Old Hollywood Melodramas

by funnygurl | created - 02 Sep 2012 | updated - 11 Oct 2012 | Public

Weepies, soapers, tear jerkers... Whatever you want to call them, these films always have lots of heightend emotion and are always fun! List is still in progress. Suggestions are always welcome.

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1. Imitation of Life (1934)

Approved | 111 min | Drama, Romance

A struggling widow and her daughter take in a black housekeeper and her fair-skinned daughter; the two women start a successful business, but face familial, identity, and racial issues along the way.

Director: John M. Stahl | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson, Ned Sparks

Votes: 3,695

2. Imitation of Life (1959)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

An aspiring actress befriends a black widow, but trouble arises when the latter is rejected by her daughter, who tries to pass for white.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee, Susan Kohner

Votes: 13,785 | Gross: $13.99M

Both the original and the remake are worth watching.

3. Stella Dallas (1937)

Approved | 106 min | Drama, Romance

A working-class woman is willing to do whatever it takes to give her daughter a socially promising future.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 4,207 | Gross: $2.00M

4. The Old Maid (1939)

Approved | 95 min | Drama

The arrival of an ex-lover on a young woman's wedding day sets in motion a chain of events which will alter her and her cousin's lives forever.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, George Brent, Donald Crisp

Votes: 2,946

5. Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A writer falls in love with a young socialite and they're soon married. But her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of them both, and everyone else around them.

Director: John M. Stahl | Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price

Votes: 9,955

6. Old Acquaintance (1943)

Passed | 110 min | Drama, Romance

Old friends Kit Marlowe and Millie Drake adopt contrasting lifestyles: Kit is a single, critically acclaimed author while married Millie writes popular pulp novels.

Director: Vincent Sherman | Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, Gig Young, John Loder

Votes: 2,730

7. Waterloo Bridge (1940)

Passed | 108 min | Drama, Romance, War

During World War I, believing her fiance to be dead, a young ballerina loses her job and is forced to turn to prostitution.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Robert Taylor, Lucile Watson, Virginia Field

Votes: 8,322

8. Random Harvest (1942)

Passed | 126 min | Drama, Romance

An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Ronald Colman, Greer Garson, Philip Dorn, Susan Peters

Votes: 6,502 | Gross: $10.14M

9. Mildred Pierce (1945)

Passed | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden

Votes: 20,901

10. Magnificent Obsession (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Romance

A selfish playboy enamored by a woman he seems to hurt more than he intends begins to understand a deeper meaning to their relationship.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead, Otto Kruger

Votes: 5,458

11. All That Heaven Allows (1955)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama, Romance

An upper-class widow falls in love with a much younger, down-to-earth nurseryman, much to the disapproval of her children and criticism of her country club peers.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead, Conrad Nagel

Votes: 12,193

12. Written on the Wind (1956)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama

Alcoholic playboy Kyle Hadley marries the woman secretly loved by his poor but hard-working best friend, who in turn is pursued by Kyle's nymphomaniac sister.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone

Votes: 9,286

13. The Best of Everything (1959)

Approved | 121 min | Drama, Romance

An expose of the lives and loves of Madison Avenue working girls and their higher ups.

Director: Jean Negulesco | Stars: Hope Lange, Stephen Boyd, Suzy Parker, Martha Hyer

Votes: 1,640

14. Peyton Place (1957)

Approved | 157 min | Drama, Romance

A peaceful New England town hides secrets and scandals.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Lana Turner, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan, Arthur Kennedy

Votes: 4,874 | Gross: $25.60M

15. A Summer Place (1959)

Approved | 130 min | Drama, Romance

A self-made businessman rekindles a romance with a former flame while their two teenage children begin a romance of their own with drastic consequences for both couples.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Richard Egan, Dorothy McGuire, Sandra Dee, Arthur Kennedy

Votes: 2,708

16. All About Eve (1950)

Passed | 138 min | Drama

98 Metascore

An ingénue insinuates herself into the lives of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm

Votes: 112,558 | Gross: $0.01M

17. Penny Serenade (1941)

Not Rated | 119 min | Drama, Romance

A couple's big dreams give way to a life full of unexpected sadness and unexpected joy.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Beulah Bondi, Edgar Buchanan

Votes: 5,806

18. The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

Passed | 118 min | Drama, Romance

An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell

Votes: 11,999

19. A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Romance

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands...but she does not say which one.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas

Votes: 7,823

20. The Women (1939)

Not Rated | 133 min | Comedy, Drama

A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland

Votes: 11,828 | Gross: $2.27M

Avoid the remake of this one.

21. Love Affair (1939)

Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A French playboy and an American former nightclub singer fall in love aboard a ship. They arrange to reunite six months later, after he has had a chance to earn a decent living.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya, Lee Bowman

Votes: 4,014

22. 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: 26,204

Remake of "Love Affair".

