- The Washington Times - Monday, June 17, 2002

LOS ANGELES They'll always have Paris. Now Rick and Ilsa have the top spot on the list of best American screen romances. "Casablanca," starring Humphrey Bogart as saloonkeeper Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman as his lost love Ilsa Lund, came in at No. 1 on the American Film Institute's top 100 U.S. love stories announced Tuesday on the CBS special, "AFI's 100 Years 100 Passions."
The rest of the top 10, in order: "Gone With the Wind," "West Side Story," "Roman Holiday," "An Affair to Remember," "The Way We Were," "Doctor Zhivago," "It's a Wonderful Life," "Love Story" and "City Lights."
"I think the films that haunt you the most over time are love stories," said Sydney Pollack, director of "The Way We Were" and the No. 13 film, "Out of Africa." "Many, many films haunt you, but you get haunted in a way that's hard to shake off when you're watching star-crossed lovers who you really care about and who get under your skin, like Bogart and Bergman. That's a story that's just irresistible."
Cary Grant led actors with six films on the list. Besides "An Affair to Remember," they were "The Philadelphia Story" at No. 44, "To Catch a Thief" at No. 46, "Bringing Up Baby" at No. 51, "The Awful Truth" at No. 77 and "Notorious" at No. 86.
Katharine Hepburn, Mr. Grant's co-star in "The Philadelphia Story" and "Bringing Up Baby," was the most represented actress, also appearing in six films. Her other entries were "The African Queen" at No. 14, "On Golden Pond" at No. 22, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" at No. 58 and "Woman of the Year" at No. 74.
Besides "Casablanca" and "The African Queen," Bogart starred in three other films on the list: "Dark Victory" (No. 32), "Sabrina" (No. 54) and "To Have and Have Not" (No. 60). Bogart's "Sabrina" co-star Audrey Hepburn also was in five films, including "Roman Holiday," "My Fair Lady" (No. 12), "Two for the Road" (No. 57) and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (No. 61).
The oldest film was "Way Down East" from 1920 at No. 71. The newest was "Shakespeare in Love" from 1998 at No. 50.
The film institute began issuing annual lists on different movie themes four years ago. The love-story list was chosen by about 1,800 directors, actors, studio executives, critics and others in Hollywood, who voted from a field of 400 nominated films.
Finalists ranged from the giddy comedy of "When Harry Met Sally" (No. 25) and "It Happened One Night" (No. 38) to the tragic affairs of "Wuthering Heights" (No. 15) and "Titanic" (No. 37).


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