I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: One of my favorite things about film is that it makes you feel something. Sympathy. Joy. Sadness. Anything at all.
What makes you feel these things? Besides a strong story and remarkable performances, it’s the passion behind them. Passion is the heart of the movies that move us. It breathes energy into the story line, captivating us with moments that awaken our souls, pulling on our heartstrings and sometimes even taking our breath away.
There aren’t any films that do this better than the ones from decades past.
Head to the most popular nightclub in town, owned by cynical American expatriate Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart). Things heat up when Rick’s old flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) returns in need of a favor. Torn between his head and his heart, Rick relives his romance with Ilsa, taking you on a journey of lost love and forgotten possibilities that is absolutely enchanting, but ultimately complicated by reality.
A Place in the Sun (1951)
Simmer in the sweetness and sorrow of a tragic love triangle between George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) and his two ladies. There’s Alice (Shelley Winters), the plain factory worker pregnant with his child, and Angela (Elizabeth Taylor), the wealthy beauty who has his heart. A poetic portrait of class and morality, you’ll get lost in the haunting moments of pleasure and pain.
Roman Holiday (1953)
Love is in the air when runaway Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) ditches her royal regime of duties and meets charming newspaperman Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck). Initially interested in her for a story, Joe finds much more, after escorting her around Rome for a day. A bittersweet romance rooted in reality, their love will remind you to cherish every meaningful moment, no matter how big or small.
An Affair to Remember (1957)
Jump aboard a transatlantic cruise where Nickie (Cary Grant) and Terry (Deborah Kerr) fall in love under the stars. When they return to port — and to their other lovers — they make a pact to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building. However, an unlikely accident occurs that will make your heart sink, but proves love can conquer anything if two people really care about each other.
The Way We Were (1973)
Opposites attract when carefree, golden boy Hubbell (Robert Redford) meets vocal, political activist Katie (Barbra Streisand). Their differences put their love to the test, as they fall head over heels into a passionate and tumultuous romance, with a chemistry that will leave you breathless and an ending that will make you tear up — no matter how many times you see it.
I could go on and on about classic films that evoke emotion. So… I will — stay tuned for part two of classic movies that will move you.