The old lament by we elders is: they don’t make ‘em like they used to. Today’s movies are all about zombies, murders, monsters, mayhem, cussing, nudity, sex, jerky images and unmusical, ear-splitting noise.
Whether young or old, go back in movie history to choose the top ten worth watching while cuddled up with that special someone on Valentine’s Day. Get movies on cable, DVDs, YouTube, as well as other free and for-rent sources. My top ten faves:
1. Casablanca (1942): It weaves a WW II tale of the doomed affair between two star-crossed lovers. When Bogie growls a sad farewell to Bergman, you and your love will be in tears.
2. Romeo and Juliet (1968): How could you go wrong with the love tale of all time? Of course, the end is even sadder than Casablanca’s finale. After the star-crossed lovers expire, think of a clever way to persuade your love to stop sobbing.
3. Doctor Zhivago (1965): Strumming balalaika and Lara’s theme will haunt as you view this classic for the umpteenth time. Of course, it also ends in heartbreak, a typical Russian love story.
4. Singin’ in the Rain (1952): Hollywood in its early talkie days through the talented eyes, voices and feet of Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. It may inspire you to take your love dancin’ and singin’ somewhere out of the rain.
5. Moonstruck (1987): Cher won the Oscar in this charming slice of Italian-American life. Engaged to another guy, she falls in love with Nick Cage, and they get together amid Verdi operatic love arias.
6. Ghost: (1990): Love lives after death, although the deceased husband (Patrick Swayze) can only pretend to embrace wife (Demi Moore) again. Whoopie Goldberg won an Oscar for her phony New York fortune teller who discovers she really can contact ghosts.
7. Titanic: (1997): Another weepy movie where the hero doesn’t survive to the closing credits. It’s the doomed love of society girl Kate Winslet and immigrant boy Leonardo DiCaprio. Meanwhile, the Titanic sinks into history.
8. Gone With the Wind (1939): The classic movie love story is great for Valentine’s Day. Imagine you and your love are Rhett (Clark Gable) and Scarlett (Vivien Leigh), and let the sparks fly. Whatever happens, neither should say, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
9. The African Queen (1951): A much crustier Bogie falls for spinster Katharine Hepburn. They cruise down the river in his dinky boat and sink a WW I German warship. What could be more romantic?
10. The Quiet Man (1952): John Ford’s classic stars John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. American ex-boxer returns to his late mother’s Irish town to reclaim the family house. Maureen is a feisty widow who reluctantly falls for him amid typical Irish scenery and characters.