Best Romance Movies of 1980
Somewhere in Time
Young writer Richard Collier is met on the opening night of his first play by an old lady who begs him to "Come back to me". Mystified, he tries to find out about her, and learns that she is a famous stage actress from the early 1900s. Becoming more and more obsessed with her, by self-hypnosis he manages to travel back in time—where he meets her.
While attending a retrospect of his work, a filmmaker recalls his life and his loves: the inspirations for his films.
In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer find themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs and danger.
The Blue Lagoon
Two small children and a ship's cook survive a shipwreck and find safety on an idyllic tropical island. Soon, however, the cook dies and the young boy and girl are left on their own. Days become years and Emmeline and Richard make a home for themselves surrounded by exotic creatures and nature's beauty. But will they ever see civilization again?
After moving to Pasadena, Texas, country boy Bud Davis starts hanging around a bar called Gilley's, where he falls in love with Sissy, a cowgirl who believes the sexes are equal. They eventually marry, but their relationship is turbulent due to Bud's traditional view of gender roles. Jealousy over his rival leads to their separation, but Bud attempts to win Sissy back by triumphing at Gilley's mechanical bull-riding competition.
Julian makes a lucrative living as an escort to older women in the Los Angeles area. He begins a relationship with Michelle, a local politician's wife, without expecting any pay. One of his clients is murdered and Detective Sunday begins pumping him for details on his different clients, something he is reluctant to do considering the nature of his work. Julian begins to suspect he's being framed. Meanwhile Michelle begins to fall in love with him.
An idealistic, modern-day cowboy struggles to keep his Wild West show afloat in the face of hard luck and waning interest.
Seems Like Old Times
Writer Nick Gardenia is kidnapped from his California cliffhouse and forced to rob a bank. Now a fugitive, he seeks help from his ex-wife who is now a public defender and has remarried—to a prosecutor.
In the 16th Century, a Dutch ship sails the Pacific from the Americas in order to escape the Spanish. Blackthorn is the pilot of the ship and the first to realize the possibilities of Japan. Japan is a feudal society which has a strong presence of the Portugese. A struggle is in the final stages for who will be the Shogun, the leader who, under the emperor, governs the land. Toranaga sees in Blackthorn things he can use to at least survive the struggle to come, and if both play their hands correctly, become Shogun.
A beautiful muse inspires an artist and his older friend to convert a dilapidated auditorium into a lavish rollerskating club.
The movie centers on a piano competition whose winner is assured of success. It is Paul's last chance to compete, but newcomer Heidi may be a better pianist. Can romance be far away? Will she take a dive despite the pressure to win from her teacher, Greta, or will she condemn Paul to obscurity?
Little Miss Marker
Sorrowful Jones is a cheap bookie in 1930's. When a gambler leaves his daughter as a marker for a bet, he gets stuck with her. His life will change a great deal with her arrival and his sudden love for a woman also involved in gambling operations.
Based on the life of rock promoter/producer Bob Marucci, who discovered, among others, Frankie Avalon and Fabian.
Buck Bonham is a country singer on the road caught in a romantic triangle with Dyan Cannon and Amy Irving, the daughter of one of his longtime musical sidekick.
A man resists the California fads that his wife, friends and wealthy Marin County neighbors embrace. Based on the serial by Cyra McFadden in the San Francisco Chronicle in the 70s, satirizing the lifestyle trends of the local elite - from open marriages and organic food to New Age cults.
The Taming of the Shrew
Baptista has two daughters: Kate and Bianca. Everyone wants to wed the fair Bianca, but nobody's much interested in problem child, Kate. Baptista declares that he won't give Bianca away in a marriage until he's found a husband for Kate, so all the suitors begin busily hunting out a madman who's willing to do it, and they find Petruchio: a man who's come to wive it wealthily in Padua. And Petruchio marries Kate with a plan to tame her, while everybody else begins scheming to win Bianca's hand.
A romantic comedy with action and suspense. Two sophisticated jewel thieves join forces to steal $30 million in uncut jewels. Despite a continuous exchange of quips they eventually become romantically involved.
Dominick has always been a big kid who loved eating. It was his favourite thing. Then his cousin dies from health complications due to an improper diet and his sister makes him promise to lose some weight. This is very hard for him, but he finds motivation when he falls in love with Lydia. He spends so much time kissing and walking around with her that he no longer eats as many unhealthy things, and he loses weight without even trying.
