7 Romantic Movie Masterpieces of The Golden Age of Hollywood

Posted on 8 Sep 00:00


The golden age of Hollywood is renowned as the emblematic age because of the many classic films that were produced in that time and age. However, the rare movies that set the golden age era apart from this digital modernism age of ours are the plethora of romantic masterpieces that were produced in that era. Though, most of these movies have become relics of the past and are now thought of as old movies or out of print movies, the masterpieces of their time. Also, they represent the golden age’s most sensational episodes and mesmeric screenplays.

If you fancy enthralling classic romantic masterpieces that will melt your heart and make it reverb with enchanting echoes of passion and desire, here are seven (7) of the best classic romantic movies made during the Golden Age of Hollywood:

  1. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Gone with the Wind is one of the most sensational novel-adapted romantic classics of all time. It portrays the story of Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) who fell in love with Ashley Wilkes (Lesley Howard) who was engaged to another, Melanie Hamilton (Olivia De'Havilland). In hopes of making Ashley jealous, possibly, come back to her loving arms, she marries his In-law, Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). After birthing a daughter with Rhett, Scarlett still can not let go of her passion and desire for Ashley Wilkes, which ultimately leads to disaster. This highly regarded classic old movie was directed by Victor Fleming based the novel, Gone With The Wind written by Margaret Mitchell.

  1. To Have or Have Not (1944)

This movie is perfection to die-hard movie buffs because it has all the attributes of the best classic movies ever made. It was directed by Howard Hawks as a loose adaptation of the novel “To Have or Have Not" by prominent novelist Ernest Hemingway. This out of print movie is about Harry Morgan (Humphrey Bogart),  who after the fall of France charters his fishing boat “Queen conch” to make a living, in Fort-de-France, and refuses to smuggle French Resistance fighters into Martinique. But when a Resistance client is shot before he can pay, Harry agrees to help hotel owner Gerard (Marcel Dalio) smuggle two fighters to the island. Harry is further swayed by Slim (Lauren Bacall), a wandering American girl, and when the police take his friend Eddie (Walter Brennan) hostage, he is forced to fight for the Resistance.  Fact:  this was Bogart's and Bacall's first movie together, the beginning of a true love story that would last until Bogart's death.

  1. Letter From An Unknown Woman (1948)

Serious movie buffs of this era may have seen this classic romantic movie a couple of times. If you haven’t, this is a short overview of the story:  In early 20th-century Vienna, Stefan Brand (Louis Jordan) is about to leave the city because he faces a duel that he wants no part of. However, before he can do so, he gets an anonymous love letter that changes his life. Though Stefan is moved by what he reads, he doesn't realize that it was written by Lisa Berndle (Joan Fontaine), a young woman he has known but disregarded for most of his life. When he finally figures out who his admirer is, it may be too late to prevent a tragedy.  You should not miss this beautiful classic movie.

  1. West Side Story (1961)

Another rare movie for anyone who loves movies. It is about a beef between two rival gangs that is to be settled through a dance competition.  West Side Story is a take on the classic story of Romeo (Tony, played by Richard Beymer) and Juliet (Maria, played by Natalie Wood), who fell in love in spite of the fact that they are meant to be enemies, because their love affair is frowned upon by both gangs (on opposite side of the gang war).  Under the circumstances, they have no choice but to plan their escape in order to be together, ultimately leading to tragedy.  West Side Story was co-directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.

  1. Casablanca (1942)

Directed by Michael Curtiz, this movie is about a night club owner, Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) who reunited with his old flame, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), in his night club. However, their secret passion for each other is not to last, as the woman has a husband. As the story unfolds, Rick in his bid to prove his love for Ilsa, puts himself in peril so Ilsa and her husband can escape to America. Definitely at the top of all time great love stories!

      6. Brief Encounter (1945)

This romantic-comedy-film was directed by the masterful David Lean. Returning home from a shopping trip to a nearby town, bored suburban housewife Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) is thrown by happenstance into an acquaintance with virtuous doctor Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard). Their casual friendship soon develops during their weekly visits into something more emotionally fulfilling than either expected, and they must wrestle with the potential havoc their deepening relationship would have on their lives and the lives of those they love. This film is a real tear-jerker, and anyone who hasn't seen it should definitely see it, but bring your hankies.

  1. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

A classic romantic movie directed by Howard Hawks. It is the story of David Huxley (Cary Grant) – a gentleman paleontologist, who in his quest to collect the last piece of bone for his lifelong project finds love in the arms of Susan Vance (Katherine Hepburn). The story unfolds into sensational scenes where the couple has all kinds of misadventure together.  This film is a true classic, and very clever and funny to boot!


The classic romantic drama/comedy provides us with the joy, sadness, and hope of falling in love.  And will continue to inspire us until the end of time.


Other Notable Romantic  Movies of The Golden Age of Hollywood 

1)   Sunset Boulevard (1950)

2)   Desiree (1954)

3)   My Fair Lady (1964)

4)   The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

5)   Cleopatra (1963)

6)   A Night To Remember (1945)

7)   It Happened One Night (1934)

8)   Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

9)   Kiss The Blood Off My Hands (1948)

10) That Hamilton Woman (1941)

 And, many, many more…..

Like the famous Bogart quote from the movie, Casablanca, "here's looking at you kid!"

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