50 Greatest Chick Flicks

Everything from romance to action and adventure is represented on this list chosen by O, the Oprah Magazine.



Tragic heroine who must sacrifice her own happiness in order to prove her love.  Directed by George Cukor. Starring Greta Garbo & Robert Taylor. Based on the book Camille by Alexandre Dumas. NR


A beautiful woman with a tainted past is enlisted by American agent Devlin to spy on a ring of Nazis in post-war Rio. Her espionage work becomes life-threatening after she marries the most debonair of the Nazi ring, Alex. Only Devlin can rescue her, but to do so he must face his role in her desperate situation and acknowledge that he's loved her all along. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.  Starring Cary Grant & Ingrid Bergman. NR


The French Lieutenant's Woman
A woman , ostracized by Victorian society and abandoned by her French lieutenant lover, fascinates a man who resolves to unravel the mystery of her clandestine past. Directed by Karel Reisz. Starring Meryl Streep & Jeremy Irons. Based on the book The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles. R


The English Patient
During World War II, a mysterious stranger is rescued from a fiery plane crash. The American allies care for him and the dangerous secrets from his past come to light. Directed by Anthony Minghella. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, & Kristin Scott Thomas. Based on the book The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. R


The Women
Mary Haines loses her husband to ruthless Crystal Allen who is aided and abetted by Sylvia Fowler whose own spouse has taken up with another woman. In Reno, in the throes of divorce, all wage war on one another. Directed by George Cukor. Starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, & Rosalind Russell. Based on the play The Women by Clare Booth Luce. NR




Desperately Seeking Susan
Pop diva Madonna makes her celebrated screen debut in this smash hit as Susan , the elusive and oddly engaging renegade on the lam from a host of enemies and admirers. She and her boyfriend communicate through a series of personal ads - until their public pronouncements of love unexpectedly spark the attention of others. Directed by Susan Seidelman. Starring Rosanna Arquette & Madonna. PG-13


The Truth About Cats & Dogs
A successful veternarian & radio show host with low self-esteem asks her model friend to impersonate her when a handsome man wants to see her. Directed by Michael Lehmann. Starring Uma Thurman & Janeane Garofalo. PG-13


Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
Two women get into a lot of trouble when they go to their high school reunion and lie about their lives after twelfth grade. Directed by Davod Mirkin. Starring Mira Sorvino & Lisa Kudrow. R


The Hours
In 1929, Virginia Woolf is starting to write her novel, Mrs. Dalloway , under the care of doctors and family. In 1951, Laura Brown is planning for her husband's birthday, but is preoccupied with reading Woolf's novel. In 2001, Clarrisa Vaughn is planning an award party for her friend, an author dying of AIDS. Taking place over one day, all three stories are interconnected with the novel: one is writing it, one is reading it, and one is living it. Directed by Stephen Daldry. Starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, & Meryl Streep. Based on the book The Hours by Michael Cunningham. PG-13


All About Eve
From the moment she glimpses her idol at the stage door, Eve Harrington moves relentlessly towards her goal: taking the reins of power from the great actress Margo Channing. The cunning Eve maneuvers her way into Margo's Broadway role, becomes a sensation and even causes turmoil in the lives of Margo's director boyfriend, her playwright and his wife. Only a cynical drama critic sees through Eve , admiring her audacity and perfect pattern of deceit. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Starring Bette Davis. Based on the short story Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr. NR


Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
A young widow is left to care for her 11-year-old son, and heads for California. But she is delayed in Phoenix where she falls for a rancher. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Starring Ellen Burstyn & Kris Kristofferson.


