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The Best Classic Romantic Comedies

The Best Classic Romantic Comedies

Romantic comedies are perfect to watch on a nice and cool rainy day. They can leave you with warm and gushy feelings inside. Romantic comedies are nothing new. They’ve been around for centuries if not thousands of years, before movies were even a thing.

Humans love drama and romance. We are natural-born storytellers. It’s how history was passed down before we made writing systems. And even during Ancient Greece, comedies with drama and romance were written. However, they were stories and scripts for plays.

Interestingly, most romantic comedies follow an order. They start with getting to know the two main characters – the future lovers. Sometimes though, movies head straight into the meet cute. This is a sweet and often humorous moment where the love interests meet. Depending on the plot, it’s either love at first sight or they are sassy and unsure of each other. After they meet cutely, the future love interests run into each other again and get to know each other. And then comes the best and most frustrating part of a movie, the obstacle. The audience gets to watch them go through something. This can be a breakup, an insecurity, or a lie coming to the surface. After some time apart, one or both of the main characters realize they are in love and to win their partner back do some kind of grand gesture.

If we tried to list all the romantic comedies ever made, the list would be endless. It’s a popular subgenre that will continue to thrive. (Click here for the best romantic comedies ever made.)

To determine the best classic romantic comedies, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of June 2024, weighting all ratings equally. Only movies released prior to 1980 were included. Documentaries were not considered. Director information is from IMDb.

Scroll down for the best classic romantic comedies you can watch right now:

50. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
  • IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (34,812 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 83% (40,688 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98% (45 reviews)
  • Directed by: Howard Hawks

49. The Palm Beach Story (1942)

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (11,470 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 81% (3,939 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (30 reviews)
  • Directed by: Preston Sturges

48. The More the Merrier (1943)

Source: Courtesy of

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (6,282 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (1,314 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (18 reviews)
  • Directed by: George Stevens

47. Pillow Talk (1959)

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (16,557 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (20,317 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (30 reviews)
  • Directed by: Michael Gordon

46. Libeled Lady (1936)

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (7,540 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (2,700 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 86% (14 reviews)
  • Directed by: Jack Conway

45. Desk Set (1957)

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
  • IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (8,197 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 83% (6,061 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (24 reviews)
  • Directed by: Walter Lang

44. Love Crazy (1941)

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
  • IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (2,898 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (689 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (10 reviews)
  • Directed by: Jack Conway

43. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (172,751 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (242,815 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (53 reviews)
  • Directed by: Blake Edwards

42. Unfaithfully Yours (1948)

Source: Courtesy of

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
  • IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (5,092 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (2,324 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (16 reviews)
  • Directed by: Preston Sturges

41. A New Leaf (1971)

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (6,159 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 83% (1,020 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (36 reviews)
  • Directed by: Elaine May

40. The Major and the Minor (1942)

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (6,642 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 83% (1,952 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (18 reviews)
  • Directed by: Billy Wilder

39. The Band Wagon (1953)

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (10,752 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (4,697 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (18 reviews)
  • Directed by: Vincente Minnelli

38. Adam’s Rib (1949)

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
  • IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (20,460 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (10,583 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (28 reviews)
  • Directed by: George Cukor

37. Harold and Maude (1971)

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (74,795 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (56,538 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 84% (45 reviews)
  • Directed by: Hal Ashby

36. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation
  • IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (20,661 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (9,247 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91% (22 reviews)
  • Directed by: Frank Capra

35. The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (3,935 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 81% (591 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (8 reviews)
  • Directed by: Sam Wood

34. The Awful Truth (1937)

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (18,810 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (7,624 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (30 reviews)
  • Directed by: Leo McCarey

33. The Graduate (1967)

Source: Courtesy of Embassy Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Embassy Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (262,940 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (183,691 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 87% (83 reviews)
  • Directed by: Mike Nichols

32. Born Yesterday (1950)

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (10,661 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 85% (4,796 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (38 reviews)
  • Directed by: George Cukor

31. Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (6,180 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (1,122 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (20 reviews)
  • Directed by: Alexander Hall

