Entertainment
1.0k voters

The Greatest Classic Romance Movies

Updated September 18, 2020 7.5k votes 1.0k voters 55.2k views75 items

List RulesVote up the very best romantic love story films that were made before 1970.

Who wouldn't swoon over a romantic tale of two people coming together against all odds to fall in love? These classic romances defined a beloved genre in cinematic storytelling. The best early romance movies feature A-list actors and actresses testing the notion that love conquers all. This is a list of the top old romantic films including everything from It Happened One Night to Bringing Up Baby to Rebecca.

What films will you find on this list of the best movie love stories? Casablanca is one of the most iconic films, let alone romances, ever made. Set amidst the turmoil of World War II, Casablanca sees Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) struggling to choose between the woman he loves and helping the resistance fight the Nazis. His Girl Friday is another movie released before 1950 featuring a timeless love story. Gone with the Wind is an epic tale of romance spanning the American Civil War. Other good films featured on this top early romantic movies list include The African Queen, The Red Shoes, and To Have and Have Not.

Do you have a favorite classic love story? Give the best movies a thumbs up and please add any good films that are missing.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    404
    106

    Casablanca

    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart
    Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on...  more

    More Casablanca 

    #93 of 155 The Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time#144 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • 2
    327
    86

    Gone with the Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh
    Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret...  more

    More Gone with the Wind 

    #3 of 28 Civil War Movies List#96 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 3
    303
    80

    It Happened One Night

    Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
    It Happened One Night is a 1934 American romantic comedy film with elements of screwball...  more

    More It Happened One Night 

    #42 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture#156 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • 4
    217
    73

    Rebecca

    Laurence Olivier, Alfred Hitchcock
    Rebecca is a 1940 American psychological thriller-drama film. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, it...  more

    More Rebecca 

    #304 of 375 The Best Movies Based On Books#27 of 44 Every Single Movie On Rotten Tomatoes With 100% Approval, Ranked

  • 5
    162
    47

    Laura

    Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb
    Laura is a 1944 American film noir produced and directed by Otto Preminger. It stars Gene...  more

    More Laura 

    #176 of 230 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#100 of 306 The Greatest Movie Themes

  • 6
    111
    21

    An Affair to Remember

    Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr
    An Affair to Remember is a 1957 film starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, and directed by Leo...  more

    More An Affair to Remember 

    #35 of 53 The Saddest Romance Movies That Will Make You Cry#135 of 197 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

  • 7
    137
    45

    To Have and Have Not

    Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart
    To Have and Have Not is a 1944 American romance-adventure film directed by Howard Hawks, and...  more

    More To Have and Have Not 

    #136 of 222 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time#376 of 456 The Most Quotable Movies Of All Time

  • 8
    130
    41

    The Shop Around the Corner

    James Stewart, Frank Morgan
    The Shop Around the Corner is a 1940 American romantic comedy film produced and directed by...  more
  • 9
    140
    47

    Notorious

    Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant
    Notorious is a 1946 American spy thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock,...  more

    More Notorious 

    #97 of 433 The Best Lifetime Movies Ever Made#87 of 163 The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • 10
    129
    43

    The Thin Man

    Myrna Loy, Cesar Romero
    The Thin Man is a 1934 American comedy-mystery film directed by W.S. Van Dyke and based on the...  more

    More The Thin Man 

    #311 of 1,139 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#28 of 117 The Best Classic Thriller Movies, Ranked

  • 11
    106
    33

    Now, Voyager

    Bette Davis, Claude Rains
    Now, Voyager is a 1942 American drama film starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, and Claude...  more

    More Now, Voyager 

    #449 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars#415 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

  • 12
    124
    49

    His Girl Friday

    Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell
    His Girl Friday is a 1940 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks, from an...  more

    More His Girl Friday 

    #8 of 51 Free Movies! The Best Films In The Public Domain#22 of 34 The Best Comedies About the Workplace

  • 13
    130
    53

    Wuthering Heights

    Laurence Olivier, David Niven
    Wuthering Heights is a 1939 American black-and-white film directed by William Wyler and...  more

    More Wuthering Heights 

    #50 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movies#29 of 81 The Best Period Romance Movies

  • 14
    74
    13

    My Fair Lady

    Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison
    My Fair Lady is a 1964 American musical film adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical...  more

    More My Fair Lady 

    Every Song in My Fair Lady, Ranked by Singability#12 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

  • 15
    101
    34

    The Best Years of Our Lives

    Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright
    The Best Years of Our Lives is a 1946 American drama film directed by William Wyler and...  more

    More The Best Years of Our Lives 

    #100 of 376 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#42 of 99 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time

  • 16
    98
    32

    Top Hat

    Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers
    Top Hat is a 1935 screwball musical comedy film in which Fred Astaire plays an American dancer...  more

    More Top Hat 

    #15 of 80 The Best '30s Romance Movies#20 of 48 The Best '30s Comedy Movies

  • 17
    85
    36

    On the Town

    Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly
    On the Town is a 1949 musical film with music by Leonard Bernstein and Roger Edens and book...  more

    More On the Town 

    #85 of 206 Musical Movies With the Best Songs#94 of 109 The Best Dance Movies Ever Made

  • 18
    142
    87

    The Philadelphia Story

    Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant
    The Philadelphia Story is a 1940 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor,...  more

    More The Philadelphia Story 

    #37 of 135 The Best Movies Based On Plays#29 of 43 30+ Very Preppy Movies with the Preppiest Characters

  • 19
    75
    30

    My Man Godfrey

    Carole Lombard, Jane Wyman
    My Man Godfrey is a 1936 American comedy-drama film directed by Gregory La Cava. The...  more
  • 20
    87
    43

    Leave Her to Heaven

    Gene Tierney, Vincent Price
    Leave Her to Heaven is a 1945 American Technicolor film noir starring Gene Tierney, Cornel...  more
  • 21
    42
    4

    Roman Holiday

    Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck
    Roman Holiday is a 1953 American romantic comedy directed and produced by William Wyler. It...  more

    More Roman Holiday 

    #114 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#108 of 782 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 22
    38
    2

    Sabrina

    Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart
    Sabrina is a 1954 American romantic comedy film directed by Billy Wilder, adapted for the...  more

    More Sabrina 

    #9 of 12 12 Rom-Com Plots That Are Actually The Stuff Of Nightmares#24 of 31 Great Movies Set Along the Coast

  • 23
    63
    26

    San Francisco

    Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy
    San Francisco is a 1936 musical-drama directed by Woody Van Dyke, based on the April 18, 1906...  more

    More San Francisco 

    The Bubonic Plague Ravaged San Francisco In The 1900s—And The Government Tried A Massive Cover UpThings To Do With Kids In California's East Bay

  • 24
    58
    24

    A Letter to Three Wives

    Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain
    A Letter to Three Wives is a 1949 American romantic drama film which tells the story of a...  more
  • 25
    71
    37

    Spellbound

    Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck
    Spellbound is a 1945 American psychological mystery thriller film directed by Alfred...  more

    More Spellbound 

    #20 of 48 The Best Memory Loss Movies#76 of 101 The Best Oscar-Winning Scores