Ripley is recovering from her encounter with the deadly alien when she is asked to go back with a company of marines. At first the marines refuse to believe her warning but soon they all come face to face with the awesome creatures. Directed by James Cameron. Starring Sigourney Weaver. PG


Thelma & Louise
Two friends, one an unhappy housewife the other a wise-cracking waitress, decide to take a vacation from their lives, but things soon get out of control after an incident at a roadside café. Directed by Ridley Scott. Starring Susan Sarandon & Geena Davis. R


What's Love Got to Do with It
The turbulent relationship of Ike and Tina Turner eventually forces Tina to leave and find the courage to believe in herself. Directed by Brian Gibson. Starring Angela Bassett & Laurence Fishburne. Based on the book I, Tina by Tina Turner and Kurt Loder. R


Diana Guzman is always fighting, whether at home in the housing projects, with her abusive dad, or at high school. She finds a new outlet for her anger at her brother's boxing gym. With hard-core training from veteran boxing coach Hector, Diana learns she has the guts and talent to be a contender. Directed by Karyn Kusama. Starring Michelle Rodriguez. R


Black Narcissus
Majesty gives way to mystery, and marks a harrowing descent into madness, when a young British nun is ordered to establish a convent in the remote Himalayan mountains. Sister Clodagh (Kerr) is a serious young novitiate assigned to lead a crucial mission, with the reluctant recommendation of her Mother Superior. Together with a disparate group of nuns, Sister Clodagh will face strange peoples and customs, a harsh and unforgiving climate and a wrenching struggle with her own past that will prove the ultimate test of her devotion and faith. Directed by Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger. Starring Deborah Kerr. Based on the book Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden. NR


The Shop Around the Corner
In pre-World War II Europe, quiet, unassuming Kralik - who works long hours in a small gift shop owned by the demanding yet endearing Matuschek - adds color to his lackluster life through correspondence with an anonymous pen pal. As the letters turn towards the subject of love, not even his constant bickering with a new female co-worker can tarnish his newfound happiness. But when he's suddenly and inexplicably fired, all of his romantic aspirations crumble. Until, that is, he discovers the identity of his secret friend. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Starring Margaret Sullivan & James Stewart. NR


The Lady Eve
A conniving father and daughter meet up with the heir to a brewery fortune-- a wealthy but naive snake enthusiast-- and attempt to bamboozle him at a cruise ship card table. Their plan is quickly abandoned when the daughter falls in love with their prey. But when the heir gets wise to her gold-digging ways, she must plot to re-conquer his heart. Directed by Preston Sturges. Starring Barbara Stanwyck & Henry Fonda. NR


Born Yesterday
A corrupt millionaire junk dealer, embarrassed by his girlfriend's lack of social sophistication, arranges to have her trained in a crash course in "culture." He is surprised and outraged when after becoming aware of her role as pawn in his crooked business deals, she refuses to cooperate. Directed by George Cukor. Starring Judy Holliday & William Holden. Based on the play Born Yesterday by Garson Kanin. PG


Pat and Mike
A woman athlete of enormous promise in the worlds of both tennis and golf is pursued by a shady promoter, who hopes to make her famous and make some money in the process. Directed by George Cukor. Starring Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn. NR


Breakfast at Tiffany's
Holly Golightly is a deliciously eccentric New York City playgirl determined to marry a Brazilian millionaire. Paul Varjak is her next-door neighbor, a writer who is "sponsored" by a wealthy older woman. Guessing who's the right man for Holly is easy. Seeing just how that romance blossoms is one of the enduring delights of this comedy. Directed by Blake Edwards. Starring Audrey Hepburn & George Peppard. Based on the book Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote. NR


Bull Durham
American romantic comedy, dealing with a very minor minor-league team and three of its current constituents, an aging baseball groupie that beds one player each season, a cocky foolish new pitcher, and the older, weary catcher brought in to wise up the rookie. Directed by Ron Shelton. Starring Kevin Costner & Susan Sarandon. R


Pretty Woman
When successful corporate mogul Edward Lewis meets independent and carefree Vivian Ward, their two lives are worlds apart. But Vivian's energetic spirit challenges Edward's no-nonsense, business-minded approach to life, sparking an immediate attraction. Directed by Garry Marshall. Starring Richard Gere & Julia Roberts. R


Bridget Jone's Diary
An uncomfortably unmarried thirty-something "singleton," Bridget decides to take charge of her life and chronicles her Year of Change in the comedic homage to "Pride and prejudice." Directed by Sharon Maguire. Starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, & Hugh Grant. Based on the book Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. R


Something's Gotta Give
Harry Sanborn is a perennial playboy with the libido of a much younger man. During what was to be a romantic weekend with his current infatuation, Marin, at her mother's Hampton beach house, Harry develops chest pains. He winds up being nursed by Marin's reluctant mother, Erica. When Harry hesitates to act on his feelings for Erica, Harry's thirtysomething doctor steps in and starts to pursue Erica. Harry, who has always had the world on a string, finds his life is now unraveling. Directed by Nancy Meyers. Starring Jack Nicholson & Diane Keaton. PG-13


A young bride is brought by her new husband to his manor house in England. There she finds that the memory of her husband's first wife haunts her, and she tries to discover the secret of that mysterious woman's death. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Starring Laurence Olivier & Joan Fontaine. Based on the book Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. NR


Island in the Sun


Smooth Talk


She's Gotta Have It


A Walk on the Moon
It's the summer of 1969 and Pearl is spending yet another vacation with her family when she realizes that the freedom of the times is passing her by. Following a chance meeting with a sexy, free-spirited young man, Pearl is soon doing the unthinkable: having a daring, passionate affair. But she must ultimately decide between the love of her husband and children - or the lure of her newfound desires. Directed by Tony Goldwyn. Starring Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Liev Schreiber, & Anna Paquin. R


Four Weddings and a Funeral
Romantic comedy about a young man determined to avoid commitment who meets the girl of his dreams. They encounter each other at four weddings and a funeral before finally connecting with each other. Directed by Mike Newell. Starring Hugh Grant & Andie MacDowell. R


Sense and Sensibility
Tells of the Dashwood sisters, sensible Elinor and passionate Marianne, whose chances at marriage seem doomed by their family's sudden loss of fortune. Directed by Ang Lee. Starring Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, & Hugh Grant. Based on the book Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. PG


Monsoon Wedding
Love, lust and hope envelop an upper middle-class Indian family and their world-wide guests as they celebrate for four days the arranged marriage of their daughter to an East Indian man from Texas. Directed by Mira Nair. Starring Naseeruddin Shah. R


His Girl Friday
An unscrupulous newspaper editor uses every dirty trick in the book to keep his ace reporter/ex-wife from retiring and remarrying in this twist on The front page. Directed by Howard Hawks. Starring Cary Grant & Rosalind Russell. Based on the play The Front Page by Ben Hecht. NR


High Society
In this sophisticated musical comedy, a society wedding is being arranged in Newport, Rhode Island. The beautiful Tracy Samantha Lord is to marry George Kittredge. However, Tracy's ex-husband, the songwriter C.K. Dexter-Haven, has never stopped loving her and a has hopes of winning her back. A New York scandel sheet reporter and photographer arrive to cover the wedding and complicate the tangled romances. Directed by Charles Walters. Starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, & Celeste Holm. Based on the play The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry. NR


An Imitation of Life
The story of two widows and their troubled daughters. In the search for success as an actress, Lora neglects her daughter. Lora's black housekeeper's daughter repudiates her mother by trying to pass for white. As the years pass, each of the four women realizes that she has been living an emotionally fruitless existence. Directed by Douglas Sirk. Starring Lana Turner & John Gavin. NR


Terms of Endearment
A comedy-drama about the evolving 30+ year relationship between a mother and daughter. Directed by James L. Brooks. Starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, & Jack Nicholson. Based on the book Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurtry. PG


The Color Purple
An uneducated woman living in the rural American south who was raped by her father, deprived of the children she bore him and forced to marry a brutal man she calls "Mister" is transformed by the friendship of two remarkable women, acquiring self-worth and the strength to forgive. Directed by Stephen Spielberg.  Starring Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, & Oprah Winfrey. Based on the book The Color Purple by Alice Walker. PG-13


Daughters of the Dust
Story of a large African-American family as they prepare to move North from the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia at the dawn of the 20th century. Directed by Julie Dash. Starring Cora Lee Day & Alva Rogers. NR


