Sunday, October 19, 2008

Love Without a Blaring Bonk.

In an effort to remove my mind from all that is happening in this big scary new world of ours, I pondered on the many movies I have seen over the years and reflected on what makes a truly marvellous love scene.

I am writing, of course, from the female point of view but I take comfort in the fact that some men of my acquaintance find these love scenes erotic and sensual also. I’m also far more taken in what is left to the imagination. I find graphic grinding a complete turn-off.

And, as an aside, I am amazed at the dearth of other-than-hetero sensuous love scenes out there in movieland. And mixed race. And First Nations peoples. And ?

Also, please bear in mind I’ve only made a partial list and in no particular order, there are many, many more. I would be interested in comments suggesting others.

The Big Easy (1987) - On the bed as he kisses her back.
Ryan’s Daughter (1970) - Off the horses, in the grass.
Pride and prejudice (1995) – Oh, that long, long look from Darcy as Elizabeth sits at the piano.
Hill Street Blues (1981) - She’s in the bath, with Frank shaving her legs.
Dad (1989) - They dance.
The Ghost & Mrs Muir (1947) - The ending.
Holiday (1938) - He realizes he’s going to marry the wrong sister.
Coming Home (1978) - In the wheelchair.
I know where I’m going (1945) - She dances with him at the ceilidh to “Nut Brown Maiden” – and he sings ‘she’s the one for me’.
It happened one night (1934) - Where else? In the motel room with the blanket divider.
The King and I (1956) - Shall we dance?
Lifeboat (1944) - Tallulah and her smouldering looks at John Hodiak in front of everyone on the boat.
Lost in Translation (2003) - Unstated, but oh so palpable.
Love again (2003) – Philip Larkin and understanding why he attracted so many women.
Million dollar Baby (2004) – Love surpassed the limitations of the human spirit.
Moonstruck (1987) – Cher at her best, loving the unlovable.
Now Voyager (1942) – Why wish for the stars when we can have the moon?
The Painted Veil (2006) – When they realize they are in love.
The English Patient (1996) – Candles in the courtyard.
Persuasion (1995) – Finally. In the busy square.
Prince of tides (1991) – Love as healer.
Impromptu (1991) - George Sand, Frederic Chopin. An unweathered Hugh Grant.
Carrington (1995) – Love and desire, uniquely explored.


  1. I'm not familiar with all in your list, WWW, but "Prince of Tides" - yes, yes, yes!! The last scene as Nick Nolte drives across the bridge saying "Lowenstein, Lowenstein" always makes me cry - love lost but won!

    These came to mind immediately I'd read your piece:

    Ben Hur - Charlton Heston & Haya Hareet
    If you were not a bride, I would kiss you goodbye.
    Esther: If I were not a bride, there would be no goodbyes to be said

    seems like not much - but so poignant as the story unfolds....and the Love Theme plays in the background, curling my toes.

    Bridges of Madison County - love isn't only for the young.

    Honeysuckle Rose Willie Nelson & Amy Irving eye-flirting on stage as he sings "Angel Flying to Close to the Ground" and she plays guitar - always struck me as a special moment.

    Random Harvest When he regains his memory, at last.

    Little Women When Jo finds her professor in the rain.

  2. Yes, I'm also moved more by the suggested than the explicit which in films is usually embarrassingly mechanical-looking. It makes me realise I don't really remember sex scenes at all, more the scenes of intimacy and affection. Like in Manhattan and Once.

  3. T:
    I agree on Bridges and Random Harvest and also Little Women. I could never stand Heston, however, and Willie does nothing for me. Though I should be able to transcend my pre-conceived notions!! I always bawl at that scene in Prince. Wonderfully done.

  4. Nick:
    I can never get my head around the physical Woody as a lover whilst enjoying his mind :)
    I so want to see Once, I've heard wonderful stuff about it.

  5. I really enjoyed Lost in Translation too. On my list would also be It's a Wonderful Life, Oscar and Lucinda and Awakenings.


  6. H:
    OMG I forgot that scene in WL where he sings to her - it is wonderful!
    Oscar & Lucinda - YES!
    And "Awakenings" I remember the movie but forget the love scene, remind me?
    I just remembered "Charlie" too with Cliff Robertson.

  7. oh what a fun list!

    we just watched "i know where i'm going" last week. i agree with you. but persuasion it has to be the letter scene. i think i am one stepped removed from repressed; i like the moment before rather than the moment of. though i agree with you about pride and prejudice and the piano scene.... sigh.

  8. Laurie:
    Yes, the letter scene is fabulous. I love the hustle and bustle around her as she gathers her thoughts.
    I've just ordered 'Once' from Amazon.

  9. You may laugh, but the one that always makes weep is from the 2000 remake of Fantasia. The music was Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance Marches, the setting was Noah's Ark, and the romance was provided by Donald and Daisy Duck. Donald believes he has lost Daisy to the flood, but they are finally reunited in the last moments of the segment and walk off into the sunset arm in arm. Very emotional stuff!

  10. RJA:
    I must rewatch Fantasia now. Wow!
    Ducks. Who'd have guessed? ;^)

  11. Painting the toenails in "Bull Durham"....

  12. Donna:
    Of course!!!!! (And welcome to my world).

  13. www - I'm at one with you on P&P, I Know Where I'm Going, Now Voyager and Persuasion. I also agree with twilight about Random Harvest and Little Women and hullaballoo about It's a Wonderful Life. For myself I find the last scene of the latest version of Persuasion very moving -as you watch the tear roll down Anne's cheek. I have also now just watched on DVD last year's BBC version of Sense&Sensibility - the final scene when Elinor and Edward finally find each other is deeply touching, even better than in the Emma Thompson version.

    You don't mention Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember - inevitably tagged with Sleepless in Seattle.


  14. OF:
    There were so many that didn't come to mind and should have. Like Burt Lancaster and Deborah K in "From here to eternity" and "Brief Encounter" with Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard.
    I must order S&S on your recommendation.


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