What is it about forbidden love movies? Why are they so engrossing and why do they seem to strike a chord across all cultures and periods of history?
Perhaps it's because we can identify with that kind of yearning, even if we don't have those restrictions in our own lives. We've all wanted something we can't have, whether that's a partner, a promotion, or even a different kind of life. Desire like that leads to fantasy, and what is a movie but a fantasy at 24 frames per second? Here the greatest films about forbidden love, doomed affairs, failed flings, lovers on the run, and star-crossed romances.
The best forbidden love movies, whether they're old or recent, transport us to a world of romance and drama. No wonder so many of them are period pieces or take place in exotic locales. Remember, even the Italian setting of Romeo and Juliet would have been exotic to Shakespeare's audience.
So close the blinds, light a candle and pick out a bottle of your most decadent and luxurious wine. Vote for your favorite movies with forbidden love and don't forget to add anything we've missed!
Directed by: James CameronTitanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A... more
Directed by: Baz LuhrmannRomeo + Juliet is a 1996 American romantic drama film adaptation of William Shakespeare's... more
Directed by: Gary Trousdale, Kirk WiseBeauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated musical romantic fantasy film produced by... more
Directed by: Tim BurtonEdward Scissorhands is a 1990 American romantic dark fantasy film directed by Tim Burton. An... more
Directed by: Nick CassavetesThe Notebook is a 2004 American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on... more
Directed by: Jerome Robbins, Robert WiseWest Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and... more
Directed by: Baz LuhrmannMoulin Rouge! is a 2001 Australian–American pastiche-jukebox musical film directed, produced,... more
Directed by: Franco ZeffirelliRomeo and Juliet is a 1968 British-Italian romance film based on the tragic play of the same... more
Directed by: Saul DibbSuite Française is a 2015 romantic World War II drama film directed by Saul Dibb and... more
Directed by: Ang LeeBrokeback Mountain is a 2005 American epic romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a... more
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Directed by: Kevin ReynoldsTristan & Isolde is a 2006 epic romantic drama film based on the medieval romantic legend of... more
The ExceptionLily James, Jai Courtney
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Directed by: Mike NicholsThe Graduate is a 1967 American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols. It is based on the... more
Directed by: Andrzej BartkowiakThis film is a 2000 American martial arts action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak in his... more
Directed by: Jerry ZuckerFirst Knight is a 1995 medieval film based on Arthurian legend, directed by Jerry Zucker. It... more
Directed by: Jane CampionThe Piano is a 1993 romantic drama film about a mute female piano player and her daughter. Set... more
Directed by: Anthony MinghellaThe English Patient is a 1996 romantic drama directed by Anthony Minghella from his own script... more
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