A love to remember
Published: Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 6:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 6:10 p.m.
As Feb. 14 — a day women hold dear — arrives, men share one fear: What if the wrong gift brings a kick to the rear?
Though the hunt for the perfect present is no doubt in high gear, don't forget to spend some time with your honey watching a few movies that will make her heart cheer.
Like any good marriage, these 10 classic romances have staying power.
1. ‘Casablanca' (1942)
We know the lines: “Here's looking at you, kid.” “Play it, Sam.” “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” But the World War II love story of Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is more than famous words. It's the look that passes between them when Ilsa appears at Rick's saloon. It's the intrigue of the Nazis waiting to pounce on Ilsa's husband, a French resistance hero. It's Rick's Cafe Americain, a place where refugees are moored until a visa allows them to flee. You get the feeling the light is still on at the cafe, that you can visit it anytime. And, in fact, you can.
2. ‘An Affair to Remember' (1957)
Oh, this story of sea-crossed lovers has it all. When Nickie (Cary Grant), a renowned playboy, meets Terry (Deborah Kerr) on a ship, he lays his best lines on her, but she is the one woman who can see right through him. Needless to say it's like the “Love Boat” before the voyage ends. Only, there's that pesky matter of them both being engaged to other people. When they agree to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building, an accident threatens to derail their happiness.
3. ‘The Philadelphia Story' (1940)
Finding a man is not a problem for Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn). As she prepares to marry a rather boring man, two other contenders enter the picture: her ex-husband (Cary Grant), who would like to remove the “ex” from his title, and a tabloid reporter (Jimmy Stewart), who offers a bit of a break from all of the stress and turmoil swirling around her. Hepburn, Grant and Stewart are in top form in this screwball comedy.
4. ‘Sabrina' (1954)
When young Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn), the chauffeur's daughter, leaves for Paris, her slender frame is nearly buckling under the weight of the crush she has on playboy David Larrabee (William Holden). Two years later she is far too lovely for David to ignore. David is so taken with her that he is ready to call off his impending wedding and jeopardize a lucrative business deal. Linus, David's sensible older brother, has a remedy: Get Sabrina to love him instead and trick her into going away. Now who will cure Linus of Sabrina?
5. ‘The African Queen' (1951)
After the Germans attack the African village where missionary Rose (Katharine Hepburn) is working during World War I, she flees with Mr. Allnut (Humphrey Bogart), the captain of the African Queen, a riverboat that looks almost as scraggly as he does. Rose, prim and stubborn, convinces Mr. Allnut to go on a mission to destroy a German ship. Together, they brave the elements, the rapids and the Germans while drifting into a love affair.
6. ‘Lady Eve' (1941)
Con artists Jean (Barbara Stanwyck) and her father think they really have a live one when the wealthy Charles Pike (Henry Fonda), a man who knows a great deal more about snakes in the Amazon than women, boards the ship they are on. As Jean turns on the charm, she quickly hooks Charles but complicates matters by developing feelings for him as well. When Charles finds out about her past and spurns Jean, she sets out to pull one final fast one to get even for her broken heart.
7. ‘Vertigo' (1958)
Detective Scottie Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart) leaves the force after a bad bout of vertigo triggers a tragedy. He ends up taking a job trailing an old friend's wife (Kim Novak). It isn't long before he's falling ... this time in love. The more the mystery surrounding the woman deepens, the more consumed with her he becomes. This Alfred Hitchcock classic takes suspense to new heights.
8. ‘Dark Victory' (1939)
Fun-loving and vivacious, Judith (Bette Davis) has everything on her side but time. She meets the man of her dreams when an accident sends her to Dr. Steele (George Brent), but tests soon reveal that she only has months to live. Once Judith is able to accept that, she spends what time she has left with the good doctor. Keep the Kleenex within reach with this one.
9. ‘His Girl Friday' (1940)
When ace reporter Hildy (Rosalind Russell) drops in to tell her publisher ex-husband Walter (Cary Grant) that she is quitting the paper and marrying an insurance agent the next day, a big story upends her plans. Walter tries every dirty trick in the book to hold onto the lady he loves. Grant and Russell, who talk so fast you would swear they were getting paid by the word, display perfect comedic timing.
10. ‘Notorious' (1946)
Alicia (Ingrid Bergman), the daughter of a traitor to America, is persuaded by U.S. agent Devlin (Cary Grant) to go undercover and learn more about her father's Nazi friends. Alicia falls for Devlin faster than you can say, “Uh, well, he is Cary Grant after all.” Their affection is tested when Alicia has to marry one of her father's associates to keep up the facade in this Alfred Hitchcock nail-biter.
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