32. Partie de Campagne (1936)
In Jean Renoir’s miniature masterpiece (only 39 minutes long), Henriette, a fresh and lovely Parisienne, takes a day trip to the country on a summer’s day with her maman, papa, and idiot husband-to-be Anatole. She’s utterly intoxicated by the gorgeousness of nature and, separated from her family, falls into the arms of young Henri, a handsome, poetic-looking sort. After a brief moment of passion in the long grass, the clouds burst; she heads back to humdrum domesticity with Anatole, but never forgets.
Best moment: As Henriette’s resistance to Henri crumbles, her eyes fill with tears when she hears a nightingale warbling in the tree above them.
33. I Know Where I’m Going (1945)
This black-and-white gem from Powell and Pressburger is as much an ode to the Western Isles as it is a tale of romance. Joan Webster (Wendy Hillier) is all set to marry a wealthy man, but bad weather prevents her from getting to the wedding. While she’s stranded, she meets Torquil MacNeil (Roger Livesey), a naval officer and the laird of Kiloran. She’s sucked into the otherworldliness of the Scottish islands, replete with superstitions, curses, ceilidhs and whirlpools.
Best moment: She’s leaving to marry her rich man. “Will you do something for me before I go away?” she asks. “I want you to kiss me.”