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Top 5 WW2 Romantic Dramas

Updated on September 18, 2008

Romance probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind when something like World War II is mentioned. Nevertheless, some truly romantic - and often tragic - films have captured some magnificent stories over the years. Some of these you've heard of, some, perhaps not. But all of them are worth watching. They aren't each necessarily about the war itself, but all of them at least take place during that time. Not to mention these were made during the golden age of Hollywood -- you know, when actors were believable, and stories were actually meaningful.

1. Casablanca (1942)

Has anyone not heard of this? I can't imagine that being the case. Nominated for 8 Oscars, this film took home 3. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in perhaps their most famous roles. Set in Casablanca, Morocco, Bogart plays a cranky club owner who's establishment attracts all kinds - including Nazis. By chance, he winds up in possession of some valuable documents intended for sale to the highest bidder. Unfortunately for him, the highest bidder is someone from his past - someone he'd rather forget. Cue dramatic music.

2. Notorious (1946)

Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman (yes, her again). Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, that ought to let you know this is going to be a bit dark. Nominated for 2 Oscars. Bergman's father was German spy who committed suicide whilst in prison. She's then offered the opportunity to redeem her family name by spying on a group of German scientists. Grant is her handler, and she quickly falls in love with him, but he doesn't appear to share the feeling.

3. Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Greer Garson and Walter Pigeon. Nominated for 12 Oscars, it won 6. The Miniver family enjoys comfortable means, but are not quite upper-crust. Their son falls in love with, and marries, the granddaughter of a Lady, despite the Lady's objections. Eventually the son feels it's his duty to join the Air Force and while he's away his town is badly bombed and things go wrong at home.

4. From Here to Eternity (1953)

Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra. This film won 8 Oscars, it was nominated for 13. Set in 1941 Hawaii, just before Pearl Harbor happens. Clift is transferred to a new company and his Captain wants him to box for them. Clift refuses and the Captain makes his life hell. In the meantime, his wife (Kerr) is seeking solace in the arms of other men, most notably Burt Lancaster - and she's falling in love.

5. A Guy Named Joe (1943)

Spencer Tracy, Irene Dune. Nominated for an Oscar. Tracy was a bomber pilot who was shot down in action. He dies, and becomes guardian angel to another pilot. He even helps the guy romance his old girlfriend!

Keep in mind, these are staged during a tragic period in world history. You will not find anything that resembles "Sleepless in Seattle" on this list. Most of the time you wind up with unrequited love, so beware! They are all worth watching, though.


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    • profile image

      Liz 8 years ago

      Estelle is it Random Harvest?

    • profile image

      Estelle  8 years ago

      Does anyone know what is the film's name - also a romatic war movie, unfortunately don't know what year or name about a girl engage to a man who went off to war and missing in action. She later moved on with her life and marry another guy. Her first love return finding her married. Her husband died eventually and then the 2 of them are together, very nice film. Do you know the name? it is also important to me to know. - thanks

    • profile image

      Bethany Quine 8 years ago

      Anne Matthews: That movie is called Tomorrow is Forever (1946) and stars Claudette Colbert and Orson Welles.

    • adventure profile image

      adventure 9 years ago from U.S.A.

      You played it for her, now play it for me. Play it

    • profile image

      Anne Matthews 10 years ago

      Can anyone help me? I saw a film in 1956 or there abouts. It was based in America and it started with a couple getting married. She comes home to find him dressed in uniform as he had joined up. He was later infured badly - disfigured. She was informed he was dead so she eventually got on with her life. Some years later she took on a tuitor for her children. He first husband turned up for the job but she did not recognise him although there was something familiar about him.

      Just before he died she realised who he was. Very tearful - wonderful film.

      Can anyone help me identify it. It's so important to me.


    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 10 years ago

      Cgull - They're great!

      Fretbuzz - Pearl Harbor was absolute rubbish!! I accept your apology. ;-p

    • profile image

      Fretbuzz 10 years ago

      Casablanca -one of the greatest films ever made. I haven't seen the others.

      I was soooo afraid I'd see Pearl Harbor on your list -what a travesty.

      I apologize, I know you are better than that.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 10 years ago from North Carolina

      I have seen only the first two, I will definitely check the others, I love Casablanca and Notorious, great movies.

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 10 years ago

      Yes, you need to see it! it was a very popular film! :)

    • JamesRay profile image

      JamesRay 10 years ago from Philadelphia

      Great hub. Casablanca is my #3 favorite film of all time. Great, great, great. I also love Notorious. I need to see Mrs. Miniver, don't I?