All You Need Is Love
Sometimes all it takes to restore your faith in humanity is a simple, good-old-fashioned love story. Refreshingly free of cynicism, these unabashedly starry-eyed tales of all-consuming passion and sweep-you-off-your-feet romance are sexy, sweet, and maybe even a little sappy—just the way a good love affair should be. From romantic-comedy charmers (CITY LIGHTS, THE LADY EVE) to rapturous art-house reveries (BOY MEETS GIRL, WINGS OF DESIRE) to swooning expressions of queer desire (DESERT HEARTS, HAPPY TOGETHER), these are the intoxicating all-timers that make us fall in love with love.
All You Need Is Love Teaser
Directed by Charles Chaplin • 1931 • United States
Starring Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Harry Myers
CITY LIGHTS, the most cherished film by Charlie Chaplin, is also his ultimate Little Tramp chronicle. The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dra...
Directed by Jean Vigo • 1934 • France
In Jean Vigo's hands, an unassuming tale of conjugal love becomes an achingly romantic reverie of desire and hope. Jean (Jean Dasté), a barge captain, marries Juliette (Dita Parlo), an innocent country girl, and the two climb aboard Jean's boat, the L'Atalan...
History Is Made at Night
Directed by Frank Borzage • 1937 • United States
Jean Arthur plays a married woman who falls in love with a French headwaiter, much to the chagrin of her possessive and jealous husband.
I Know Where I’m Going!
Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger • 1945 • United Kingdom
Starring Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey
In Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s stunningly photographed comedy, romance flourishes in an unlikely place—the bleak and moody Scottish Hebrides. Wendy Hiller stars as a headstr...
The Passionate Friends
Directed by David Lean • 1949 • United Kingdom
Starring Ann Todd, Trevor Howard, Claude Rains
Four years after David Lean crafted what may be the screen’s most piercing examination of extramarital romance with BRIEF ENCOUNTER, he returned to a similar subject in this exquisite tale of a woman to...
Directed by David Lean • 1955 • United States, United Kingdom
Starring Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Darren McGavin
With this sublimely bittersweet tale of romantic longing, director David Lean left behind the British soundstage to capture in radiant Technicolor the sun-splashed glory of Ve...
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard • France • 1960
Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger
There was before BREATHLESS, and there was after BREATHLESS. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspi...
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Directed by Jacques Demy • 1964 • France
Starring Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo
The angelically beautiful Catherine Deneuve was launched to stardom by this dazzling musical heart-tugger from Jacques Demy. She plays an umbrella-shop owner’s delicate daughter, glowing with first love for a h...
Directed by François Truffaut • 1968 • France
Starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, Delphine Seyrig, Michael Lonsdale
Jean-Pierre Léaud returns in the delightful STOLEN KISSES, the third installment in the Antoine Doinel series. It is now 1968, and the mischievous and perpetually love-struck Doinel has be...
Directed by Horace Jenkins • 1982 • United States
Starring Richard Romain, Tommye Myrick, Carol Sutton
Written, produced, and directed by the late, trailblazing director Horace B. Jenkins and crafted by an entirely African American cast and crew, this luminous, recently rediscovered landmark of ...
Boy Meets Girl
Directed by Leos Carax • 1984 • France
Starring Denis Lavant, Mireille Perrier, Carroll Brooks
The first feature by Leos Carax (made when he was just twenty-three years old) is an intoxicating, lusciously stylized evocation of a nocturnal Paris populated by moody misfits and lost souls. Among th...
Directed by Donna Deitch • 1985 • United States
Donna Deitch's swooning and sensual first narrative feature, DESERT HEARTS, was groundbreaking upon its release in 1985: a love story about two women, made entirely independently, on a shoestring budget, by a woman. In this 1959-set film, adapted...
A Room with a View
Directed by James Ivory • 1986 • United Kingdom
Starring Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Day-Lewis
Merchant Ivory Productions, led by director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, became a household name with A ROOM WITH A VIEW, the first of their extraordinary adaptations of E. ...
Wings of Desire
Directed by Wim Wenders • 1987 • Germany, France
Wings of Desire is one of cinema's loveliest city symphonies. Bruno Ganz is Damiel, an angel perched atop buildings high over Berlin who can hear the thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, of all the people living below. But when he falls in love with a ...
Directed by Mira Nair • 1991 • United States, Uganda
Starring Denzel Washington, Sarita Choudhury, Roshan Seth
The vibrant cultures of India, Uganda, and the American South come together in Mira Nair’s MISSISSIPPI MASALA, a luminous look at the complexities of love in the modern melting pot. Yea...
Directed by Wong Kar Wai • 1994 • Hong Kong
Starring Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Faye Wong, Takeshi Kaneshiro
The whiplash, double-pronged CHUNGKING EXPRESS is one of the defining works of 1990s cinema and the film that made Wong Kar Wai an instant icon. Two heartsick Hong Kong cops (Takeshi Kaneshiro ...
The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love
Directed by Maria Maggenti • 1995 • United States
Starring Laurel Holloman, Nicole Ari Parker, Maggie Moore
Breaking new ground in queer representation when it was released in 1995, this tender and charming tale of first love traces the tentative relationship that develops between two high-schoo...
Directed by Wong Kar Wai • 1997 • Hong Kong
Starring Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing
One of the most searing romances of the 1990s, Wong Kar Wai’s emotionally raw, lushly stylized portrait of a relationship in breakdown casts Hong Kong superstars Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Leslie Cheun...
Directed by Andrew Haigh • 2011 • United Kingdom
Starring Tom Cullen, Chris New
This sensual, remarkably observed, beautifully acted wonder is the breakout feature from British writer-director-editor Andrew Haigh. Rarely has a film been as honest about sexuality—in both depiction and discussi...