The Countess DeLave once said “Oh, l’amour, l’amour, how it can let you down… how it can pick you up again.”
With Cupid’s busiest day just around the corner, here’s a Retro Set Valentine to you, celebrating “l’amour” in all its forms. A glance, touch of the hand, embrace, a passionate kiss, or even serious sexual tension with a heaping side of brooding–these cinematic moments help define what it means to be romantic. And sure, we know most of it is far from realistic, but who cares!
We’ve collected images and gifs that make our hearts beat a little faster, our knees a little weaker, our heads a little lighter, and our lives a little sweeter. And if things get a bit too hot, just do what we do: stick your head in the freezer.
Bogie and Bacall.
Who says kisses have to be perfect?
“I’m dyin’, Pearl!”
Harlow + Gable = Pure sex.
“As you wish.”
Love knows no borders.
Well, I mean, who *wouldn’t* for a 1984 Daryl Hannah.
Not so true love.
Rhett and Scarlett
Love can make you crazy.
Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart
“This is the night …”
sex on the beach, anyone?
Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman: beautifully complicated.
Gilbert and Garbo prove that silents are sexy.
“Don’t lets ask for the moon. We have the stars.”
Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills.
All the sobs.
Spring and Autumn, or, Kim Novak and Fredric March.
“Nobody puts baby in a corner.”
Kirk and Uhura making TV history while making out.
Buster gets the girl … again.
George Sanders and Ingrid Bergman
Fudd falls for Bugs in an operatic spoof for the ages.
Olivia and Errol. That is all.
Cue the waterworks.
Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.
Sexy Stanny and Handsome Hank.
“I love you.” “I know.”
“Somebody’s getting married.”
John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Soaking wet. And … yup …
James Bonds kisses Pussy Galore. No comment.
You really should be at home with your wife, Yuri. But Lara IS smoking hot.
Scout adores her daddy. (Really, though, who doesn’t?)
“The walls of Jericho.”
(Gee, I wonder which Retro Set editor snuck a Daniel Day Lewis photo in here…)
So much sex.
“When you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
Nick and Nora = the perfect couple.
Glenn Ford cannot handle your hotness, Rita, and neither can we.
Eva Marie Saint and Cary Grant.
George Peppard, Audrey Hepburn … and the original grumpy cat.
Gene Kelly shares a kiss and a smoke in The Pirate (1948).
Hands everywhere. (Joel McCrea and Jean Arthur in The More the Merrier, 1943)
Greg Peck knows how to keep it sexy:
with Audrey Hepburn (Roman Holiday, 1953) …
… and Ava Gardner (The Great Sinner, 1949)
So does Fredric March (with Miriam Hopkins in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1931)
More from The Pirate because, well, it’s just really hot.
“You broke my heart.” (The Godfather Part II, 1974)
Jimmy gets his He-Man on. (with Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story, 1940)
Ronald Colman and Greer Garson k-i-s-s-i-n-g. (Random Harvest, 1942)
And how could we leave you with anyone else but Bogie and Bacall? “It’s even better when you help.” (To Have and Have Not, 1941.)
When Fred Astaire sang about ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz,’ he had one destination in mind: The Supper Club. Chances are, if you’re at all familiar with American cinema of the 1930s, you’ve seen these decadent […]
Author’s note: This interview was originally published in 2011 in celebration of Jean Harlow’s 100th birthday, and the release of the book Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital. We re-print it […]