Old Hollywood — or the Golden Age of Hollywood — was coming to an end in the mid-’60s. So New Hollywood, a movement heavily inspired by the romanticism of French New Wave, was in full force by the next decade.
As the ’70s began, audiences were starting to be dominated by younger, college-educated people who craved more intellectual, intimate productions. Later in the decade, Star Wars would challenge all that — but not before losing Best Picture at the Oscars to Annie Hall, a romantic comedy that cost about $4 million to make.
This new artistic movement was perfect for more sophisticated films that explored love, loss, sexuality and intimacy — allowing actors like Richard Dreyfuss and Woody Allen to credibly play the lead in a romantic movie. You’ll notice that many of the films on the below list of the Top 10 ’70s Romance Movies are at best bittersweet and at worst outright tragedies, following an era where most romance movies had happy endings.
Though these movies are now decades old, each remains relevant and has stood the test of time. These 10 titles continue to inspire both filmmakers and hopeless romantics all these years later.