Legendary Lovers: Best Historical Films for Valentine’s Day

 Legendary Lovers: Best Historical Films for Valentine’s Day

Romeo and Juliet or Leyla ve Mecnun (Leyla and Majnun), Napoleon and Josephine or Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo… History has recorded dozens of legendary loves, some fictional and some real. These loves have inspired the culture and art world of societies for tens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. Of course, cinema has also had its share of the muses of legendary lovers. As 14 February Valentine’s Day is approaching, we have compiled the best historical films about legendary lovers that you can watch on this special day!


Casablanca (1942)

A classic, Casablanca is already one of the most successful films in history, but it can also be considered one of the best Valentine’s Day films! Directed by Michael Curtiz, this legendary film, which won Curtiz the Academy Award for Best Director, is set in Casablanca, the capital of Algeria under the rule of Vicy France during the Second World War. The film stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid.

In Casablanca, we follow the experiences of a US soldier who has to choose between love and duty.

Romeo e Giulietta (1968)

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Romeo and Juliet (1968) is one of the films for Valentine’s Day

Adapted by Italian director Franco Zeffirelli from William Shakespeare’s cult play Romeo and Juliet, this film is one of the best Romeo and Juliet adaptations. Romeo e Giulietta, a faithful period film, won two Academy Awards. The film stars Leonard Whiting as Romeo and Olivia Hussey as Juliet.

Out of Africa (1985)

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Winner of 7 Academy Awards, Out of Africa is based on the autobiographical book of the same name by Danish writer Isak Dinesen (real name Karen Blixen). This cult production, whose soundtrack by John Barry is also considered among the best film scores, is about Karen Blixen’s experiences in Africa in the early 20th century and her love affair with a baron who is trying to establish a coffee plantation there. As Karen’s relationship soon becomes complicated, we see the reality of colonialism in the background.

Starring Meryl Steep, Robert Redford and Klaus Maria Brandauer, Out of Aftica may seem boring to some with its duration of 2 hours and 40 minutes. However, it is an ideal Valentine’s Day film for history buffs with its perfect soundtrack, perfect African landscapes and romantic loves.

Far and Away (1992)

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One of the most famous couples of the 90s was Nicole Kidman – Tom Cruise. Both were at the peak of their careers and in 1999, they would star together in Stanley Kubrick’s legendary Eyes Wide Shut. However, this was not the first film in which the duo shared the lead role together. Earlier in the decade, in 1992, they also starred together in a historical romance film.

In the film Far and Away, directed by Ron Howard, Kidman and Cruise played two Irishmen whose paths crossed in the USA in 1893 and who would soon fall in love with each other. Although it did not receive very good reviews from critics at the time of its release, Far and Away is a great Valentine’s Day film with its simple but gripping plot and romantic scenes of two immigrant lovers in the Wild West!

Titanic (1997)


The music and the sacrificial love of Rose (Kate Winslet) and Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) make James Cameron’s blockbuster Titanic one of the best Valentine’s Day films. Cameron tells the story of the Titanic accident, which left its mark on the history of shipping, from the point of view of two lovers, one rich and one poor, who meet on this gigantic ship.

The film had such an impact on couples at the time of its release that for many years everyone imitated Rose and Jack’s embrace on the deck of the ship. Some even fell into the water while trying to “pose as the Titanic”!

This film, which also memorised Celine Dion’s song “My Heart Will Go On“, may move you to tears with the tragedy it tells, but it will also make your heart flutter with Rose and Jack’s love; if you haven’t seen it yet!

Tristan & Isolde (2006)

Valentine's Day Films

Those who love medieval romances have surely heard the story of Tristan and Isolde. This romance about the forbidden love between the knight Tristan of Kernevek and the Irish princess Isolde was adapted to the cinema by Kevin Reynolds in 2006.

The cast of Tristan & Isolde, which did not receive bad reviews, included James Franco, Sophia Myles, Rufus Sewell, David O’Hara, as well as Henry Cavill, who was still at the beginning of his career.

Tristan & Isolde can easily be counted among the best Valentine’s Day films.

Testament of Youth (2014)

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Based on Vera Brittain’s (1893-1970) First World War memoir of the same name, Testament of Youth, often described as the story of a lost generation, is one of the best romantic war films of the last decade.

The film, which Brittain’s daughter Baroness Shirley Williams also praised in an interview, tells the story of Vera Brittain, who drops out of school and becomes a nurse when the war breaks out. Vera finds herself in a complex and passionate love affair alongside all the pains of war.

Directed by James Kent, the film stars Alicia Vikander as Vera, accompanied by Kit Harington, Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan and Dominic West.

Onur Bayrakçeken

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