I generally only watch old movies, made before 1960, mostly black and white. Therefore, the list below may seem limited to readers who watch newer films. This list is mostly American films, maybe more foreign films next time.
The links on the titles lead to TCM.com
THE BARRETTS OF WIMPOLE STREET (1934)
A film full of love of all kinds - some of it pretty unsavory.... There is the unusual love between poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, whose initial connection is their mutual admiration of each other's work. (Norma Shearer and Frederick March). There is the creepy smothering possessive incestuous love of Mr. Barrett (Charles Laughton) for Elizabeth, his favorite daughter. There is the young healthy passionate love of the sister Harriette for her suitor Captain Cook. Directed by Sidney Franklin who remade it in 1957 with Jennifer Jones and John Gielgud, which is also quite good.
SMILIN' THROUGH (1932)
Remade in technicolor with Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond to much less affect but much lovely singing. Not everyone appreciates MacDonalds singing, and Gene Raymond's heyday was in the early 30's. However, he was a decent actor and singer, very athletic and enjoyable to watch. He is under appreciated today.
MY FOOLISH HEART (1950)
Dana Andrews and Susan Hayward were really too old for these parts. But it doesn't matter at all because they are so appealing. When the story begins, Susan Hayward is an unsympathetic lush on the verge of divorce. She remembers her love affair with Walt, played Dana Andrews who is terrifically appealing as the easy going, humorous but fatalistic Walt. Be armed with many hankies when you watch this. And here is another photo of Dana Andrews just because.....
THE LIFE OF VERGIE WINTERS (1934)
This is one of the ultimate pre-code "women's pictures". Per Mick LaSalle it was the last film released before the production code went into effect. It was blacklisted by the Catholic church decency brigade, and was very profitable. Moira Finnie has very nice write up about Ann Harding at Movie Morlocks, including some lovely photos from this movie.
Vergie Winters (Harding) loves John Shadwell (John Boles). Her father, for a price, tells the man she loves that she has married someone else. Heartbroken, he marries another played by Helen Vinson, an actress who is not well known today but was a reliable supporting actress who often played the bad wife, but was equally good as a nice wife (ie, "Transatlantic Tunnel"). I always watch a movie if Helen Vinson appears. Vergie and John carry on a 'back street marriage' together for many years as he becomes a distinguished politician until his wife brings it to a drastic halt. I don't want to reveal too many plot details because the it is such a heartfelt melodrama. Jon Boles could be a wooden actor when he wasn't singing, but he is fine in this movie. Lon Chaney Jr, back when he was billed as Creighton Chaney, plays Vergie's steadfast friend and would be suitor. Ann Harding is at her most beautiful in this film. The fashions, ranging from WW1 to 1930's fashions are really lovely.
DOUBLE HARNESS (1933):
BLIND DATE (1934)
Ann Sothern plays Kitty, who works as a switchboard operator and supports her family. She is engaged to a hardworking mechanic and long time friend Bill (Paul Kelly). When he is too busy to step out with her on her birthday, she goes on a blind date and meets Bob (Neil Hamilton), a wealthy man whose intentions are not entirely honorable - at least in the beginning. Rather improbably, Sothern gets a job modeling clothes for Bob's department store. There are many vignettes of frugal Depression life. There are several touching scenes between Kitty and the two men who love her. Will true love, or obligation win out? Paul Kelly is extremely good in this film. There are many closeups of Ann Sothern and her fabulous eyes, I cannot think of a movie where she was prettier. Supporting cast includes Jane Darwell and Mickey Rooney. Laura's Miscellaneous Musings has a nice write up of this film.
ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS (1948 )
Also with Oscar Levant playing the usual Oscar Levant character. (Levant made the famous quip that he "knew Doris Day before she was a virgin".) This is a perfect example of Day's great charm: effervescent, spunky but not overly cute. Check this link for lots of nice information about this film at this site devoted to Doris Day's films.
ON DANGEROUS GROUND (1952)
With Robert Ryan, that intense hunk of noir pulchritude and Ida Lupino, petite and equally intense. This spare and intense drama stars Robert Ryan as a scary, hardened cop, who seems to revel in his brutality. Ida Lupino a blind woman determined to get her psychotic brother safely put away. Through his growing feelings for her and his experiences in the rural community where he is sent to help capture a murderer, he becomes a more sympathetic and empathetic man. A very famous music score by Bernard Herrmann. Film Noir of the Week has a fabulous post on this film, so I won't waste time saying much more. The gentle reader may wonder "A Robert Ryan film noir for a romantic Valentine Day viewing?" You betcha. Ryan and Lupino are one of my favorite film pairs. Read more about Robert Ryan at Skeins of Thought, and this article by David Thomson which contains my favourite description of the actor "so convincing you could see his jaw muscles thinking."
THE SEVENTH VEIL (1945) Starring James Mason, Ann Todd and Herbert Lom
Completely cornball melodramatic fun! Anne Todd plays a concert pianist suffering from amnesia who is brought back to mental health thanks to 1940's movie style psychoanalysis. The seventh veil refers to that revelation of emotion that restores our heroine's psyche and mental health. Dark and brooding James Mason provides both menace and romance. Don't miss the scene at the piano!
VOICE OF THE TURTLE aka ONE FOR THE BOOK (1948)
John Van Druten play. Of course, the original play is more sophisticated and frank; the movie steps softly around the more controversial aspects of the play and presents one of the sweetest most romantic movies ever. Propinquity brings two people together early one Spring: Eleanor Parker is Sally, a ditzy struggling actress who so is in love with falling in love that she love unwisely and too well. Ronald Reagan is Bill, a soldier with some baggage of his own who has been stood up by his date Olive, played with great vigor by Eve Arden. She has dumped him for her old beau Commander Ned Spurling (Wayne Morris), for whom she still lusts. Unfortunately for Olive, Ned doesn't live up to her ardent memories.
Eleanor Parker plays the kind of woman who is so sensitive she thinks her radio got lonely because it was left on while they were out. Normally, that is the kind of woman my palm would itch to slap. But Parker (and the playwright) give the character plenty of gentle quirky charm.
It's popular among some to dismiss Reagan as a mediocre actor, which is very unfair. He brings a great naturalness, humor and common sense to this character. Bill is just what Sally needs.
Everyone starring in this film was a the peak of their talent and good looks. A thoroughly enjoyable movie.
A line loves a dot who loves a "wild and unkempt squiggle". What must the straight arrow line do to win her love? It's only 10 minutes so why spend time describing it? Just watch it: