All you need is love … and film

Published 4:14 pm Monday, February 12, 2018

Greetings, lovebirds and cinephiles of Winchester!

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and the retail industry is working overtime in their pursuit of selling us the commercial sentiment that a card, flowers and heart-shaped box of chocolates are the true symbols of love.

Valentine’s Day is viewed in the west as a day to celebrate the love shared between spouses or significant others.

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Love should be celebrated every day, not just on Feb. 14 because we are directed to.

Real love is not all hugs and kisses but is rooted much deeper in the genuine respect, unconditional support and sacrifices made between a couple through the good and bad times.

If you need a primer to kick start your heart this Valentine’s Day season, to help set the romantic mood or you are single and failed to be the target of Cupid’s arrow this year, the following are some classic love flicks which will make you laugh or cry into your gallon of ice cream.

“Casablanca” (1942) is the award-winning classic romantic drama set during World War II as expatriate American Humphrey Bogart struggles with a moral dilemma of choosing between his true love, Ingrid Bergman, or to fulfill his patriotic duty by fighting the Nazis.

This is a classic film and lauded as one the best and most important of all time. This is a must for all film lovers and should be seen at least once in your lifetime.

“Roman Holiday” (1953) is a romantic comedy starring Gregory Peck as an American reporter who falls for a visiting princess, Audrey Hepburn, as the two explore the beautiful streets of Rome together. Staying in Europe, if you believe Paris is the city of love, then Jean-Luc Godard’s French New Wave title, “Breathless” (1960), may play like wine to your baguette. “Breathless” is the tale of the love shared between a criminal and his girlfriend. If you are a novice to French New Wave cinema, then “Breathless” is a good film to start with and has been referenced as inspiration many a times by contemporary filmmakers and film 101 courses because of its imagery and editing techniques.

In the mood for a romantic dark comedy about unconventional love? “Harold and Maude” (1971) is the kooky love story for you.

This post-counter culture entry during the New Hollywood Era of the early 1970s focuses on a young to do but restless young man, Harold, who is obsessed with death and wants to escape from the grips of his posh and invasive mother.

Harold falls head over heels for Maude, a 79-year-old spitfire who teaches Harold to live life like an adventure and to be true to himself no matter what the world says — all accompanied by soundtrack from Cat Stevens.

“Say Anything…” (1989) is the funny warmhearted romance starring John Cusack and his undying love for the school valedictorian and the relationship which ensues after their high school graduation.

If you haven’t seen this film, you most likely are familiar with the memorable scene of Cusack holding a boom box above his head as it blares Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” outside of his love’s bedroom window to win her over. Classic, campy and deliciously 1980s!

If you are more into danger and long for a mate who will be your eternal life in crime, then check out the popular “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967) starring Warren Beatty and Fay Dunaway as they portray the infamous couple on their spree of robbing banks all the while stealing each other’s hearts.

If this isn’t enough adventure, then be sure to view “True Romance” (1993). This film is an outrageous romance feature packed with drama, comedy, action, heists and a road trip.

“Romance” stars Christian Slater as an Elvis obsessed loner and the fast love which is shared with new wife Patricia Arquette as they head for Hollywood to strike it rich all the while being tailed by the mobsters they ripped off before skipping town.

“Romance” stars many great actors and is packed with enough memorable lines, scenes and pop culture references to make a film, TV or music aficionado smile in geekish delight.

Remember to love your better half every day like it’s written in a greeting card.

To my lovely wife and partner in crime, Athena Cartwright Baldwin, I love you. That’s Amore!

Have a lovely and film-tastic Valentine’s Day!

Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society ( Find more from Rick on Facebook at and online at He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79  and can be reached by email at