r 25, THE PASSION OF ANNA is a dreadful, pretentious, boring, hilariously self-important, awful, stupid, unwatchable film. It's Bergman at his most humorless and navel-gazing. Every print of it should be destroyed.
LOVE STORY is a dreadful movie, but it was also a HUGE success, with the theme song playing everywhere, everywhere; the novelized version of the film staying #1 on the TIMES bestseller list for eons; the catch-phrase "Love means never having to say you're sorry" being repeated all over the place; and even, I think it was 7-UP, quoting a scene from the film in one of its commercials: the film scene was O'Neal and McGraw lying together on a couch, wrapped in each other's arms, while O'Neal, Harvard boy, was reading a book, and O'Neal says, "I'm studying, I'm really studying"; the commercial was a guy wrapped up with a giant can of 7-UP, saying, "I'm thirsty, I'm really thirsty."
Plus, the death scene was famous, with McGraw saying, like, "Kiss me you fucking preppy, I'm dying." It must have been the first Hollywood love story in which the heroine, on her death bed, uttered obscenities.
It was compared to CAMILLE, of course, though it was hardly in the same category.
Oh, and that endless sequence where the two stars frolic in the snow and make snow bunnies and throw snowballs at each other, while Francis Lai's music plays in the background. . .
The movie was a huge cultural event, parodied on TV, etc. It was a throwback Hollywood women's weeper but with a kind of vaguely hippie chick at the center, and it made tons of dough.