Compiled by

Matt Thrift

@Matt_Cinephile

Illustration

Laurène Boglio

The Love Parade: Cinema’s greatest romantic gestures

A collection of 60 unforgettable declarations of love from the movies to get you in the mood this Valentine’s Day.

In cinema, “I love you” is used sparingly, but often innovatively by writers who play on its world-shaking ramifications. What does it mean to the person who dares speak this sanctified phrase? And what about those on the receiving end? It can be passionate. It can be hurtful. It can be humorous. It can be laced with sorrow. It is a giver of life and a of death. It’s honesty and it’s lies. It’s pleasure and it’s pain. It’s character-building and embarrassing. This small phrase is everything. Here, we present a collection of some of the most evocative “I love you”s in movie history.

Wayne’s World (1992)

Terry: Garth told me about the show, man. I love you, man.
Wayne: Yeah, and I love you too, Terry.
Terry: No-no-no, I mean it, man. I love you.
Wayne: No, I-I mean it. I love you.
Terry: No you don’t, man. I love you.
Wayne: [being hugged by Terry] Garth. Hey, come over here, I think Terry has something he wants to say to you.
Terry: I love you, man.
Garth: …Thank you.

Pretty Baby (1978)

Violet: I love you once, I love you twice, I love you more than red beans and rice.

A Place in the Sun (1951)

George: I’m the happiest person in the world.
Angela: The second happiest.
George: Oh, Angela, if I could only tell you how much I love you, if I could only tell you all.
Angela: Tell mama. Tell mama all.

You Only Live Twice (1967)

Tiger: Permit me to introduce myself. I am Tanaka. Please, call me Tiger.
Bond: If you’re Tanaka, then how do you feel about me?
Tiger: [the code response] I… love you.
Bond: Well, I’m glad we got that out of the way.

The Portrait of a Lady (1996)

Ralph Touchett: I love you but without hope.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Rita: It’s beautiful. I don’t know what to say.
Phil: I do. Whatever happens tomorrow, or for the rest of my life, I’m happy now… because I love you.

Annie Hall (1977)

Alvy: Love is too weak a word for what I feel – I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two Fs, yes I have to invent, of course – I do, don’t you think I do?

A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

Peter: [over radio] Where were you born?
June: Boston.
Peter: Mass.?
June: Yes.
Peter: That’s a place to be born, history was made there. Are you in love with anybody? No, no don’t answer that.
June: I could love a man like you, Peter.
Peter: I love you, June. You’re life and I’m leaving you.

Jerry Maguire (1996)

Jerry: Our company had a very big night. A very, very big night, but it wasn’t complete. It wasn’t nearly close to being in the same vicinity as complete, because I couldn’t share it with you. I couldn’t hear your voice, or laugh about it with you. I missed my wife. We live in a cynical world, a cynical world, and we work in a business of tough competitors. I love you. You complete me…
Dorothy: Aw, shut up. Just shut up. You had me at hello. You had me at hello.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

Elliot: [tearfully, while looking down at E.T.’s plastic-covered corpse] I’ll believe in you all my life, everyday. E.T. …I love you.

Moonstruck (1987)

Ronny: Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice, it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die. The storybooks are bullshit. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and get in my bed!



Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Pat: Thank you. I love you. I knew it the minute I met you. I’m sorry it took so long for me to catch up. I just got stuck.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Paul: I love you.
Holly: So what.
Paul: So what? So plenty! I love you, you belong to me!
Holly: [tearfully] No. People don’t belong to people.
Paul: Of course they do!
Holly: I’ll never let anybody put me in a cage.
Paul: I don’t want to put you in a cage, I want to love you!

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)

[Frank is interrogating Nordberg about the source of his incident, while Nordberg is only partly conscious from anesthesia, which Frank is incompetently unaware of]
Frank: Nordberg, it’s me, Frank. Now, who did this to you?
Det. Nordberg: [half-consciously] I… love… you.
Frank: I love you, too, Nordberg. Who were they?
Det. Nordberg: [half-consciously] Ship… boat.
Frank: That’s right, Nordberg. A boat. Now, when you’re better, we’ll go sailing together on a boat. We’ll take a cruise just like last year.
Det. Nordberg: [half-consciously] No… Drugs…
Frank: Hey, Nurse! Quick! Give this man some drugs! Quick! Can’t you see he’s in pain? Give him a shot quickly! 
[nurse administers drugs]
Det. Nordberg: No… no… 
[pulls Frank towards him]
 Heroin… Heroin, Frank! 
Frank: Uh, Nordberg… that’s a pretty tall order. You’re gonna have to give me a couple of days on that one.

When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

Harry: I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
Sally: You see? That is just like you, Harry. You say things like that, and you make it impossible for me to hate you.

Le Mépris (1963)

Camille: You like all of me? My mouth? My eyes? My nose? And my ears?
Paul: Yes, all of you.
Camille: Then you love me… totally?
Paul: Yes. Totally… tenderly… tragically.

Rocky (1976)

Rocky: Adrian! Adrian!
Adrian: Rocky!
Rocky: Adrian!
Adrian: Rocky!
Rocky: Hey, where’s your hat?
Adrian: I love you!
Rocky: I love you.
Adrian: [grabs and hugs Rocky] I love you!
Rocky: [out of breath] I love you. I love you.
Adrian: I love you!
Rocky: I love you. I love you.
Adrian: I love you!

Duck Soup (1933)

Rufus T Firefly: Here are the plans of war. They’re as valuable as your life. And that’s putting them pretty cheap. Watch them like a cat watches her kittens. Have you ever had kittens? No, of course not, you’re too busy running around playing bridge. Can’t you see what I’m trying to tell you, I love you.

Jules et Jim (1962)

Catherine: You said, “I love you,” I said, “Wait.” I was going to say, “Take me,” you said, “Go away.”

La Maman et la putain (1973)

Veronika: I followed you because I wanted to be with you. You know what? I’d like to fuck you again. I love you and I want to fuck you again.

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

David: Well, I’ve just discovered that was the best day I ever had in my whole life!
Susan: David, you don’t mean that.
David: I never had a better time!
Susan: Oh! But, but, but I was there.
David: Well, that’s what made it so good.
Susan: Oh, did you really have a good time?
David: Yes, I did!
Susan: Oh, that’s, but that’s wonderful. Do you realise what that means? That means that you must like me a little bit.
David: Susan, it’s more than that.
Susan: It is?
David: Yes, I love you, I think.
Susan: Oh, that’s wonderful, because I love you too! Stop rocking, David.

The Godfather (1972)

Fredo: [Moe Greene leaves] Mike! You do not come to Las Vegas and talk to a man like Moe Greene like that!
Michael: Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Little Mary: Is this the ear you can’t hear on? [whispering in his bad ear]
Little Mary: George Bailey, I’ll love you ’til the day I die.

Boogie Nights (1997)

Amber: [screams] Oh, I don’t want to do this any more. Honey, I can’t. Let’s just? Let’s have fun now! Let’s just go and go and go, because it’s over. There’s just too many things, too many things, too many things. Too many things. 
Rollergirl: Okay.
Amber: Let’s go walk. 
[sniffs]
Rollergirl: I don’t want to leave this room.
Amber: [laughs] Me, either! I love you, honey!
Rollergirl: I love you, Mom!

Casablanca (1942)

Ilsa: I love you so much. And I hate this war so much. Oh, it’s a crazy world. Anything can happen. If you shouldn’t get away, I mean, if something should keep us apart, wherever they put you and wherever I’ll be, I want you to know that.

Charade (1963)

Reggie: Marriage licence? Did you say marriage licence?
Cruikshank: Now don’t change the subject, just give me the stamps!
Reggie: Oh, I love you, Adam… Alex… Peter… Brian… Whatever your name is. Oh, I love you. I hope we have a lot of boys and we can name them all after you.

Notorious (1946)

Alicia: I’m afraid I can’t make it… They gave me pills… To sleep.
Devlin: Keep awake. Keep talking… You have a coat?
Alicia: In the closet.
Devlin: Keep talking… What happened?
Alicia: Alex found out
Devlin: And the others haven’t?
Alicia: They’d kill him if they knew
Devlin: Are you in pain
Alicia: I don’t know… Say it again, it keeps me awake.
Devlin: I love you… Stand up, stand up… Come on, wake up… Talk…

Goodfellas (1990)

[Karen sits astride Henry in bed, gun pointed at his face]
Henry: What? What? I love you! I love you!

The Terminator (1984)

Kyle Reese: John Connor gave me a picture of you once. I didn’t know why at the time. It was very old – torn, faded. You were young like you are now. You seemed just a little sad. I used to always wonder what you were thinking at that moment. I memorised every line, every curve… I came across time for you, Sarah. I love you; I always have.

Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990)

Nina: I love you.
Jamie: I love you.
Nina: I really love you.
Jamie: I really, truly love you.
Nina: I really, truly, madly love you.
Jamie: I really, truly, madly, deeply love you.
Nina: I really, truly, madly, deeply, passionately love you.
Jamie: I really, truly, madly, deeply, passionately, remarkably love you.
Nina: I really, truly, madly, deeply, passionately, remarkably, uhmm… deliciously love you.
Jamie: I really, truly, madly, passionately, remarkably, deliciously… juicily love you…
Nina: Deeply! Deeply! You passed on deeply, which was your word, which means that you couldn’t possibly have meant it! So you’re a fraud, that’s it! [they hug] You’re probably a figment of my imagination. [pause] Juicily?

Flash Gordon (1980)

Dale: Flash, Flash, Flash, I love you, but we only have 14 hours to save the earth!

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Honeybunny: I love you, Pumpkin.
Pumpkin: I love you, Honeybunny.
Honeybunny: Everybody be cool, this is a robbery.
Pumpkin: Any of you fucking pricks move and I’ll execute every motherfucking last one of you!

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beast: [dying] You… You came back.
Belle: Of course I came back. I couldn’t let them… Oh, this is all my fault. If only I had gotten here sooner.
Beast: Maybe… Maybe… it’s better… It’s better this way.
Belle: Don’t talk like that. You’ll be alright. We’re together now. Everything’s going to be fine, you’ll see.
Beast: And at least… I got to see you… One last time.
[The Beast dies]
Belle: No, no! Please. Please… Please don’t leave me.
[Belle sobs]
Belle: I love you.
[The last rose petal falls.]

Spartacus (1960)

Antoninus: I love you Spartacus, as I love my own father.
Spartacus: I love you, like my son that I’ll never see. Go to sleep.

Say Anything (1989)

Diane: I need you. Everything else means nothing to me. If I hurt you again, I’ll die. I love you. I love you. How many more times to I have to say it? I love you. Please, I love you.

Freaks (1932)

Frieda: Please, Hans. Don’t be angry. Venus and Phroso have been so kind to me.
Hans: Please go away. I can see no one.
Frieda: But, Hans, you tried to stop them. It was only the poison you wanted. It wasn’t your fault. Don’t, don’t cry, Hans. Come to me, my Liebchen. Don’t cry. Don’t, Hans. Don’t cry. I love you. I love you.

Ghost (1990)

Sam: I love you, Molly. I’ve always loved you.
Molly: Ditto.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Maggie: It’s got to be told.
Brick: But I don’t want to hear it.
Maggie: It’s got to be told and you never let me tell it. I love you, and that’s worth fightin’ for. Not Skipper. Skipper was no good.
Brick: Maggie!
Maggie: Maybe I’m no good either – nobody’s good. But Brick, Skipper is dead! And I’m alive!
Brick: Maggie!
Maggie: Maggie ‘The Cat’ is alive! I’m alive! Why are you afraid of the truth?

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Leia: I love you.
Han: I know.

Antichrist (2009)

He: I love you.
She: You don’t.
He: I do.
She: I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you! I don’t fucking believe you!

Far From the Madding Crowd (1967)

Gabriel Oak to Bathsheba Everdene: I love you more than common.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Jessica Rabbit: Roger, darling. I want you to know I love you. I’ve loved you more than any woman ever loved a rabbit.

Gone With the Wind (1939)

Rhett: There’s one thing that I do know, and that’s that I love you, Scarlett. In spite of you and me, and the whole silly world going to pieces around us, I love you. Because we’re alike, bad lots both of us. Selfish and shrew, but able to look things in the eye as we call them by their right names.

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Sam Spade: All we’ve got is that maybe you love me and maybe I love you. 
Brigid: You know whether you love me or not.
Sam Spade: Maybe I do. I’ll have some rotten nights after I’ve sent you over, but that’ll pass.

Journey to Italy (1954)

Katherine: Tell me. I want to hear you say it.
Alexander: Alright, I love you.

Legally Blonde (2001)

Elle: So you’re breaking up with me, because I’m too… blonde?
Warner: No. That’s not entirely true…
Elle: Then what? My boobs are too big?
Warner: Elle, no, your boobs are fine.
Elle: So when you said that you would always love me, you were just dicking around?
Warner: Oh, I love you. I, uh, just can’t marry you. You have no idea the pressure I’m under. My family has five generations of senators. My brother is in the top three at Yale Law and he just got engaged to a Vanderbilt for chrissakes… Sweetie, pooh bear. It’s not like I have a choice here, sweetheart.
Elle: So you’re breaking up with me because you’re afraid your family won’t like me? Everybody likes me!

