Best Romantic Drama Films Ever

by rlbell78 | created - 07 May 2015 | updated - 30 Jul 2015 | Public

I have not included mini-series in this list (as much as I wanted to add a whole bunch of period dramas!). I have also included romantic comedies in a separate list: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls008749119/

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1. Brief Encounter (1945)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Romance

Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey

Votes: 33,158

2. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

PG-13 | 135 min | Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

Photographer Robert Kincaid (Clint Eastwood) wanders into the life of housewife Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep), for four days in the 1960s.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Annie Corley, Victor Slezak

Votes: 68,227 | Gross: $71.52M

3. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

PG | 129 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome his or her own pride and prejudice?

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland

Votes: 238,891 | Gross: $38.41M

4. Vertigo (1958)

PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller

100 Metascore

A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore

Votes: 337,195 | Gross: $3.20M

5. Dirty Dancing (1987)

PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Music, Romance

65 Metascore

Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle.

Director: Emile Ardolino | Stars: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes

Votes: 187,948 | Gross: $0.62M

6. The African Queen (1951)

PG | 105 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

91 Metascore

In WWI Africa, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley, Peter Bull

Votes: 68,459 | Gross: $0.54M

7. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 273,757 | Gross: $198.68M

8. Out of Sight (1998)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

85 Metascore

A career bank robber breaks out of jail, and shares a moment of mutual attraction with a U.S. Marshal he has kidnapped.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Steve Zahn

Votes: 81,754 | Gross: $37.56M

9. Before Sunrise (1995)

R | 101 min | Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Andrea Eckert, Hanno Pöschl

Votes: 249,955 | Gross: $5.54M

10. Before Sunset (2004)

R | 80 min | Drama, Romance

90 Metascore

Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff, Louise Lemoine Torrès

Votes: 218,429 | Gross: $5.82M

11. Before Midnight (2013)

R | 109 min | Drama, Romance

94 Metascore

We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Ariane Labed

Votes: 129,582 | Gross: $8.11M

12. My Life Without Me (2003)

R | 106 min | Drama, Romance

57 Metascore

A young woman conceals the fact of her terminal cancer to live her life with a passion she never had before.

Director: Isabel Coixet | Stars: Sarah Polley, Scott Speedman, Mark Ruffalo, Leonor Watling

Votes: 23,499 | Gross: $0.40M

13. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

PG | 136 min | Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

Rich Mr. Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson) dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the title opposites.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, James Fleet, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 96,179 | Gross: $43.18M

14. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 494,649 | Gross: $1.02M

15. A Very Long Engagement (2004)

R | 133 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

76 Metascore

Tells the story of a young woman's relentless search for her fiancé, who has disappeared from the trenches of the Somme during World War One.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Audrey Tautou, Gaspard Ulliel, Jodie Foster, Dominique Pinon

Votes: 69,221 | Gross: $6.17M

16. A Room with a View (1985)

Not Rated | 117 min | Drama, Romance

80 Metascore

In a Florence pensione circa 1900 with English guests, George Emerson (Julian Sands) and his dad (Denholm Elliott) offer their rooms with views to Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) and her chaperone, Charlotte Bartlett (Dame Maggie Smith). Lucy and George get acquainted, but Lucy returns to England. George and Lucy meet again, but now she's engaged.

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliott, Julian Sands

Votes: 37,247 | Gross: $20.97M

17. Les Misérables (2012)

PG-13 | 158 min | Drama, History, Musical

63 Metascore

In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried

Votes: 295,337 | Gross: $148.81M

18. An Affair to Remember (1957)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

A couple falls in love and agrees to meet in six months at the Empire State Building - but will it happen?

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Richard Denning, Neva Patterson

Votes: 26,439

19. Unfinished Sky (2007)

94 min | Drama, Romance

An Outback farmer takes in an Afghani woman who has fled from a brothel.

Director: Peter Duncan | Stars: William McInnes, Monic Hendrickx, Milo, Bille Brown

Votes: 968

20. The Notebook (2004)

PG-13 | 123 min | Drama, Romance

53 Metascore

A poor yet passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom, but they are soon separated because of their social differences.

