Skip to main content
/entertainment
  Edition: U.S. | Arabic | Set Pref

The Screening Room's Top 10 Romantic Moments

  • Story Highlights
  • Films full of romance include "Roman Holiday," "City Lights," "Amélie"
  • Bogart and Bergman's "Casablanca" farewell tops the list
  • List by no means complete; send us yours
  • Next Article in Entertainment »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- Take a handful of screen goddesses and a clutch of matinee idols, put them together and one thing's sure to happen. Nobody does love like they do in the movies: this month on the Screening Room, we've picked our favorite silver-screen romantic moments.

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the closing scene of

No contest: Bogie and Bergman in undoubtedly the silver screen's top romantic movie moment

From rom-coms to heartbreak, these are the scenes that skip the schmaltz to make us believe that sometimes, Cupid really does get it right. And, just for balance, we've also picked those moments that made us cringe -- or long for a sick-bucket ...

Don't agree? Think we've missed one? Post your comments to the Screening Room blog and we'll publish the best.

Read other CNN viewers' favorite romantic movie moments, and tell us yours >>

1. Casablanca
(Michael Curtiz, 1942)
Yep, it's a no-brainer. In a world full of slushy, happily-ever-after rom-coms, Bogie and Bergman find true romance in heartache, sacrificing their romance for the greater good. Bogie's "hill of beans" speech still gets us every time. Oh, the tragedy! Still, they'll always have Paris ...

2. City Lights
(Charles Chaplin, 1931)
Truly, madly sweetly: Blind flower-girl Virginia Cherrill recognizes Chaplin's tramp when she presses a coin into his hand. Deeply moved, as the scale of his sacrifice dawns on her, she wells up -- as did we; his expression shifts from shame to tentative delight. The most touching film moment of all time?

3. Roman Holiday
(William Wyler, 1953)
Audrey Hepburn's princess falls for Gregory Peck's noble hack (surely that's an oxymoron!) -- but while the ending is bittersweet, it's the playful scene at the Mouth of Truth, with its pitch-perfect comic timing, that captured our hearts.

The Screening Room
CNN's monthly movie show brings you the inside track on the movie business.

4. From Here to Eternity
(Fred Zinnemann, 1953)
"Nobody ever kissed me the way you do." Army sergeant Burt Lancaster and troubled wife Deborah Kerr find refuge in their torrid, adulterous affair; the heat between them is tangible. With the tumultuous waves crashing over the embracing couple, Zinnemann creates one of old Hollywood's most iconic images.

5. Amélie
(Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
A sheer moment of joy, as Amélie (Audrey Tautou) zooms through Paris on the back of Nino's (Mathieu Kassovitz) bicycle. The laughing couple freewheel down the cobbled streets past Sacré Coeur, filled with the delirious exuberance of new love. Ah, c'est l'amour.

6. Annie Hall
(Woody Allen, 1977)
The highlight of Woody Allen's confessional masterpiece is Annie's (Diane Keaton) first meeting with Alvy (Allen) at the tennis club where we're blown away by her vitality, ebullient charm and fresh contrast with Allen's wound-up, navel-gazing New Yorker. La-di-da, la-di-da, la la!

7. La Dolce Vita
(Federico Fellini, 1960)
Fellini's beautifully choreographed tableau in the Trevi Fountain sees young journalist Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) rendered helpless as buxom screen goddess Sylvia (Anita Eckberg) draws him into her spell. A paean to those fleeting moments between sunset and dawn when reality slips away to reveal something altogether more magical. Talking of which ...

8. Before Sunrise
(Richard Linklater, 1995)
They've no time for mix-tapes, so Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) head to a record store's music booth to acid-test their compatibility. In its confined space, they nervously avoid each other's eyes, so painfully aware of each other's physical presence. A moment that evokes strong memories of those sweet first-love connections.

9. Lost in Translation
(Sofia Coppola, 2003)
Bob (Bill Murray), a movie star well past his sell-by date, and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), a neglected newlywed, are two lost souls who are cast adrift, and come together, in Tokyo. Their parting moment, when Bob whispers his secret farewell to Charlotte, is all the more romantic for its mystery.

10. When Harry Met Sally
(Rob Reiner, 1989)
Forget the orgasm scene in Katz's Deli. Forget the strolls in scenic Central Park. After ninety minutes of vacillating, Harry and Sally have one final bout of verbal sparring before they finally get it together for good. Now that's what we call New Year fireworks.

.......................

And our most cringe-worthy moments...

Four Weddings and a Funeral
(Mike Newell, 1994)
Out of the frying pan, into the fire: Hugh Grant escapes Bridezilla to pour his heart out to Andie MacDowell, who utters her painfully corn-dog response: "Is it still raining? I hadn't noticed." You could have had Kristin Scott Thomas, you dolt!

Howard the Duck
(Willard Huyck, 1986)
Please, no! Down in B-movie hell, we hid our eyes and winced as lovely Lea Thompson attempted to seduce a rather startled duck-shaped alien. There should be laws against that sort of thing. Wait a minute, there ARE laws against that sort of thing!

The English Patient
(Anthony Mingella, 1996)
"I've watched you - on verandahs, at garden parties, at the races ... " Ralph Fiennes turns stalker in Mingella's improbable mush-fest. And don't even start us on the bit where he runs across the desert. As Seinfeld's Elaine says, "Quit telling your stupid story about the stupid desert and just die already! Die!"

Titanic
(James Cameron, 1997)
Timeless romance? We think not. As Leo slips away, Kate Winslet's star-crossed lover cries, "I'll never let go, Jack. I promise." And then does -- scurrying as quickly as her hands will paddle her to the safety of a lifeboat, a warm blanket and a nice cup of tea. Ah, the relief.

Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones
(George Lucas, 2002)
"I've been dying a little bit each day since you came back into my life." Any scene featuring Hayden Christensen's moody teen has us wincing, but he's most awkwardly shown up against Natalie Portman, who struggles nobly through Lucas' plodding love-lines. Georgie, please, leave out the romance. We're begging you.

Don't agree? Think we've missed one? Sound off and read others' thoughts in the Screening Room blog. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print
Home  |  Asia  |  Europe  |  U.S.  |  World  |  World Business  |  Technology  |  Entertainment  |  World Sport  |  Travel
Podcasts  |  Blogs  |  CNN Mobile  |  RSS Feeds  |  Email Alerts  |  CNN Radio  |  Site Map
© 2009 Cable News Network. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.