robert Beeson is the co-founder of New Wave Films.

Neil Brand

Neil Brand is a writer, composer and silent film accompanist.

‘“WALL-E” is the most romantic film I've seen in years, full of the extraordinary lengths one has to go to keep that somebody special! And “The Master” is a movie that’s totally head-over-heels in love with itself to the exclusion of everybody else – including this member of the audience.’

Sam Clements

Sam Clements is the head of digital marketing and communications at City Screen Cinemas.

‘I realise “Brief Encounter” will probably be on most people's lists, but with good reason. When I think of romance, I can't help but think of Laura Jesson and Dr Alec Harvey. Since I first saw this movie, every visit to a railway café has been an incredibly exciting prospect.

‘As for “The Holiday”... Yes, I mean that one. Running at two hours and 20 minutes with an insane $70 million budget, Nancy Meyers’s romcom is an exercise in extremes. For all of the schmaltz, the characters really stand out. This film takes a lot of flak, but I highly recommend you revisit it – if not for me, then certainly for Mr Napkin Head.’

Louisa Dent

Louisa Dent is managing director of Artificial Eye.

Pam Engel

Pam Engel is the co-founder of New Wave Films.

‘“Restoration” is a beautifully crafted, delicate film on love and relationships. Its heartfelt honesty on the path a person we love can take us is deeply affecting. “Sliding Doors”, Danish style! And “I Know Where I’m Going!” is ridiculous, it's brilliant, a real timeless British romance. Watch at the Aubin Cinema with a Tartan blanket and a single malt.’