23. Love Affair (1994)

PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

Ex-football star Mike Gambril meets Terry McKay on a flight to Sydney, which is forced to land on a small atoll. Both engaged to others, they become romantic on board the ship sent to take ... See full summary »

Director: Glenn Gordon Caron | Stars: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Katharine Hepburn, Garry Shandling

Votes: 4,218 | Gross: $18.25M

Remake of "Love Affair" (1939) and "An Affair to Remember" (1957)

24. A Star Is Born (1937)

Passed | 111 min | Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, but achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.

Directors: William A. Wellman, Jack Conway | Stars: Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, May Robson

Votes: 7,996 | Gross: $4.36M

25. A Star Is Born (1954)

Passed | 154 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

89 Metascore

A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford

Votes: 14,516 | Gross: $14.93M

Remake of the 1937 film

26. A Star Is Born (1976)

R | 139 min | Drama, Music, Romance

59 Metascore

A has-been rock star falls in love with a young, up-and-coming songstress.

Director: Frank Pierson | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson, Gary Busey, Oliver Clark

Votes: 9,060 | Gross: $80.00M

Remake of the 1937 and 1954 films.

27. Now, Voyager (1942)

Approved | 117 min | Drama, Romance

A frumpy spinster blossoms under therapy and becomes an elegant, independent woman.

Director: Irving Rapper | Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper

Votes: 13,938

28. The Letter (1940)

Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, Frieda Inescort

Votes: 10,732

29. Camille (1936)

Passed | 109 min | Drama, Romance

A Parisian courtesan must choose between the young man who loves her and the callous baron who wants her, even as her own health begins to fail.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan

Votes: 6,845 | Gross: $1.15M

30. All This, and Heaven Too (1940)

Approved | 141 min | Drama, Romance

A duchess' irrational behavior toward the governess of her children triggers tragic events that will change her family's lives forever.

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 4,050

31. Love Story (1970)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

A boy and a girl from different backgrounds fall in love regardless of their upbringing - and then tragedy strikes.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: Ali MacGraw, Ryan O'Neal, John Marley, Ray Milland

Votes: 27,897 | Gross: $106.40M

32. Three on a Match (1932)

Passed | 63 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Although Vivian Revere is seemingly the most successful of a trio of reunited schoolmates, she throws it away by descending into a life of debauchery and drugs.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Joan Blondell, Warren William, Ann Dvorak, Bette Davis

Votes: 3,038

33. Diamond Head (1962)

Not Rated | 107 min | Drama, Romance

Rich Hawaiian pineapple grower and US Senatorial candidate Richard Howland tries to control everything and everyone around him, including his headstrong sister, Slone. Howland learns the ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Green | Stars: Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, George Chakiris, France Nuyen

Votes: 657

34. Madame X (1966)

Approved | 100 min | Drama

When her lover is killed, the wife of a wealthy man is convinced to fake her own death, which leads her into greater depths of depravity until fate reunites her with her long-lost son, who is unaware of her real identity.

Director: David Lowell Rich | Stars: Lana Turner, John Forsythe, Ricardo Montalban, Burgess Meredith

Votes: 1,833

35. From the Terrace (1960)

Passed | 149 min | Drama, Romance

An ambitious young executive chooses a loveless marriage and an unfulfilling personal life in exchange for a successful Wall Street career.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Myrna Loy, Ina Balin

Votes: 2,303 | Gross: $11.34M

36. Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)

G | 102 min | Drama, Romance

Three American women working in Rome, Italy, share a spacious apartment and the desire to find love and marriage, each experiencing a few bumps in their journeys to romance.

Director: Jean Negulesco | Stars: Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan

Votes: 2,849

37. Peyton Place (1957)

Approved | 157 min | Drama, Romance

A peaceful New England town hides secrets and scandals.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Lana Turner, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan, Arthur Kennedy

Votes: 4,874 | Gross: $25.60M

38. Return to Peyton Place (1961)

Approved | 123 min | Drama

The residents of Peyton Place, New Hampshire, are not happy when its most famous denizen, Alison Mackenzie, writes a "shocking" novel detailing the sinful secrets of the town. Most outraged... See full summary »

Director: José Ferrer | Stars: Carol Lynley, Jeff Chandler, Eleanor Parker, Mary Astor

Votes: 720

39. Where Love Has Gone (1964)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama

A divorced couple's teen-age daughter stands trial for stabbing her mother's latest lover.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Bette Davis, Susan Hayward, Mike Connors, Joey Heatherton

Votes: 1,193

40. In This Our Life (1942)

Approved | 97 min | Drama

The day before her wedding, a pampered young woman absconds with her sister's husband; in retaliation, her sister begins seeing the woman's former fiancé.

Directors: John Huston, Raoul Walsh | Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent, Dennis Morgan

Votes: 3,756



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