Top 10 Movie Romantic Moments #7 Jareth and Sarah

As the world falls down....

As the world falls down….

Hear me out.

This is a bit of a cheat, I know.  It’s technically not a love scene, and yes, the implications are creepy beyond belief, but damn if the setting isn’t romantic.

A quick recap of the plot.  Sarah, a dreamy fifteen-year-old is upset at having to babysit her infant half-brother, Toby, yet again while her dad and stepmother go out (as they do every Friday).  Angry at Toby for crying, she accidentally wishes him into her favorite fairy tale… The Labyrinth.

Jareth the Goblin King (with a form like mortal sin) allows her to win her brother back through a challenge.  She attempts to cross the labyrinth and make it to the castle beyond the Goblin City, with the reluctant help of Hoggle the dwarf, and the more enthusiastic help of Sir Didymus and Ludo.  The wicked king, however, bullies Hoggle into giving Sarah an enchanted peach when she complains of hunger, which sends her to the magic ballroom (I guess).

The ballroom setting is very Baroque and very dreamy.  It’s also just a tiny bit sleazy.  And the Goblin King is there, catching Sarah’s eye from across the misty room.  He makes his way across the multitude of flirting courtiers to her and they dance.  Over all of it is David Bowie’s amazing song “As the World Falls Down (catch it here:”

One has to give Jim Henson credit here… the scene is like an enchanted peach for the audience.  It totally sucks you in, and Sarah came to her senses well before I did.  I’m still sorry she goes home at the end of the movie, even though I know full well that she has to.

But if one has to pick an archetype of a romantic ballroom scene, and has seen Labyrinth, I’m sure this moment has to come up.

And if you don’t think it’s romantic, you belong in the Bog of Eternal Stench.


Top 10 Movie Romantic Moments #8 Robin of Locksley and Marion Fitzswalter



Ah… Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland!  The best onscreen couple to never actually be a couple in real life.  Though Ms. de Havilland did just admit that she was in love with Flynn… she just didn’t want to commit adultery.

Luckily, the characters they played on the big screen were always single… most notably in my favorite of their team-ups, The Adventures of Robin Hood!  It’s the best Robin Hood story, too.  But more on that later.

Until now, the two leads had been engaging in a lot of belligerent sexual tension: she was offended by Robin’s blunt ways, and he went out of his way to offend her.  But then she begins to see what he’s fighting for, and admire his sense of honor behind his atrocious table manners and arrogant laugh.  And I’m sure the fact that he’s gorgeous in those green tights helped, too.  He likes her looks.  It’s not perfect, but they do improve as the movie goes on.

They come to respect each other– she his cause and he her courage and intelligence.  When he was caught in the Sheriff of Nottingham’s trap, it was Lady Marion who thought up his dramatic rescue from the gallows.  And this is what leads to the romantic moment.

Marion is talking with her maid, Bess, about Robin.  Bess tells her what being in love is like (apparently the old dear had been engaged five times in the past), and then Robin climbs through the window.   Marion is, understandably indignant, but she is also very glad to see him, her plan to save him having been successful.  Still, she tells him she doesn’t love him, and he, jokingly, asks her which man in the courtyard below will best break his fall (he eventually decides on a group of five guards).  His humor gets through to her, and she admits she loves him.  They kiss, have a tense moment when Sir Guy of Gisbourne pauses outside Marion’s door, and have a nice goodbye.

It’s very traditional, this scene.  But I think this Robin and Marion are the best that have been put to the screen.  They’re a fairly believable couple– more so than Captain Blood and Arabella Bishop– and it’s beautifully shot.  I haven’t seen this movie in years, yet it was one of the first I thought of when I started compiling this list.