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Old Classic Movies - Top 10 Old Hollywood Black and White Movies

There’s something about those black-and-white, old Hollywood movies that creates an atmosphere of romance stronger than anything we have today. The dreamy stars of the 1940s and 1950s always seem to glow in front of the camera, charming us with their wit and beauty. Because nothing could be graphic, all the romance and intimacy was implied, creating a sensual tension between the characters that always keeps the audience wanting more. In no particular order, here are ten of the most romantic classic movies of all time, from delightful comedies to sultry film noir dramas.

1. His Girl Friday
In this hysterically wacky screwball comedy, sparks fly as a savvy newspaper editor, played by Cary Grant, attempts to prevent the marriage of his ex-wife and to land the news story of the year all in one fell swoop. Rosalind Russell shines as his former love who finds that she can’t give up the reporter’s game just to settle down with a boring insurance man, played by Ralph Bellamy. The movie is noted for its quick-paced, clever dialogue.

2. Casablanca
Without a doubt, Casablanca is the most famous black-and-white romance film of all time. The performances of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are now legendary, as is the heart-wrenching story of the characters’ struggle between love, desire and virtue. Full of classic lines and beautiful cinematography, this movie is a must-see for each and every fan of cinema.

3. The Philadelphia Story
Philadelphia’s high society is the subject of this classic romp centered around a wealthy socialite (played by Katharine Hepburn) and the decision she must make between three men: her rich but dull fiancé (John Howard), her roguish ex-husband (Cary Grant), or a good-hearted reporter (James Stewart). She finally makes her choice after a hilarious series of events surrounding her intended wedding.

4. Laura
This haunting film noir mystery begins with a detective, played by Dana Andrews, who is investigating the murder of a beautiful advertising executive named Laura. Through the course of his investigation, he finds that most of Laura’s friends and family were using her unfairly, and stranger still, that he himself is falling in love with the dead woman. The events unfold into an unpredictable and exciting ending that has intrigued audiences for more than 60 years.

5. Camille
A tragic romance starring Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor, the film features many classic scenes of love and rejection. Camille is a movie that showcases the older, more dramatic side of Hollywood, with impassioned speeches and intense kisses, the music swelling at every step. This movie is the recipient of several rewards and honors and is still watched today as a prime example of riveting romantic drama.

6. Meet Me in St. Louis
This heartwarming musical, starring an ensemble cast led by Judy Garland, tells the story of a middle-class family with four daughters living in St. Louis just after the turn of the century. The World’s Fair is coming to their town, but they might have to move to New York due to their father’s job. This not only threatens their plans to attend the fair, but also the romantic ambitions of all four of the daughters. Lighthearted drama ensues, punctuated with performances of many now-classic songs.

7. Notorious
Legendary, dark, and daringly sensual, Notorious is one of the most intese and subtle of Alfred Hitchcock’s works. Starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, the film is famous for a particular kissing scene in which Hitchcock got around the strict rules for the duration of kisses by having the actors break apart and resume every few seconds. The story, featuring spying and intrigue set against the backdrop of World War II, is also famous in its own right.

8. Some Like It Hot
A wacky farce starring the irresistible Marilyn Monroe, as well as seasoned comedic actors Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, Some Like It Hot is widely considered to be one of the best comedy films ever made. Two men on the run from gangsters disguise themselves as women so as not to be found and killed, but this presents problems when they both fall in love with Monroe’s sexy singer character. This movie pushed boundaries when it was released and contributed to a wider range of acceptable themes in today’s movies.

9. Gilda
The most famous role of the enchanting Rita Hayworth, Gilda is both a romantic story of passion and a tumultuous tale of the emotional wounds that a couple is capable of inflicting on one another. With many notable costumes and musical numbers in addition to the stellar performances, the movie is perfect for those interested in exploring the darker, more possessive side of love with a classic Hollywood gem.

10. Roman Holiday
A classic story of royal princess who needs to experience something from a carefree perspective, Roman Holiday was the first real starring role for luminary actress, Audrey Hepburn. Along with her is the darkly handsome Gregory Peck, in the role of a reporter who needs to decide between his love for the princess and the huge story that has just fallen into his lap. Beautifully shot on location in Rome, this bittersweet story has been a favorite of romantics through the decades.


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