Best Romance Movies of 1926
Flesh and the Devil
When lifelong best friends Leo and Ulrich return home after completing their military training, Leo meets the stunning Felicitas at a railway station and is mesmerized by her beauty. A scandal follows, for which Leo is sent away. Returning home three years later, he discovers that much has changed.
For Heaven's Sake
An irresponsible young millionaire changes his tune when he falls for the daughter of a downtown minister.
Bardelys the Magnificent
Rafael Sabatini's story of the swashbuckling era and of Bardeleys, the handsome courtier who could win any woman he set his mind to...and was not above boasting about it to all who would listen.
3 Bad Men
Three outlaws come to the aid of a young girl after her father is killed.
The Merry Widow
When Prince Danilo falls in love with American dancer Sally O'Hara, his uncle, King Nikita I of Monteblanco, forbids him to marry her because Sally is a commoner. Thinking she has been jilted by her prince, Sally marries wealthy Baron Sadoja. When the elderly man dies suddenly, Sally must be wooed all over again by Danilo.
Poor Ella Cinders is much abused by her evil step-mother and step-sisters. When she wins a local beauty contest she jumps at the chance to get out of her dead-end life and go to Hollywood, where she is promised a job in the movies. When she arrives in Hollywood, she discovers that the contest was a scam and the job non-existent. But through pluck, luck, and talent, she makes it in the movies anyway, and finds true love.
It is 1830 in Paris and the rent is due, but the money is not there. An article here, a painting there and a monkey with a cup gives them enough money for the rent, but not for food. Fortunately, Musette from downstairs has enough food for everyone including Mimi - the poor little waif from next door who Rodolphe has met. But Count Paul also has his lusting eye on Mimi and uses her embroidery to get close to her. Rodolphe and Mimi fall in love and Mimi works endlessly to support Rodolphe who is writing his play with a new found passion. He does not know that he has been discharged from writing for 'Dog and Cat Fanciers'. Mimi wants to get his play produced and Count Paul offers to help, but there is a terrible fight when Rodolphe thinks that Mimi is faithless to him with Count Paul. After the fight, he seeks out a doctor as she is sick, but she has left when Rodolphe returns and will stay away until his play is finished.
A seductive woman forsakes her husband and lover to pursue a young engineer.
Young orphan Victoria Sax becomes a grand duchess and is summoned to a remote kingdom.
The Son of the Sheik
Ahmed, son of Diana and Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan, falls in love with Yasmin, a dancing girl who fronts her father's gang of mountebanks. She and Ahmed meet secretly until one night when her father and the gang capture the son of the sheik, torture him, and hold him for ransom.
The Cruise of the Jasper B
The film stars actor Rod La Rocque as 'Jerry Cleggert', a good-natured descendant of an infamous clan of pirates who resides aboard the rickety ship Jasper B. Cleggert is informed that in order to inherit a large inheritance, he must marry by his twenty-fifth birthday - otherwise he would relinquish all claims to his impending fortune. Jerry soon meets his ideal would-be bride Agatha Fairhaven (Mildred Harris) and the two immediately fall in love. Complications arise when Jerry's cousin, the dastardly lawyer Reginald Maltravers (Snitz Edwards) claims Agatha as his own. The courting couple suffer a series of mishaps on the way to altar; they are waylaid en route by a trio of bandits, escape from a runaway taxi cab, and outrun a mob of unscrupulous state authorities.
Brown of Harvard
Tom Brown shows up at Harvard, confident and a bit arrogant. He becomes a rival of Bob McAndrew, not only in football and rowing crew, but also for the affections of Mary Abbott, a professor's daughter.
"Twinkletoes" Minasi wants to be a great dancer like her deceased mother. Twink meets Chuck Lightfoot, a noted prizefighter, who falls in love with her at first sight. She tries to avoid falling in love with Chuck, whose wife, Cissie, is a drunken harridan and more than a little bit spiteful. Meanwhile, Twink has secured a job in a singing-dancing act in a Limehouse theater, under the auspices of Roseleaf, who has more than just a protective interest in the girl. The jealous Cissie discovers that Twink's sign-painting father also has a night job as a burglar, and she turns him into the police. While a big success dancing on the stage, the arrest of her father has left her somewhat down in the dumps, and she decides to toss herself into the Thames. Possibly, the now-free Chuck, since Cissie has been killed in an accident, might come along and rescue her.
