Your Movie Bucket List: Valentine's Movies

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Written by Natalie Mootz | Last Updated February 24th, 2020
Natalie has been writing for the web since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Or at least since dinosaurs achieved blogging technology. She's also written for About.com and Joystiq.

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Last week I introduced this weekly column, Your Movie Bucket List, by informing you of my obsession with classic movies. It's not an official diagnosis, per se, but I am being prescribed popcorn and soda to cope with it, so I take it seriously.

I feel it's my mission to sally forth into the movie breach and bring the gospel of fine classic movies to viewers of all ages. I want to show you that classic films are just as good as -- and often better than -- movies playing at the downtown theater or plunking out of the Redbox... uh, box. Even if some of them are black and white! (I know. You can't believe it right now, but I'm totes serious.)

This week I'll focus on classic films that can perk up your Valentine's Day weekend -- whether you're partnered or single. I'll skip ones you've probably heard of already and go for some quality deep cuts.

Classic movies to watch with your Valentine's Day partner

All these love stories have a happy ending and feature some of the sexiest stars who ever performed onscreen.

  • Gilda (1946) For the guys: Rita Hayworth. That should be enough said, but if you haven't seen her hair flip in this film, you're still a little boy. For the gals: I defy you not to salivate over Glenn Ford's dark charisma. The two of them together? Hot, hot, hot!
  • Guys & Dolls (1955) Who doesn't want to hear Marlon Brando sing?? Well, at least he's nice to look at and, anyway, Sinatra can carry the rest. Jean Simmons is sexy as she loses her prudishness bit by bit. Some of the greatest songs ever composed for broadway and goofy humor to boot.
  • The Philadelphia Story (1940)  Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and James Stewart in a sexy love triangle that features high passion, attractive stars, and an extremely quick witted script. There's also a amusing scene where Cary Grant tries not to laugh as a drunken Jimmy Stewart pours out his heart.

Classic movies for anyone, single or otherwise

Each of these films is a bit dark. And by "dark" I mean film noir. If you don't know what film noir means, don't worry about it. You'll know what it means after you've watched them.

  • Mildred Pierce (1945) The original film with Joan Crawford (as opposed to the HBO miniseries with Kate Winslet) features Crawford as a strong single mother determined to make it on her own. There's a twist ending and some very funny one-liners from Eve Arden.
  • Sunset Boulevard (1950) As creepy a love story as you're going to get. Watch it for William Holden taking off his shirt, but stay for the mesmerizing performance by Gloria Swanson.
  • The Third Man (1949) Orson Welles may or may not be pulling a fast one on his ex-lover and Joseph Cotton. A fascinating suspense movie shot in post-WWII Vienna, with cinematic shots of the city's as yet unrepaired devastation.

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