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Short Round: Indy, I love you. Wake up, Indy! You’re my best friend! Wake up, Indy!

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Freddy: Gee, and now you’ve made me hurt myself again! You made me break my hand completely off this time, Tina! But I don’t care darling, because I love you, and you’ve got to let me EAT YOUR BRAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIINS!



Brief Encounter (1945)

Alec: I love you. I love your wide eyes, the way you smile, your shyness, and the way you laugh at my jokes.
Laura: Please don’t…
Alec: I love you. I love you. You love me too. It’s no use pretending it hasn’t happened cause it has.
Laura: Yes it has. I don’t want to pretend anything either to you or to anyone else. But from now on, I shall have to. That’s what’s wrong. Don’t you see? That’s what spoils everything. That’s why we must stop, here and now, talking like this. We’re neither of us free to love each other. There’s too much in the way. There’s still time, if we control ourselves and behave like sensible human beings. There’s still time.

Misery (1990)

[Annie places a block of wood between Paul’s ankles.]
Paul: Annie, whatever you’re thinking about doing, please don’t do it.
Annie: Darling, please trust me, it’s for the best. 
[She lifts the sledgehammer and swings.]
Paul: Annie, please… 
[His left ankle snaps against the wood. A blood-curdling scream.]
Annie: Almost done! Just one more.
 [She swings again, shattering his right ankle with the sledgehammer.]
Annie: God, I love you.
 [Paul passes out.]

Days of Heaven (1978)

The Farmer: I think I love you.
Abby: What a nice thing to say.

Fatal Attraction (1987)

Dan: Why are you trying to hurt me?
Alex: I’m not trying to hurt you Dan, I love you!
Dan: You what?
Alex: I love you!
Dan: You don’t even know me.
Alex: How can you say that?

Adam’s Rib (1949)

Kip: Mrs Bonner, I love you. I love lots of girls and ladies and women, and so on, but you’re the only one I know why I love. And do you know why? Because you live right across the hall from me. You’re mighty attractive in every single way, Mrs Bonner, but I’d probably love anyone who lived right across the hall from me. It’s so convenient. Is there anything worse than that awful taking a girl home and that long trek back alone? Want to trade kisses? That’s equal.

Brighton Rock (1947)

[The record spins, Pinkie’s voice sounds from beyond the grave]
Pinkie [on record]: You wanted a recording of my voice, well here it is. What you want me to say is ‘I love you’… [the record, scratched when he tried to destroy it, keeps skipping, repeating over and over] I love you… I love you… I love you… I love you…

My Darling Clementine (1946)

Clementine: Please, John. You can’t send me away like this. You can’t run away from me any more than you can run away from yourself. Now I know why you don’t care whether you live or die, why you tried to get yourself killed. Well, I’ve heard all about you, John and you’re wrong, so wrong. You have no right to destroy yourself. You have a world of friends back home who love you, John. And I love you.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Walter: Look, Annie… I love you. But let’s leave that out of this. I don’t want to be someone that you’re settling for. I don’t want to be someone that anyone settles for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn’t it?

Indecent Proposal (1993)

Diana: Have I ever told you I love you?
David: No. 
Diana: I do.
David: Still?
Diana: Always.

Nil By Mouth (1997)

Ray: Val? Val? I’m a mug… I’m a cunt… You know what I’m like… I love ya… I love ya… Nah, nah… I’m a mug and a cunt… I’ve always been a cunt, you know I’ve always been a cunt… Hold it… Hold up… I ain’t drinking, nah, I ain’t on it… Babe, I promise ya I’m not on it… Cunt… Please, just listen to me, will ya listen to me… I’ve got a little boy I love to bits… I come at ya cos I love ya, bitch, and you push me… You fucking push me… You took a liberty with me… you should know how far to go with me… You been with me that fuckin’ long, you should know… am I wrong? Am I fucking wrong?

Her (2013)

Samantha: It’s like I’m reading a book… and it’s a book I deeply love. But I’m reading it slowly now. So the words are really far apart and the spaces between the words are almost infinite. I can still feel you… and the words of our story… but it’s in this endless space between the words that I’m finding myself now. It’s a place that’s not of the physical world. It’s where everything else is that I didn’t even know existed. I love you so much. But this is where I am now. And this is who I am now. And I need you to let me go. As much as I want to, I can’t live in your book any more.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Alice Harford: I love you and you know there is something very important we need to do as soon as possible.
Dr. Bill Harford: What’s that?
Alice Harford: Fuck.

Share your favourite declarations of love from the movies @LWLies

Published 14 Feb 2016

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