In 1967 the US Supreme Court finally legalised interracial marriage in the United States. The catalyst for this historic ruling was the case of the white Richard and the black Mildred Loving, whose challenge of their anti-miscegenation arrest for their marriage in Virginia led to a legal battle that would change history.
That story is told for the first time in Loving, Jeff Nichols’ Oscar-nominated drama. But what other real-life romances have been adapted for the big screen? Here are some of our favourites...
Bonnie and Clyde
Thirty years before their story was made into a movie, the story of outlaw duo Bonnie and Clyde was splashed across the front pages of newspapers across America. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were high-profile criminals who travelled around the US robbing banks. Young, wild and in love, they became the posterkids for a new kind of criminal and the movie, by casting two of the 1960s most desired stars – Warren Beaty and Faye Dunaway – only contributed to their rock star infamy.
Walk The Line
Although ostensibly a biopic of country and western icon Johnny Cash, Walk the Line is also a heart-warming love story between Cash (played by Joaquin Phoenix) and his wife, June (an Oscar-winning Reese Witherspoon). The two met in 1955, while Johnny was married to his first wife, Vivian. Two years later he and Vivian divorced and Johnny married June, remaining together until her death in 2003 (Johnny died just four months later).
Richard Attenborough’s moving tear-jerker tells the story of author CS Lewis’ (The Chronicles of Narnia) relationship with the American poet Joy Gresham and her subsequent death from cancer. Anthony Hopkins has never been better as the Christian academic who finds his faith challenged when faced with the early death of his lover.
A Beautiful Mind
There’s nothing more stirring than a married couple that divorce, before the realisation hits that they were so made for each other that they get back together. That’s what happened to mathematician John Nash and his wife Alicia, who spent nearly all their life together until they died in a car crash in 2015. This award-winning biopic tells their incredible story with Russell Crowe as the one-time Nobel Laureate and Jennifer Connelly as Alicia.
This tender, heartfelt movie tells the story of novelist Iris Murdoch’s (Judi Dench) slow descent into Alzheimer's, leaving her husband, John (Jim Broadbent) to care for her in her final days. The film movingly contrasts the couple’s final years with their youthful romantic beginnings, with Kate Winslet and Hugh Bonneville as the young Iris and John. A powerful reminder of the power of love over time.
Prick Up Your Ears
Joe Orton was one of the 1960s’ most notorious writers, having scandalised the West End with his shocking and sexually charged plays. But as Orton’s star grew brighter, his relationship with his long-time partner, the emotionally unstable Kenneth Halliwell, began to crumble, leading to Halliwell bludgeoning his lover to death. Gary Oldman stars as Orton with Alfred Molina as Halliwell in this funny and tragic biopic.
Amazingly, this story about a newlywed woman who, after a car accident, loses her memory, and is unable to remember anything less than two years ago, is based on real events. Rachel McAdams plays the amnesiac Paige Collins with Channing Tatum as her husband Leo, who must cope with living with a wife with no memory of him. The real-life couple were named Kim and Krickitt Carpenter and, two decades on from that car accident, are still together. Sometimes real life has its own happy endings.
Judi Dench is Queen Victoria in this literate and absorbing film about the widowed monarch’s love affair with a commoner, the Scottish servant John Brown (Billy Connolly). Don’t bother watching its weirdly comedic sequel, Mrs Brown’s Boys.
A United Kingdom
A critical hit in late 2016, this inspirational drama features strong performances from David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike as Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, respectively. The film explores the controversial, world-changing marriage between the first President of Botswana and his white British wife, one that endured all manner of hostility before emerging all-the-stronger.
In the mood for love? Click here to book your tickets for Loving, out now in Cineworld.