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Wednesday, 12 June, 2002, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Casablanca voted greatest love story
Humphrey Bogart
Bogart played expatriate American Rick Blaine in the film
Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, has been chosen as the best US love story on film.

The 1942 movie beat competition from the likes of Gone With The Wind and West Side Story to hit the number one spot in a survey by the American Film Institute (AFI).

James Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life
It's A Wonderful Life took the number eight spot
The Los Angeles-based body, which trains people for the film industry asked directors, writers, actors and other filmmakers to name the greatest celluloid romances.

No movie made from the last 40 years made the top five, and only two films from the 1970s, The Way We Were and Love Story, were among the top 10.

Just six films from the 1990s made the top 50, the highest of which was 1990's Ghost, starring Patrick Swazye and Demi Moore, in 19th spot.

AFI's Greatest Love Movies
1. Casablanca 1942
2. Gone With the Wind 1939
3. West Side Story 1961
4. Roman Holiday 1953
5. An Affair to Remember 1957
6. The Way We Were 1973
7. Doctor Zhivago 1965
8. It's a Wonderful Life 1946
9. Love Story 1970
10. City Lights 1931
11. Annie Hall 1977
12. My Fair Lady 1964
13. Out of Africa 1985
14. The African Queen 1951
15. Wuthering Heights 1939
16. Singin' in the Rain 1952
17. Moonstruck 1987
18. Vertigo 1958
19. Ghost 1990
20. From Here to Eternity 1953
The oldest film in the top 50 was 1931's City Lights, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin.

Titanic, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and is the highest grossing movie of all time, was in 37th position.

Cary Grant stars in more of the top 100 films than any actor, while Katharine Hepburn is the most-filmed actress on the romance list, appearing in films like Guess Who's Coming To Dinner and On Golden Pond.

Despite the romantic theme, seven of the AFI's top 10 films have couples that, in the end, do not stay together, and AFI has counted 187 fights in the top 100 movies - compared to 260 kissing scenes.

The AFI has previously produced lists of the 100 best comedy films and the 100 greatest films of all time - which was much-criticised by US film critics.

Casablanca is the story of Rick Blaine, played by Bogart, who runs a nightspot in Morocco during World War II.

His life is turned upside-down when his lost love Ilsa, played by Bergman, arrives in the city married to Czech underground leader Victor Laszlo.

Blaine and Ilsa must deny their emotions in order to save the life of the underground leader and thwart the Nazis.

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