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Memorable Movies from Nora Ephron

Updated on March 10, 2015

Nora Ephron May 19, 1941 – June 26, 2012

With the passing of one of Hollywood's greatest writers and producers we are gratefully left with memorable movies. Nora Ephron was not only a writer and producer she also directed and even acted in a couple of movies herself.

From romantic comedies to full on humor we have a movie for every occasion. The Oscar nominated screenwriter was born in New York but grew up in Beverly Hills. She returned to her home state after high school and started her amazing adventure.

You might be surprised to know she was an intern during JFK's presidency and was a mail girl at Newsweek. Steadily she gained recognition with her writing efforts most especially with her satirical newspaper.

She went on to make acclaimed movies some of which will be listed here. This is a compilation of her memorable movies. Though not all of her movies were blockbuster hits she made movies that touched the heart or your funny bone for that matter.


Heartburn (1986)

The book was hilarious. I thought the sarcastic humor and open dialogue was a perfect combination. To have it played by Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson makes it even more memorable.

The fact that the book was loosely based on her own personal experience during her marriage to Carl Bernstein, noted investigative journalist makes it even more appealing.

Affairs happen and it's about bouncing back that matters. Even if it's done with some bitterness and cooking to boot!

"An expert in all the departments of living well. You could call on her for anything: doctors, restaurants, recipes, speeches or just a few jokes, and we all did it, constantly. Nora just looked at every situation and cocked her head and thought, 'Hmmmm, how can I make this more fun?'"

-Meryl Streep

When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

Probably one of the most memorable alongside Sleepless in Seattle which we will get to in a minute. The romantic comedy was the first of it's kind to have just the right balance of romance and humor to get males to watch it as well.

Meg Ryan was still fresh and cute and Billy Crystal was on point hilarious. Their chemistry plays out well and you develop along with them as they go through being friends to lovers to just plain awkward.

Who could forget Sally's famous orgasm scene in the restaurant. I also loved the scene between Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby as they discussed the fate of the "wheel table".

"She was a brilliant writer and humorist. Being her Harry to Meg's Sally will always have a special place in my heart. I was very lucky to get to say her words."

- Billy Crystal

Michael (1996)

Although it didn't make a killing at the box office, it's still a memorable movie. John Travolta plays an angel called Michael who dances, smokes and sweeps young women off their feet.

No ordinary angel, Michael is being investigated by 2 tabloid reporters. What they don't expect is for their encounter with Michael to change their lives.

I love the dancing to Chain of Fools in the bar. Even overweight John Travolta can still do his moves.

"In a world where we're told that you can't have it all, Nora consistently proved that adage wrong. A writer, director, wife, mother, chef, wit — there didn't seem to be anything she couldn't do. And not just do it, but excel at it, revolutionize it, set the bar for every other screenwriter, novelist, director. She was inspiring, intimidating and insightful. She was so, so alive. It makes no sense to me that she isn't anymore. My heart goes out to her family and the many others who treasured her."

- Carrie Fisher

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

There must have been a thousand proposals by now on the Empire State Building because of this movie.

It has all the elements to make it a memorable movie. Tom Hanks' hilarity yet sensitive nature. Meg Ryan's adorable yet matter of fact attitude.

A movie done on opposite sides of America and flight after flight of trying to get them together, how perfect is that? The fact that it takes a page from one of the all time classics An Affair to Remember doesn't diminish it's originality. It only further enhances it.

Somehow it teaches us to reach for the stars and take chances. An enjoyable movie for the whole family or for a couple in love or falling in love.

Watch for the dinner scene between Tom, Rita and Victor. It's hilarious!

"Nora Ephron was a journalist/artist who knew what was important to know; how things really worked, what was worthwhile, who was fascinating and why,"

- Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

Julie & Julia (2009)

Another collaboration with Meryl Streep, this was a sleeper hit with a great story line. It combines love for cooking and blogging. It also gives inspiration to create challenges for yourself and to stick to your goals.

Julie Powell aims to cook every recipe from the Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The movie is actually 2 books in one and is perfectly spun together to create an engaging story.

The real life Julie blogged about her efforts to complete all 524 recipes from the book. Scenes of Julia's life are taken from an autobiography written by Alex Prud'homme. It also features an endearing love story between Julia and her husband Paul.

"She was the one you wanted to read, to listen to, to be in the company of. Nora Ephron. Incomparable wit; delightful friend. Sadness reigns,"

-Steve Martin

Which is your favorite Nora Ephron movie?

See results

These are movies that you'll keep coming back to. They can be compared to comfort food in a way. Movies to watch on a lazy afternoon or huddled under a blanket on a rainy day.

Nora Ephron's legacy will be the movies that she helped create and some that even have a place in our heart.


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    • livelovelaugh5 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi Docmo,

      Thank you for the comment!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      8 years ago from UK

      A really good write and director who made some romantic classics. She knew how to handle the script and get the best out of her cast. Female directors being a rarity- she is a true stalwart! good tribute for her- voted up!


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