A young girl and her father are kicked out of their house by a cruel noblewoman, and the girl's heart is broken when her sweetheart, the noblewoman's son, won't go to Paris with them. After becoming an opera star in Paris, the girl returns to her homeland and finds her romance with the nobleman rekindled.
If there was one thing that Don Juan de Marana learned from his father Don Jose, it was that women gave you three things - life, disillusionment and death. In his father's case it was his wife, Donna Isobel, and Donna Elvira who supplied the latter. Don Juan settled in Rome after attending the University of Pisa. Rome was run by the tyrannical Borgia family consisting of Caesar, Lucrezia and the Count Donati. Juan has his way with and was pursued by many women, but it is the one that he could not have that haunts him. It will be for her that he suffers the wrath of Borgia for ignoring Lucrezia and then killing Count Donati in a duel. For Adriana, they will both be condemned to death in the prison on the river Tigre.
You Never Know Women
You Never Know Women is a thrilling romance that constructs a combustible love triangle between a Russian dancer, a handsome escape artist, and a wealthy broker. Vera Janova (Florence Vidor) is on her way to star in a Russian vaudeville revue when a falling girder nearly kills her. A construction worker saves her life, but before she wakes up the conniving Eugene Foster (Lowell Sherman) takes Vera into his arms, pretending to be the one who rescued her. Susceptible to Eugene’s oily charms, Vera begins ignoring Ivan Norodin (Clive Brook), a Houdini-like master of illusion who had loved her his whole life. Racked with jealousy, Norodin plans the ultimate illusion, one that could change their lives forever. Filmed with knockabout energy by the great director William A. Wellman (The Ox-Bow Incident), You Never Know Women is a silent era gem.
Irene, a feisty Irish girl in Philadelphia, clashes with her family and walks out, heading to New York City to seek fame and fortune. She gets a job as a dressmaker's model and becomes involved with Donald, the scion of a wealthy family. Donald's mother doesn't approve of Irene and sets out to discredit her in Donald's eyes.
The Winning of Barbara Worth
While building an irrigation system for a Southwestern desert community, an engineer vies with a local cowboy for the affections of a rancher's daughter.
The Sorrows of Satan
Geoffrey is desperately in love with Mavis, who lives at his boardinghouse and is also pursuing a writing career. Unable to marry her because of his poverty, in his anger he curses God for abandoning him. Soon Geoffrey meets Prince Lucio de Rimanez, a wealthy, urbane gentleman who informs Geoffrey that he has inherited a fortune, but that he must place himself in the Prince's hands in order to enjoy the fruits of his inheritance. What Geoffrey doesn't know is that Prince Lucio is actually Satan.
The Duchess of Buffalo
An American dancer on a tour of pre-Boleshevik Russia falls for a young army officer, and the feeling is mutual. However, the officer's father is the Grand Duke of Russia, and he has designs on the girl himself--not letting a minor detail like his already being married bother him--and refuses to let his son marry her.
The Grand Duchess and the Waiter
Albert Durant, a young millionaire, poses as a waiter in order to woo an exiled and financially hard up Grand Duchess. She finds him impertinent and clumsy, but also quite fascinating. She takes him into her employ insisting he does everything she asks.
Two thieves, the Blackbird and West End Bertie, fall in love with the same girl, a French nightclub performer named Fifi. Each man tries to outdo the other to win her heart.
Love 'Em and Leave 'Em
Mame Walsh promised their mother on her deathbed to look after little sister Janie. But Janie helps herself to everything of her sister's, be it her clothes or her men - even the money entrusted to her by fellow employees at the store they work at. Regardless, Mame can't break her promise. So when it comes to getting Janie out of trouble, big sister comes to the rescue.
An actress becomes the king's mistress and persuades him to convert the palace to a serviceman's home.
