Let’s talk romantic movies. Old romantic movies. No, not old as in Pretty Woman, or When Harry Met Sally – but Random Harvest or A Portrait of Jennie. Don’t know them? If you’re not into movies from the 30s and 40s you won’t. And if you aren’t familiar with these films, take a look at them next time they’re on because they are all dripping with romance.
Books and movies share a strong bond. Lovers of books tend to be lovers of movies. I’m often asked where I get my ideas. Many times they come from old movies. At the moment I have four potential plots in the works that come from old movies I’ve enjoyed. I’m not rewriting the plots, but I am taking a small comment, a theme or sometimes a core idea, and reworking it for a Love Inspired story.
One of the reasons I write inspirational romance is so I can concentrate on the romantic elements of the story. Which is why I’ll gravitate to an old romantic movie every time. Not only are they free of steamy scenes, but they contain strong faith elements that might surprise you. God, scripture, and Christian references are boldly stated in films of the past. Sadly, those things aren’t allowed in most films today.
There are certain books turned movies that sit at the top of every romance lovers list. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and the always popular Gone with the Wind. (Okay, a lot of that has to do with Clark Gable.) But there are dozens of movies out there that have rivers of romance in them that many are unaware of unless you’re a Turner Classic Movie’s fan. More and more I find readers who have never watched a famous old movie.
Random Harvest is an old time melodrama, an amnesia plot, but it works. It has a happy ending and yes, some of the plot twists are coincidental, but you care about the people and you want them to get back together. And you will remember this film.
If you like a romantic fantasy element, try A Portrait of Jennie, The Enchanted Cottage, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. And don’t forget the angst filled romances like A Stolen Life, Now Voyager, and Rebecca. If you’re familiar with these films you know what I’m talking about.
Then there’s everyone’s favorite, An Affair to Remember. Much of the movie is slow by todays’ standards, but the couple is so charming – Cary Grant! You have to keep watching. But it’s the ending that tears women’s hearts out. He’s bitter – she’s trying to be noble. The moment when he realizes the truth is brimming with romance and true love.
So. What is it readers look for in a romance story? What romantic moments linger with you after reading a good book or watching an old movie? Is it the kiss? The tension wondering if they will finally get together? Or is it the ending when dreams are realized. Maybe it’s the point where you discover the real reason the hero is so closed off to love.
Whatever it might be, share with us your special moments from a book or a film that stay with you. All authors want to write stories that touch their readers so let us know what makes an unforgettable moment.
I love old romantic movies, too. My son says that if it is in color I won’t like it.
I always seek out the old romantic movies first.
Screenwriters knew how to work with dialogue back then.
Lorraine Beatty says
You are so right. My hubby and I watched His Girl Friday a short while ago and the rapid fire dialogue was mind boggling. I’m sure I missed some of it but it kept the story moving and every word was important. :)
Terri Bright says
I totally agree that the older movies were the best. They proved that if you can write a good story, that it didn’t need sex, filthy language, and such to have success at the box office. Casablanca is another great example. My favorite, though is Rebecca…hands down.
Jennifer Slattery says
Wow, that’s a tough one! Though I’m sure it’s outside the scope of this question, I’d have to say my railroader hubby. He can still make my heart pitter-patter after 18 years. (Actually, I’m pretty sure the fluttery-tummy, heart-skipping has only increased the more I get to know him and all his adorable quirks!) There’s a hint of him in all my romance novels. :)
As to heros in novels…. I’m a big Mary Connealy fan, so I have to say, most every hero she’s crafted would be high up there. :) And although I’m not a huge Amish fiction reader, I did read Laura Hilton’s “A Harvest of Hearts” not long ago, and I liked the stoic, righteous, yet often accused (by the very confusing Shanna Stoltzfus!) Matthew Yoder.