The Merchant of Venice
A rich merchant, Antonio is depressed for no good reason, until his good friend Bassanio comes to tell him how he's in love with Portia. Portia's father has died and left a very strange will: only the man that picks the correct casket out of three (silver, gold, and lead) can marry her. Bassanio, unfortunately, is strapped for cash with which to go wooing, and Antonio wants to help, so Antonio borrows the money from Shylock, the money-lender. But Shylock has been nursing a grudge against Antonio's insults, and makes unusual terms to the loan. And when Antonio's business fails, those terms threaten his life, and it's up to Bassanio and Portia to save him.
Viola and Sebastian are lookalike twins, separated by a shipwreck. Viola lands in Illyria, where she disguises herself like her brother and goes into the service of the Duke Orsino. Orsino sends her to help him woo the Lady Olivia, who doesn't want the Duke, but finds that she likes the new messenger the Duke's sending. Then, of course, Viola's brother shows up, and merry hell breaks loose. Meanwhile, Olivia's uncle and his cohorts are trying to find some way to get back at Olivia's officious majordomo, Malvolio.
The Jazz Singer
Jess Robin dreams of a career in popular music, but his father, Cantor Rabinovitch, forbids it, insisting Jess live as a traditional Jew and inherit his position at the synagogue. With the help of friend and professional musician Bubba, Jess gets a chance to go to Los Angeles and have famous singer Keith Lennox record one of his songs. Defying both his father and his wife, Jess leaves New York to pursue his dreams.
A puppy encounters a series of tragedies and losses brought on by the evils of uncaring humans as she tries to find a family and a place to call home.
Cream in My Coffee
Past and present intertwine: An elderly couple returns to the hotel where they became close when they were young and flashbacks to the earlier visit reveal the origins of both their pleasures and problems. Somewhere between the past and the present, Dennis Potter attempted to find "the shape of a life, of two lives..."
Daniel Aguila's son recounts memories of the Philippines as he searches for his father.
Fetching and eager teenage lass Bella catches her mother Susan having an adulterous tryst with next door neighbor Tom while her father Bob is away on a business trip. Bella confronts Tom and demands that he makes love to her the same way he did with Susan. Complications ensure when Bella and Susan find themselves in a fierce rivalry over which woman will Tom to herself.
Board and Care
Board and Care is a 1979 American short film directed by Ron Ellis and starring Richard Goss and Laura Jean Ellis. It won an Oscar at the 52nd Academy Awards in 1980 for Best Short Subject.
Giff Hoyt, a cafe owner in Cabo Blanco, Peru after World War II is caught between refuge-seeking Nazis and their enemies. After the murder of a sea explorer is passed off as accidental death by the corrupt local police, Giff becomes suspicious. The police chief also intimidates a new arrival Marie, and Giff intervenes to help her. Giff suspects Beckdorff, a Nazi refugee living in the area. Beckdorff, it emerges, is seeking to uncover sunken treasure.
Jane Austen in Manhattan
Two teachers vie for the right to stage a play written by Jane Austen when she was twelve years old.
It's My Turn
A successful but stressed mathematics professor goes to her father's wedding and falls in love with her father's bride's son, a prematurely retired pro baseball player. She must choose between him and her current boyfriend, between Chicago and New York, and between research and administration.
A working-class boy falls for a girl from a wealthy family, and must compete for her with a rich boy who also wants her.
A Tale of Two Cities
Dissolute barrister Sydney Carton becomes enchanted and then hopelessly in love with the beautiful Lucie Manette. But Lucie loves and marries Charles Darnay, and remains oblivious to Carton's undimmed devotion to her. When Darnay is ensnared in the deadly web of the French Revolution and condemned to die by the guillotine, Sydney Carton concocts a dangerous plot to free the husband of the woman he loves.
The Comeback Kid
A down and out former minor league ballplayer finds romance and a renewed zest for life when he takes a job coaching a group of underprivileged kids.
The film suggests Nijinsky was driven into madness by both his consuming ambition and self-enforced heterosexuality, the latter prompted by his romantic involvement with Romola de Pulszky, a society girl who joins impresario Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes specifically to seduce Nijinsky. After a series of misunderstandings with Diaghilev, who is both his domineering mentor and possessive lover, Nijinsky succumbs to Romola's charms and marries her, after which his gradual decline from artistic moodiness to complete lunacy begins.
A Small Circle of Friends
In the late 1960s, three Harvard students Jessica (Karen Allen), Leo (Brad Davis) and Nick (Jameson Parker) grow close as they undergo personal changes, but their friendship is jeopardized by romantic feelings both men develop for Jessica.