30. Sabrina (1954)

Source: Courtesy of

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (62,060 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (55,338 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (44 reviews)
  • Directed by: Billy Wilder

29. Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (13,893 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (4,093 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (27 reviews)
  • Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch

28. Breaking Away (1979)

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
  • IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (22,676 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (9,357 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (41 reviews)
  • Directed by: Peter Yates

27. The Quiet Man (1952)

Source: Courtesy of Republic Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Republic Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (36,647 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (30,453 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91% (45 reviews)
  • Directed by: John Ford

26. You Can’t Take It with You (1938)

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (24,573 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (9,416 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (46 reviews)
  • Directed by: Frank Capra

25. Play It Again, Sam (1972)

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (25,675 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (11,224 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (35 reviews)
  • Directed by: Herbert Ross

24. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (58,969 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (39,185 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (51 reviews)
  • Directed by: Howard Hawks

23. How to Steal a Million (1966)

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
  • IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (26,278 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (10,961 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (8 reviews)
  • Directed by: William Wyler

22. Bachelor Mother (1939)

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (3,884 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (1,150 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (5 reviews)
  • Directed by: Garson Kanin

20. The Lady Eve (1941)

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (20,504 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (7,571 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (47 reviews)
  • Directed by: Preston Sturges

19. Manhattan (1979)

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Source: Courtesy of United Artists
  • IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (136,504 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 92% (51,871 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (69 reviews)
  • Directed by: Woody Allen

18. Charade (1963)

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (72,875 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 92% (42,943 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (50 reviews)
  • Directed by: Stanley Donen

17. Auntie Mame (1958)

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
  • IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (10,859 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (8,245 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (15 reviews)
  • Directed by: Morton DaCosta

16. Ninotchka (1939)

Source: Courtesy of

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
  • IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (20,101 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (6,837 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (36 reviews)
  • Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch

15. Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (3,886 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (517 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (16 reviews)
  • Directed by: Leo McCarey

14. Ball of Fire (1941)

Source: Courtesy of

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (11,857 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (3,345 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (28 reviews)
  • Directed by: Howard Hawks

13. Holiday (1938)

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (15,539 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (6,665 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (26 reviews)
  • Directed by: George Cukor

12. My Man Godfrey (1936)

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (22,597 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (7,668 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (37 reviews)
  • Directed by: Gregory La Cava

11. His Girl Friday (1940)

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (56,106 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (24,333 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 99% (67 reviews)
  • Directed by: Howard Hawks

10. Annie Hall (1977)

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Source: Courtesy of United Artists
  • IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (258,110 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 92% (153,824 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (84 reviews)
  • Directed by: Woody Allen

9. Roman Holiday (1953)

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (133,359 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (63,537 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (60 reviews)
  • Directed by: William Wyler

8. The Apartment (1960)

Source: Courtesy of

Source: Courtesy of United Artists
  • IMDb user rating: 8.3/10 (172,183 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (38,259 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (72 reviews)
  • Directed by: Billy Wilder

7. Some Like It Hot (1959)

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Source: Courtesy of United Artists
  • IMDb user rating: 8.2/10 (254,537 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (82,393 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (65 reviews)
  • Directed by: Billy Wilder

6. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (66,253 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (47,240 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (101 reviews)
  • Directed by: George Cukor

5. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • IMDb user rating: 8.1/10 (30,166 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (11,972 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (37 reviews)
  • Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch

4. It Happened One Night (1934)

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 8.1/10 (98,815 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (33,748 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 99% (97 reviews)
  • Directed by: Frank Capra

3. Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • IMDb user rating: 8.2/10 (8,028 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 92% (908 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (20 reviews)
  • Directed by: Leo McCarey

2. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Source: Courtesy of

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
  • IMDb user rating: 8.3/10 (228,668 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 95% (138,714 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (67 reviews)
  • Directed by: Stanley Donen

1. City Lights (1931)

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Source: Courtesy of United Artists
  • IMDb user rating: 8.5/10 (176,008 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 96% (27,144 votes)
  • Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98% (54 reviews)
  • Directed by: Charles Chaplin
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