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Falling in Love with an Old Movie Gem

NextTribe hotflash finds old movie gem Love with the Proper Stranger romantic films

The title Love with the Proper Stranger had long been lodged in my Boomer brain, yet I couldn’t remember actually seeing the movie during my youth, despite its five Oscar nods. I discovered the 1963 Natalie Wood–Steve McQueen film recently, and now can’t get it out of my mind. Is it a melodramatic, rom-com-like cautionary tale? Yes, yes, yes!

It opens with naïve shop girl Angie (Natalie) tracking down rakish jazz guy Rocky (Steve) and telling him—her one and only one-night-stand—that she’s pregnant. All she wants from Rocky (who can’t remember meeting, much less bedding her) is help to “take care of it.” The not-quite strangers then embark on a quirky traipse through their native NYC. While they talk a little, it’s what they don’t say that will slay you. Director Robert Mulligan has them simply look at each other, look away, look back — and their chemistry is combustible.

Finally, they take the long walk up the scary stairs for the back-alley abortion. It’s another almost silent scene, shot a decade before Roe vs. Wade (but feeling very relevant right now) and it made my heart sink somewhere around my spleen. Then came its climax, which had me leaping off the couch. In a good way.

I would’ve faded to black right there. Instead, there’s some silly slapstick and a cornball ending as the young couple figures out what they truly feel for each other. Still, I’d catch Love with the Proper Stranger (newly mastered in HD, available from Kino Lorber) over 50 Shades of anything this Valentine’s Day.

Nina Malkin

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Urban cowboy, a summer place , summer of ‘42, working girl.

Gretchen West

I remember that movie! Well worth the watching. One of the few movies McQueen made that wasn’t an “action” film.


LOVED this movie!

It’s a toss up between The Notebook & Best of Me — both sad, both star-crossed lovers, though it seems that the two in The Notebook had a few good years together.

Shape of Water, Harold and Maude

Man from Snowy River, 1 and 2.

And Karenina staring Greta Garbo


Out of Africa

I love the scene where Robert Redford washes her hair. So sexy.

He is a heart throb that’s for sure!

“Don’t move. “
“I want to move.”
“ Don’t move. “
Three of the sexiest lines ever.

Yes they are.

The music still brings me to my knees.

Natalie wood is absolutely amazing in this movie I just love these old films so much❤️


Prelude to a kiss, You’ve got mail, Sweet Home Alabama, just a few recently watched but so good! !

Oops just saw the “old” part.

Barbara – Alec Baldwin… confronting her in the kitchen… should be on his “best of” reel; punches me in the stomach every time.

An affair to remember!

Oh yes! The movie Meg Ryan loved in Sleepless in Seattle! Right?

Splendor in the Grass.

The original with Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood. My all time fav. I cry every time I see it.

Sad sad tragic sad – such a repressive time/place to reach maturity.

Love that movie.

I have always loved this movie

Long Hot Summer with Paul Newman. I loved the remake with Don Johnson also.

Sleepless in Seattle.

Bridges of Madison County

I’m writing these movie names down for weekend viewing. Thanks for suggestions.

I loved this movie!

One of my favorite romantic movies…with angst and adversity and family interference…all the right elements! ❤️

While You Were Sleeping

The Notebook, Love Actually, Under the Tuscan Sun,.

Shirley Valentine, Impromptu, Singles and Say Anything and Room with a View.

I loooove Shirley Valentine!! Chips and egg???

Somebody mentioned up there. I should re-watch.

This has ALWAYS been my favorite romance movie. I just saw it on YouTube last week. It’s still #1.

Last of the Mohicans


Yes love with the proper stranger great movie

The English Patient.

Somewhere in Time and Under the Tuscan Sun!

Shirley Valentine

I also just recently watched Love With a Proper Stranger. Completely agree with Ms Malkin.

Moulin Rouge. Gigi (though in today’s light I don’t like the implications of the relationship). Room With a View.


How crazy! This has ALWAYS been my favorite romance movie. And I happened to have found it & watched it on YouTube last week. It’s retained its 1st place.

Meet Joe Black

Thomas Crown Affair. True Romance. Under The Tuscan Sun. Grease.

Too bad he was a wife abuser in real life. Not a nice guy at all.

Diana Dibblee Which actor?

Which actor?

Thea McCue Wood Steve McQueen

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