A Christmas Without Snow
A divorced woman (Michael Learned) moves to San Francisco from Omaha with her young son. She's trying to re-build her life after her divorce, she leaves her son with his grandmother. She joins the choir of a local church. She has some issues with the choirmaster (John Houseman) who tries to get the choir into shape before the Christmas concert. The choir overcome some personal setbacks as they all deal with personal issues. Zoe (Michael Learned) thinks of quitting the choir all together when push comes to shove.
The Black Marble
When alcoholic homicide investigator Valnikov is transferred to a burglary case that seems to involve a creepy dogcatcher, he's also given a new partner -- the pragmatic Sgt. Natalie Zimmerman, who's experiencing a midlife crisis and does not welcome Valnikov's company. But as these emotionally bruised cops are drawn deeper into the bizarre world of dog shows, animal fanatics and pet cemeteries, they're also drawn to each other.
Falling in Love Again
Harry and Sue Lewis met in the 40s as teenagers living in the Bronx. He was an aspiring architect, she was the most beautiful girl in school, and both had a fondness for bran muffins. They fell in love, got married, moved to Los Angeles, and had two kids. While struggling with his midlife crisis, Harry receives an invitation for his high school's reunion back so he takes Sue and their teenage kids on a cross-country car trip back to the Big Apple. Will they see in the Bronx what they expected? Will the good memories from their past help rekindle their fading love? Is it too late to dream?
Hardhat & Legs
Attractive socialite (Gless) falls for a construction worker with a gambling problem.
Willie and Phil
Life imitates art when two Manhattanites — pompous teacher Willie and quiet photographer Phil — become friends after a thought-provoking screening of "Jules et Jim," Truffaut's classic film about a decades-long ménage à trois. Soon, the men meet Jeanette, a sexually liberated southern transplant who promptly falls for both of them. Frustrated passions curdle into jealousy as Jeanette entertains love affairs with each in the ensuing years.
Tanya is a female model who lives with her boyfriend Lobo, a surrealist painter who is extremely violent. Subjected to Lobo's constant abuse, Tanya dreams of escaping to a desert island, which comes true. The only other being on her island is an enormous blue-eyed man-ape who was born from one of Lobo's paintings.
This TV movie focuses on the life of actor Humphrey Bogart.
Environmentally concerned lawyer Abigail Adams works with Professor Roger Keller in his effort to protect baby seals from slaughter.
Just Tell Me What You Want
A television producer woman tries to let down her overbearing boyfriend who is her boss. She wants to marry with a young writer.
Nada, a beautiful French journalist on assignment in New York, records the life and work of an up and coming punk rock star, Billy. Soon she enters into a volatile relationship with him and must decide whether to continue with it, or return to her lover, a fellow journalist trying to track down the elusive Andy Warhol.
Beaty, a prostitute, and Emory, a lighting/sound technician, fall in love while working at the same London cabaret, but their relationship isn't easy.
One of Canada's talented directors, actress Micheline Lanctot expresses an effective, engaging approach in this simple, poignant drama about Armand (Jocelyn Berube), a handyman with one problem romance after another. The quiet Armand settles into Montreal after his wife has left him and before long, he continues the momentum when an ill-considered liaison with a nubile woman ends on her insistence. Next, Armand gives his heart to a frustrated housewife, though this decision is hardly well thought out. In the meantime, a gay man who rents out a room in his apartment has unfulfilled longings directed at the unsuspecting handyman. L'Homme a Tout Faire won a Silver Medal for "Best Picture" at the 1980 San Sebastian Film Festival.
The "Missing Heart Murders" are plaguing San Francisco - dead bodies that turn up with their hears surgically removed! So a weak-stomached homicide cop looks into the possibilities of a black market for human organs, while across town a man must make a difficult decision regarding his wife, who needs a transplant...
An intrepid television journalist sent to cover the Canadian prime minister's visit to the Soviet Union has trouble sticking to her assignment when she unearths a horrific experimental drug trial involving children. Determined to prepare a video that will show the world exactly what's been going on, she dodges the long arm of the KGB and falls into bed with a Communist bureaucrat.
Coast to Coast
Madie is a neurotic, wealthy woman who escapes from a New York state mental hospital where her unwholesome husband had her committed to avoid the trial of a expensive divorce. Madie hitches a ride back to California with a certain Charles Callahan, a debt-ridden truck driver. Madie and Charles eventually fall in love while evading an assortment of bad guys including a pair of thugs hired by Madie's husband to prevent her from returning to California, and a repo man sent to reclaim Charles' truck
The Seduction of Miss Leona
Spinster professor Miss Leona takes an interest in Bliss Dawson, a maintenance man. After a successful session fixing her desk lamp, she invites him to spend Saturday doing her odd jobs.