The Nervous Wreck
Henry Williams, out in Arizona looking for a cure for his imaginary ills, stops at the ranch of Jud Morgan, and decides to stay. Jud's daughter, Sally, attracts his attention, although she is engaged to be married to Sheriff Bob Wells. Henry rides with her to town, where she wants to go shopping for her wedding clothes, but they run out of gas. No, problem' Henry holds up a passing motorist, with a monkey-wrench, and takes gasoline out of his car. They stop at a ranch where the foreman makes them become the cook and dishwasher. Then Jerome Underwood and his daughter, Harriet, arrive and they recognize Henry and Sally as the ones who held them up for gas. The jealous sheriff adds to the complications.
The Waning Sex
Nina Duane is a criminal lawyer whose gender was professionally resented by Philip Barry, the District Attorney. She wins acquittal for man-chasing widow Mary Booth, then defeats her in romancing the D.A.
The Triumph of the Rat
Pierre Boucheron, alias 'The Rat' and a former underworld notoriety, is now living the high life as the kept man of Zelie de Chaumet. But when she learns he is planning to marry another woman, her vengeance pursues him into the murkiest depths of Paris...
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp
A poor cobbler's son enters a $25,000 cross-country hiking contest sponsored by the footwear company that has nearly bankrupted his father. He also has fallen in love with the girl on the company's billboards, the competition's daughter, and her sweet inspiration keeps him tramping along.
It's the Old Army Game
Druggist Elmer Prettywillie is sleeping. A woman rings the night bell only to buy a two-cent stamp. Then garbage collectors waken him. Next it's firemen on a false alarm. And then a real fire.
U. S. Cavalry Lieutenant Ranson belittles the exploits of a bandit known as "The Red Rider," and boasts to his fellow officers that he could hold up a stagecoach with a pair of scissors. And rides out and does so. But the next day, the postmaster, returning from a neighboring town, is also held up and his bodyguard is killed. Ranson is arrested on suspicion and placed on trial. But at the trial suspicion point to Cahill, post trader, and father of Ranson's sweetheart, Mary. In order to save him, Ranson pleads guilty but, in return and knowing that his daughter loves Ranson, Cahill admits he is "The Red Rider." Meanwhile, the real "Red Rider" is still at large.
Beverly of Graustark
Beverly Calhoun impersonates the Prince of Graustark to claim his birthright while he recovers from a skiing injury. In the meantime, she falls for her bodyguard Dantan.
The Flute of Krishna
Produced by the Eastman Kodak Company and shot in a then-experimental process, two-color Kodachrome, Martha Graham's dance "The Flute of Krishna" is performed by students from the Eastman School of Music. It's likely (but unconfirmed) that the film was directed by an uncredited Rouben Mamoulian.
To impress the girl he loves, a naive country boy tries to capture a group of local bootleggers.
The Shamrock Handicap
Because he refuses to collect rent payments from his impoverished tenants, kindly Irish nobleman Sir Miles Gaffney is in danger of losing his estate. He is forced to sell off part of his racing stable to a wealthy American, who takes along Gaffney's jockey Neil Ross as part of the bargain. When Neil is crippled in a racing accident, Sir Miles and his daughter Sheila sail to America with their prize horse "Dark Rosaleen" in tow. The first film having an Irish motif that John Ford directed, a six reel delight set in Eire's County Kildare and in the United States, with a steeplechase background, mixing charged elements of comedy and sentimental drama.
The Lucky Lady
Convent-bred to assume her position of nobility when the time comes, Princess Antoinette plays hooky from school one day to attend a theatrical performance. Here she meets a handsome young American, and it's love at first sight. Meanwhile, in the Princess' home country, the Prime Minister plots to quell a rebellion by arranging a marriage between Antoinette and the Grand Duke.
Just Another Blonde
Jimmy O'Connor and Scotty are a couple of New York City gamblers and sharpies who decide to go straight and, since they are such good friends, split 50-50 "even steven" on anything they get or do. Jimmy, a confirmed bachelor, doesn't care for women but Scotty falls in love with Diana O'Sullivan, a Coney Island girl. They decide that Jimmy needs a girlfriend and they opt for Jeannie Cavanaugh. But, following their 50-50 pact, Jimmy, although he has fallen in love with Jeannie, praises Scotty to her.