Director: Nick Cassavetes | Stars: Gena Rowlands, James Garner, Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling

Votes: 492,539 | Gross: $81.00M

21. Manhattan (1979)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend's mistress.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Michael Murphy

Votes: 125,528 | Gross: $45.70M

22. In the Mood for Love (2000)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu, Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung

Votes: 112,519 | Gross: $2.73M

23. Titanic (1997)

PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates

Votes: 994,399 | Gross: $659.33M

24. A Walk to Remember (2002)

PG | 101 min | Drama, Romance

35 Metascore

The story of two North Carolina teens, Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan, who are thrown together after Landon gets into trouble and is made to do community service.

Director: Adam Shankman | Stars: Mandy Moore, Shane West, Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah

Votes: 192,631 | Gross: $41.23M

25. Cruel Intentions (1999)

R | 97 min | Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

Two vicious step-siblings of an elite Manhattan prep school make a wager: to deflower the new headmaster's daughter before the start of term.

Director: Roger Kumble | Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair

Votes: 173,024 | Gross: $38.33M

26. Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

R | 119 min | Drama, Romance

74 Metascore

A scheming widow and her manipulative ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Swoosie Kurtz

Votes: 61,642 | Gross: $34.70M

27. Lost in Translation (2003)

R | 102 min | Drama, Romance

89 Metascore

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris

Votes: 389,191 | Gross: $44.59M

28. Ghost (1990)

PG-13 | 127 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

52 Metascore

After a young man is murdered, his spirit stays behind to warn his lover of impending danger, with the help of a reluctant psychic.

Director: Jerry Zucker | Stars: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn

Votes: 186,693 | Gross: $217.63M

29. Begin Again (II) (2013)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

62 Metascore

A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business executive and a young singer-songwriter, new to Manhattan, turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents.

Director: John Carney | Stars: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld

Votes: 134,526 | Gross: $16.17M

30. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

G | 84 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

95 Metascore

A Prince cursed to spend his days as a hideous monster sets out to regain his humanity by earning a young woman's love.

Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise | Stars: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Jesse Corti, Rex Everhart

Votes: 402,546 | Gross: $218.97M

31. One Day (2011)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Romance

48 Metascore

After spending the night together on the night of their college graduation Dexter and Emma are shown each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day.

Director: Lone Scherfig | Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson, Tom Mison

Votes: 132,017 | Gross: $13.84M

32. Once (I) (2007)

R | 86 min | Drama, Music, Romance

88 Metascore

A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.

Director: John Carney | Stars: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Hugh Walsh, Gerard Hendrick

Votes: 107,185 | Gross: $9.44M

33. Jane Eyre (2011)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret.

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga | Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Su Elliot

Votes: 77,529 | Gross: $11.24M

34. Becoming Jane (2007)

PG | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman.

Director: Julian Jarrold | Stars: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell

Votes: 56,052 | Gross: $18.67M

35. Match Point (2005)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

72 Metascore

At a turning point in his life, a former tennis pro falls for an actress who happens to be dating his friend and soon-to-be brother-in-law.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode

Votes: 197,305 | Gross: $23.09M

36. Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

PG-13 | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

A young peasant maid working in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer becomes his talented assistant and the model for one of his most famous works.

Director: Peter Webber | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson, Judy Parfitt

Votes: 69,762 | Gross: $11.63M

37. The Constant Gardener (2005)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

82 Metascore

A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption.

Director: Fernando Meirelles | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Hubert Koundé

Votes: 128,200 | Gross: $33.58M

38. The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

47 Metascore

A Chicago librarian has a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, creating complications in his marriage.

Director: Robert Schwentke | Stars: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Ron Livingston, Michelle Nolden

Votes: 135,861 | Gross: $63.41M

39. An Affair of Love (1999)

R | 80 min | Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

A woman puts an ad in a magazine looking for a man to fulfill her fantasy of a stringless, anonymous pornographic affair.

Director: Frédéric Fonteyne | Stars: Nathalie Baye, Sergi López, Jacques Viala, Paul Pavel

Votes: 5,075 | Gross: $0.35M

40. Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

PG-13 | 145 min | Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

Director: Rob Marshall | Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh, Suzuka Ohgo

Votes: 134,109 | Gross: $57.49M

41. The Way We Were (1973)

PG | 118 min | Drama, Romance

61 Metascore

Two disparate people have a wonderful romance, but their political views and convictions drive them apart.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman, Lois Chiles

Votes: 21,022

42. The English Patient (1996)

R | 162 min | Drama, Romance, War

87 Metascore

At the close of World War II, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 171,005 | Gross: $78.65M



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