Little Women
With her husband off at war, Marmee is left alone to raise her four daughters - her " little women ." There is the spirited Jo, who longs for a career as a writer; beautiful and conservative older sister Meg; fragile Beth; and the romantic Amy. As the years pass, the sisters share some of their most cherished - and painful - moments of self-discovery as they become women . Aunt March and Marmee's wisdom and strength guide them through issues of independence, romance and virtue. Directed by Gillian Armstrong. Starring Winona Ryder. Based on the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. PG


Eve's Bayou
Roz Batiste is a beautiful and dedicated mother of three, who is forced to admit that her family is falling apart due to her philandering husband Louis. Her younger daughter, Eve, witnesses one of her father's infidelities. Struggling to make sense of what she has seen, Eve turns to her older sister Cisely, who dismisses her in fear of the truth, and then to her Aunt Mozelle, a known psychic and rumored black widow. Unable to find the understanding she is looking for Eve decides to take matters into her own hands. For the Batiste family, the ties that bind may not be strong enough to keep them together, and what they learn will change their lives forever. Directed by Kasi Lemmons. Starring Samuel L. Jackson & Lynn Whitfield. R


The Virgin Suicides
In the mid-1970s, in a sleepy Michigan community, live the Lisbon sisters, five teenagers whose beauty has bewitched a group of neighborhood boys. Isolated by their over-protective parents, they move like fleeting visions against the suburban landscape, luminous and unattainable. But when school hunk Trip Fontaine convinces Lux Lisbon and her sisters to go to the prom, the boys' romantic fantasies threaten to come true - until they are engulfed in a stunning chain of events that will change their lives forever. Directed by Sofia Coppola. Starring James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst & Josh Hartnett. Based on the book The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. R


Lovely & Amazing
An intimate family portrait of four hapless but resilient women and the bitter lessons they learn in keeping up with the hectic demands of their individual neuroses. Directed by Nicole Holofcener. Starring Emily Mortimer, Brenda Blethyn, Raven Goodwin, & Catherine Keener. R


Laurel Canyon
Harvard graduate Sam and his fiancée, Alex, move into Sam's mother's house in upscale Laurel Canyon , thinking that she would not be there. Only problem is that she is still there, supposedly finishing up a record that she's producing for her boy toy, Ian's band. Sam's mom seems more interested in smoking pot and drinking than actually working, though. Alex doesn't mind, but Sam is quite upset. Alex starts off focused as she works on finishing a dissertation on genomics, but is soon distracted. Meanwhile, Sam is equally distracted by the beautiful intern Sara. Directed by Lisa Cholodenko. Starring Francis McDormand, Christian Bale, & Kate Beckinsale. R


Rabbit-Proof Fence
In 1931, Molly and her younger cousins, Gracie and Daisy, were three half-caste children from Western Australia who were taken from their parents under government edict and sent to an institution, were taught to forget their families, their culture, and re-invent themselves as members of "white" Australian society. The three girls begin an epic journey back to Western Australia, travelling 1,500 miles on foot with no food or water, and navigating by following the fence that has been build across the nation to stem an over-population of rabbits. Directed by Phillip Noyce. Starring Everlyn Sampi. Based on the book Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington. PG


Whale Rider
The Whangara people believe their ancestor Paikea was saved from drowning by riding home on the back of a whale . The tribal group has since granted leadership positions to the first-born males, believing them to be descendants of Paikea. But then a young mother dies in childbirth along with her newborn male son. His twin sister survives and the little girl, Pai, is brought up by her grandparents. Learning the skills of chiefdom from her uncle, Pai shows that she possess a natural leadership ability. Directed by Niki Caro. Starring Keisha Castle-Hughes. Based on the book by Witi Ihimaera. PG-13


Bend It Like Beckham
Eighteen-year-old Jesminder's parents want her to be a nice, conventional Indian girl. But she just wants to play soccer like her hero, David Beckham . For Jess, that means kicking a ball around the local park with the lads until she's spotted by Jules, who invites her to join the local women's team. Directed by Gurinder Chadha. Starring Parminder Nagra & Keira Knightley. PG-13