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Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Thrill of Romance

I decided to take a break from my own work and think about someone else's. So I was cruising around the 'net and came across a topic in Yahoo Answers. The question was:

What's the best romantic thriller ever made in Hollywood ?

Sadly, there was only one answer and I didn't like it: The Saint and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Although The Saint is a great romantic thriller, even with the silly cold fusion plot, but the Brangelina vehicle is too campy to be romantic or thrilling.

So, I scroll through my brain for my own picks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(this is me, scrolling my brain) . . . . . . . . . .

Okay, so there are probably plenty I've forgotten, but here are the ones I remembered, in no particular order:

1. Romancing the Stone. Romance writer Joan Wilder tries to save her kidnapped sister in Venezuela by enlisting the unwilling aid of a sexy smuggler who his own reasons for helping. Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. 1984

2. Tequila Sunrise. Childhood buddies, now on opposite sides of the law, and the woman (and drug deal) that comes between them. Kurt Russell, Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer. Written by Robert Towne, of Chinatown fame. 1988

3. The Terminator. The one that spawned all the sequels (and James Cameron's career) with one of the most romantic lines: "I came through time for you, Sarah." Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, and Arnold Schwartzenegger in his career-changing role ("I'll be bahk..."). 1984

4. The Bodyguard. Probably my top choice. The romantic and thriller story are intrinsically entwined in this tale about a retired Secret Service agent, skilled to the bone, trying to protect a spoiled, self-indulgent pop idol from a deadly assassin. Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston. 1992

5. Blink. Not a big movie but I've seen it many times. A newly-sighted blind woman is witness to a murder but the cops assigned to the case don't believe her. Aiden Quinn, Madeleine Stowe. 1994

6. Notorious. Another top choice. Alfred Hitchcock directed this story of a "bad" girl hired to go undercover with a dangerous group of post-Nazi Germans. Ingrid Bergman is the amateur spy and Cary Grant her government agency handler. 1946

7. The Big Easy. More mystery than thriller, it still has one of the best bedroom scenes ever filmed: when Ellen Barkin's insecure assistant DA says she's never had much luck with men, smooth, easy-going homicide detective Remy McSwain (Dennis Quaid), gives her a slow, sexy grin and says, "your luck's about to change, cher." Sigh. 1987

8. Last of the Mohicans. You may not think of this as a thriller, but the race through the eighteenth century American wilderness to evade a vindictive Mohawk is as thrilling as any contemporary cop drama. And it contains another of my all-time favorite lines, as a desperate Hawkeye is forced to abandon his love to the encroaching natives: "You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you." Another sigh. Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe. 1992

9. Witness. A young Amish boy witnesses a murder and when it turns out the killer is a cop, the only place the boy will be safe is back on the farm. Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis. 1985

10. In the Cut. The grittiest one on the list. A serial killer is loose and a closed-off English professor may be the only lead the cops have. Mark Ruffalo is terrific as a tough, sexy detective putting the moves on Michelle Pfeiffer. 2003

11. Blade Runner. This futuristic sci-fi is another genre-bending entry. But who can resist Harrison Ford's weary, reluctant detective falling for an is-she-or-isn't-she-human beauty, knowing that if she isn't, he may have to kill her. 1982

12. Ghost. Love overcomes death in this supernatural thriller that has the ghost of a murdered man coming back from the grave to protect his love from his killer. Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg in her Oscar-winning role as the medium between them. 1990

13. Out of Sight. A bank robber plays a roguish cat-and-mouse game with the beautiful federal marshal trying to arrest him. George Cloony and Jennifer Lopez. 1998

That's it, folks. All I could come up with. Weird how the most recent one is six years old, and many are in the '80s. Is that a sign of my age, or a sign that Hollywood doesn't do these movies anymore?

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Blogger Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

The Big Easy is still one of my faves, and yes, best bedroom scene EVAH!

And you're right, I don't think they make movies like this anymore.

February 10, 2010 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Annie Solomon said...

I wonder why, MN? I have no idea.

February 10, 2010 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Because those stories are primarily geared to women?

February 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM  

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