Release year: 1970
Director: Arthur Hiller
Screenwriter: George Segal
Starring: Ryan O’Neal, Ali MacGraw, John Marley, Ray Milland, Russell Nype, Katharine Balfour, Walker Daniels
Ratings: 1 Oscar: Best Original Score. 6 Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Ryan O’Neal), Best Actress (Ali MacGraw), Best Supporting Actor (John Marley), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay. 5 Golden Globes: Best Drama, Best Director, best Actress Drama (Ali MacGraw), Best Screenplay, Best Original Scor. 2 Golden Globes nominations: Best Actor Drama (Ryan O’Neal), best Supporting Actor (John Marley).
Oliver (O’Neal) from a rich family falls head over heels in love with Jenny (MacGraw) from a poor family and begins a relationship despite their different backgrounds.
Perhaps one of the best known love movies from the 1970s and with one of the best known quotes (‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry’), Love Story is also one of the best known tear jerker movies of all times. Because the movie opens by telling us Jenny dies, it is therefore not a cruel twist at the end, instead the entire movie is an emotional train you know will crash in the end. O’Neal (Barry Lyndon, 1075) delivers one of his very finest performances as the stubborn rich kid so very much in love while MacGraw (Convoy, 1978) steals your heart in one of her far too few movie parts. Watching the two together makes it instantly clear why the fall for each other and you fall right alongside with them. Milland (The Lost Weekend, 1945) makes the very best of a small part as Oliver’s distant father, a character he leaves you wanting far more of as is the case with the excellent Marley (Cat Ballou, 1065) as jenny’s father. But the focus is where it should be, on the hard-tested young couple. Watching their everyday life feels like glimpsing inside a window; real and true, making the emotional impact of the movie greater. A love classic for the age.
Tommy Lee Jones has his film debut as one of Oliver’s roommates.
Eric Segal wrote the screenplay first, though the novel adapted from the screenplay came out before the movie.
It was the production of this film that led to Harvard University to prohibit almost all commercial filming on their campus, reportedly because of disruptions to students and damage to the campus, including fake snow killing several trees. The production was kicked off the campus after only a week of filming. Most subsequent films set at Harvard filmed at other nearby schools.
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Picture copyrights: UIP