Casablanca voted most romantic movie ever

Bogart and Bergman classic tops American film institute poll of cinema love stories

Casablanca was yesterday voted the most romantic movie in the history of the world, ever, by an American Film Institute poll of writers, directors, actors and producers

If early plans had gone to schedule, it could have been a wartime B-picture starring Ronald Reagan and Ann Sheridan. As it is, Michael Curtiz's 1942 movie has become one of cinema's best loved and most quoted classics.

Played out in war-torn North Africa, Casablanca stars Humphrey Bogart as a cynical nightclub owner and Ingrid Bergman as the lost love who drifts back into his life. The film beat out Gone With the Wind to top the "100 Years, 100 Passions" poll.

Elsewhere the list was notable for its lack of modern pictures. No films released in the past 40 years were able to crack the top five, while only two movies from the last 10 years made the top 100 - Pretty Woman at number 21 and Titanic at number 37. The most recent release to make the list was 1998's Shakespeare in Love, at number 50. The stars who made the most appearances in the top 100 were Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. One other nugget of trivia is that the star-crossed lovers end up separated in seven out of the top ten movies.

The AFI top 10

1. Casablanca (1942)
2. Gone With the Wind (1939)
3. West Side Story (1961)
4. Roman Holiday (1952)
5. An Affair to Remember (1957)
6. The Way We Were (1973)
7. Dr Zhivago (1965)
8. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
9. Love Story (1970)
10. City Lights (1931)

Guardian Unlimited staff

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