Hollywood has given us many great and not so great romantic moments. To celebrate Valentine's Day, here are five great ones.
5. NOW VOYAGER, 1942. At the end of this classic tear-jerker, Bette Davis and Paul Henreid, sacrifice their love for his daughter, but they share one last cigarette together. He lights both, inhales, and hands her one. Bette says, "Let's don't ask for the moon, Jerry, we have the stars." Max Steiner's music swells, the camera lifts, and we see those stars through the wispy smoke. I know cigs are taboo now, but this scene smokes!
4. QUEEN CHRISTINA, 1933. The queen of Sweden, Greta Garbo, renounces her throne, disguises herself as a boy (right!) and spends an evening with the Spanish ambassador for whom she pines. After their happy discovery, she slowly walks around their room touching objects as though they are holy relics as he watches adoringly. Garbo is mesmerizing with the help of high key lighting. No one ever held a camera close-up like Garbo.
3. CINEMA PARADISO, 1988. This exquistely lush Italian film shows the growth of a cute kid into a romantic young man into a cynical film director. Among the many poignant sections, we watch as he waits through rain, snow, and finally New Year's Eve for his beloved to open her window. When she does, he walks away. But fret not,
they have a romantic meeting later on. Ennio Morricone's provides a beautiful background.
2. CASABLANCA, 1942. First Ingrid Bergman attempts to seduce Bogart to get those letters of transit. When that fails she pulls a gun, but she melts into his arms as the film dissoves. Later Rick tells Ilsa, "We thought we lost Paris, last night we got it back." Aaah, it gets better and better "as time goes by."
1. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, 1961. To the strains of Henry Mancini's "Moon River," Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard search for her forsaken "Cat" in the pouring rain. When Cat finally meows, Hepburn with kitty in tow falls into Peppard's arms. Gulp. Cut, print it!