The 10 best old romance movies are a mix of upbeat musicals, riveting dramas and outrageous comedies. In recent decades, numerous top flight romance pictures have graced the big screen. Romance movies are still a Hollywood staple, but old romance movies have an ambiance and innocence that more recent pictures simply can't duplicate. Old romance movies were made in an era of stricter moral codes, so romance had to be displayed in a more creative and subtle way than we're used to seeing today. As a consequence, these older movies often have a fun quality that's lacking in contemporary films.
“Casablanca” During World War II, a tough nightclub owner's old girlfriend from Paris shows up in the French colony where he now lives. She also brings along her husband. Furthermore, the Nazis and the local police want to throw her husband in jail. This old romance movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and is generally considered one of the best films ever made.
“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” Two singers on a cruise to Paris play the field with any and all eligible men on the ship Unknown to them, one of the girls is being follow by a detective hired by her fiance's father to make sure she behaves. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell are both brilliant in this hilarious old romance movie.
“Singing in the Rain” Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are two silent film superstars who have trouble transitioning to talkies, primarily because Lina has a squeaky voice. Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds star in this old romance movie, but Donald O'Connor and Jean Hagen frequently steal the scenes.
“That Touch of Mink” This film, starring Cary Grant and Doris Day, isn't Oscar material, but it's exceptionally charming. Grant is a business tycoon looking for a temporary hookup and Day is a klutzy girl who's saving herself for marriage. Who will win this battle of wills?
“Ninotchka” The incomparably beautiful Greta Garbo plays a hard-nosed communist official on state business in Paris when she meets her match in Melvyn Douglas, a greedy capitalist and incurable romantic. This hilarious comedy may be Garbo's best film.
“Send Me No Flowers” Rock Hudson plays a dying man who sets out to find his wife a new husband. His antics convince his wife, played by Doris Day, that he is having an affair. This old romance movie is the last pairing of the popular team of Hudson and Day
“Shanghai Express” The most notorious passenger on a train going through Chinese bandit country is Shanghai Lil, a famous lady of the night. Also on the train is her former lover and a host of odd characters. Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong and Warner Oland star in this well-acted film.
“Sabrina” The family chauffeur's daughter is back from school and boy has she grown up. Two wealth brothers, one a young playboy, the other a workaholic, compete for her attention. Audrey Hepburn, William Holden and Humphrey Bogart star in this old romance movie directed by the great Billy Wilder. Bogart hated his role, but he turned out to be perfect for the part.
“The Strawberry Blond” Biff is a regular guy who wants nothing more than to marry a popular and gorgeous blond named Virginia. However, he is outmaneuvered by his “friend” Hugo and has to settle for Virginia's feminist friend, Amy, who is considerably less glamorous than Virginia. Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth, Jack Carson and James Cagney give engaging performances in this old romance movie.
“The Thin Man” Nick Charles, a former detective who is now a business executive, wants nothing more than to drink, party, eat and sleep during a holiday trip to New York. Everyone else, including his wife, friends, the police and the newspapers, want him to help solve a murder. The chemistry between William Powell and Myrna Loy was so compelling that it inspired a whole series of “Thin Man” films.