One Minute to Play
"Red" Wade, a star high-school football player, has intentions of going to Claxton College, which has a powerhouse football team, but changes his mind when he meets the sister of the pitiful Paramlee team and goes to college there, just as his father, an alum of the school, had wished. But his father has ordered him not to play football. "Dad" Wade, has offered a $100,000 endowment to his old school, not knowing his son has joined the football team but is going to withdraw it if his son plays in the Big Game against Claxton. This puts "Red" between a rock and a hard place.
Across the Pacific
Following the Spanish-American War, a soldier is given the assignment of finding the leader of a band of rebels in the Philippines. In order to do this, he must romance Roma, a cabaret spy working for the rebels. This does not please the daughter of his commanding officer, whom he is romancing.
A wealthy Parisian surgeon finds himself serving time in a brutal penal colony.
The Belle of Broadway
Madame Adele, once a great star of the Paris theatre, has fallen upon hard times. But she allows a young American performer, Marie Duval, to perform as the Madame Adele of old, and both become the darlings of Paris, one again and the other newly-crowned.
The Boy Friend
A young man uses tips from an absurd book to woo a woman he fancies.
Jim Gordon, the son of a proud and loving father, enters the University of California as a student. There he meets Mary Ward, a campus coed who captures his heart on the first day. He becomes close friends with Larry Powell, his roommate, but incurs the wrath of Kenneth Slade, who is unable to take a practical joke. Jim and Larry attend a campus dance with Bessie and Phyllis, two vamps, and through a series of romantic complications Jim tries to convince Mary of his love for her.
Mary is marrying Jimmie, from whom she has kept a secret; Mary remains in love with another man. Problems ensue, jeopardizing the tranquility of their relationship.
With Daniel Boone Thru the Wilderness
In pre-revolutionary war days, Daniel Boone captures the white renegade Simon Gerty but lets him go. After Boone moves from North Carolina to homestead in Kentucky, Gerty reappears. This time Gerty kills the Chief's son saying it was a white man and this sends the Indians on the warpath.
Adapted from the Fannie Hurst story of the same name, Mannequin is the story of Joan Herrick, kidnapped in infancy from her wealthy parents and raised by a slatternly slum woman. The film is still extant.
Zabette de Chauvalons leaves a convent in Brussels to join her father on the island of Martinique, escorted by Père Bénédict. In St. Pierre she finds that her father has died; his widow, who rules the island's French society, believes Zabette to be the child of a beautiful quadroon with whom Zabette's father left for France; when Zabette is sent to the mulatto quarter, Stéphane Séquineau is present and takes an interest in her. Destitute, Zabette is forced to auction off her Paris fashions, and though Quembo, a cunning quadroon, is the highest bidder, Stéphane outbids him at the last minute and professes his love, which she accepts, believing herself to be une fille de couleur; however, his older brother, Maurice, insinuating that a mixed marriage would ruin him, persuades her to desist.
The Greater Glory
A story of Vienna following World War I, in which the butchers became millionaires and the aristocrats became beggars, told against a background of mother-love and sacrifice.
Let's Get Married
College football star Billy Dexter is prone to getting into public fights. His father demands he reform and sends him to mend his ways with a devout old woman who deals in hymnals. She turns out to be devoutly drunk and a saloon brawler, leading to Billy's imprisonment. He tells his fiancée he's doing missionary work on a pacific island. He escapes and persuades her to marry him, all the while dodging the police who pursue him.
During World War I, a young woman marries a famous flying ace. After the honeymoon, he is called back into service and leaves for the battlefield. Not long afterwards she discovers evidence that her new husband has been cheating on her.
No Man's Gold
A dying prospector divides the map to his gold mine into three parts: one for the outlaw who shot him, one for comedy sidekick Harry Grippe, and the third to hero Tom Stone. Tom must care for the miner's now-orphaned son and, at the same time, reach the mine before his enemies do.