Western Movie Couples by Stacey Coverstone

Throughout movie history, sexual chemistry has made the screen sizzle and pop whenever the right two stars are cast together.  This chemistry, combined with realism and believability, makes for a romantic memory that will stay with the viewer long after the movie is over.

We all have our favorite romantic onscreen couples.  Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh carved their place in film history as the roguish Rhett Butler and Southern minx, Scarlett O’Hara.  In a contemporary cinema favorite, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan revived old-fashioned romance in Sleepless in Seattle when their characters finally meet on top of the Empire State building.

 There are many examples of romantic couples in classic and contemporary movies, but what about in the western genre?  As a western romance author, I started thinking about the romantic relationships featured in my favorite western movies and realized there are many.   Here are my top ten most romantic couples found in western movies:

 10.  Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro (Antonio Banderas) and Elena Montero (Catherine Zeta-Jones) in The Mask of Zorro.  Most romantic scene: Zorro enters the barn and is surprised by Elena, who challenges him to a fencing duel while dressed in her underwear. They rip each other’s clothes as they battle wits with their swords.  He plants a big kiss on her and asks, “Do you surrender?”  “Never,” she answers.  When he slices her clothes and they fall off, they kiss again and Zorro leaves Elena in a love daze.


9.  Monte Walsh (Tom Selleck) and Martine (Isabella Rossellini) in Monte Walsh.  Most romantic scene:  Monte knocks on Martine’s door after being months away on the range. Her smile widens.  “You need a haircut,” she says.  “I didn’t want to waste any time,” he replies. While kissing her passionately, Monte sweeps Martine into his arms and carries her to the bed.

8.  Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck) and Crazy Cora (Laura San Giacomo) in Quigley Down Under.   Most romantic scene: Matthew rides away on his horse, leaving Cora behind, and then stops at the top of the hill and looks back at her with his hand thrown over the saddle horn. You need to watch the movie to understand why this simple gesture represents romance of the purest kind.

 7.  Conn Conagher (Sam Elliott) and Evie Teale (Katherine Ross) in Conagher.  Most romantic scene: Evie walks through the swinging saloon doors to find Conn beat up.  “Mr. Conagher, I think you should come home now,” she says.  Showing her one of the notes he’s found stuck in tumbleweed, he asks if she wrote it.  “I was lonely,” she admits.  “I had to write someone.  There was no one.”  Conn replies, “There was, Evie.  There was me.” They kiss, and it’s the perfect Happy Ever After ending.

6.  Joseph Donnelly (Tom Cruise) and Shannon Christie (Nicole Kidman) in Far and Away.  Most romantic scene: Joseph and Shannon have been thrown out of the boarding house. It’s winter and they are walking the streets, starving.  They enter a grand house and pretend the home is theirs, they are married, and they love one another.  As the snow falls outside the window, they share their first kiss.

 5. John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) and Stands With Fist (Mary McDonnell) in Dances With Wolves.  Most romantic scene:  Stands With Fist boldly enters Dunbar’s tipi.  It’s dark, but the fire is glowing.  She stands in front of him and her deerskin dress slides off her shoulders and falls to the ground to reveal she is naked. No words are spoken as he takes her in his arms and lays her down.

 4.  Lewis Gates (Tom Berenger) and Lillian Sloan (Barbara Hershey) in The Last of the Dogmen.  Most romantic scene:  Lillian tells Lewis she’s staying with the tribe.  “What would you say to a goodbye kiss?” he asks.  She replies, “I’d say it’s about time.”  After he gives her a peck, she complains, “You call that a kiss?” and lays a big one on him. Lewis rides off on his horse, only to stop and gallop back. He jumps off his horse, grabs Lillian and kisses her passionately.

 3.  Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) and Pilar (Elizabeth Pena) in Lone Star.  Most romantic scene: Pilar finds her childhood sweetheart, Sam, waiting for her outside in his car and tells him to follow her.  It’s late.  They go to her mother’s closed diner and slow dance in the dark to a Mexican song Pilar selects from the jukebox.  “The other day you asked why I came back,” Sam whispers to Pilar.  “I came back because you were here.”  Chris Cooper plays a man burning with desire for his woman, which is why this scene ranks #3 in my romantic picks.

2.  Johnny Gault (Tim Daly) and Rebecca Yoder (Naomi Watts) in The Outsider.  Most romantic scene:  Johnny rides up to the cabin on his horse to tell Rebecca the boys are already in the field.  “I know,” she says.  “I sent them there.”  She takes his hand and leads him inside to her bedroom.  This love scene is so beautiful, with him gently removing her cap and dress, and her taking off his gun belt and lightly touching the scars on his back. The fact that Johnny is a hardened gunfighter and Rebecca is the sweet member of a strict religious sect makes their forbidden love even more intoxicating.  Plus, Tim Daly is really hot in this role!

1.  Drover (Hugh Jackman) and Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) in Australia. This romantic couple rates #1 for me because their chemistry sets the screen on fire from the moment they meet.  Most romantic scene:  There are so many romantic scenes between these actors in this movie, but one of my favorites is when Drover surprises Sarah by showing up at the ball, looking so handsome, clean-shaven and in a white dinner jacket, and they end up kissing in the rain.

 Who are your favorite romantic onscreen couples?

Stacy is giving away one ebook to one lucky commenter, winner’s choice of her novels which can be found at www.staceycoverstone.com  Stacey is an Honorable Mention Winner for 2010 Best Western Romance and a CAPA Nominee for 2010 Best Historical Romance.

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40 thoughts on “Western Movie Couples by Stacey Coverstone”

  1. How about Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, they were great together. Rhett and Scarlett was always my favorite. Then again I love any movie with Kevin Costner or Sam Elliot. Sam Elliot is my main man, love that voice.

  2. I forgot about Dances with Wolves. Yes that was a wonderful scene. And anything with Tom Selleck!


  3. Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh sprang to mind immediately. I don’t think anyone will ever match the chemistry they had in Gone With The Wind. But my all time favorite couple, no matter the movie, is John Wyane and Maureen O’Hara. Maybe not a lot of romance between them but their wit was spot on and they played great opposite each other.

  4. I agree with you on Tom Selleck, Beth. Love him.

    I think Julia and Richard are a lot of people’s favorite couple, Val. They have good chemistry.

    Glad you liked the post, P.L. Thanks for visiting.

    Julie, John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara made so many movies together and had such great chemistry. Love them both.

  5. Great post!! I agree with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. The chemistry was in all their movies.

  6. Wow, John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in McClintock were great. John Wayne always said Maureen O’Hara was his favorite co-star. But I think my favorite couple were Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer in Love Affair. It was made in 1939. The dialogue is snappy. They met on a cruise and decided to wait for 6 months before being together. They are to meet at the top of the Empire State Building. A good movie that I won’t spoil by telling you what happens.


  7. You made me want to rent out all these movies again just for the romance. Chemistry between a man and woman is hard to explain but we know it when we see it!

    Thank you for an enjoyable post!

  8. Wow, I can’t believe how many of these I haven’t seen, Stacey. They’re going in my rental queue.
    For best Western couple, I vote with the people who mentioned John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. In an era of fairly innocent love scenes, they still made the screen sizzle.
    Love the scene with Robert Redford and Katherine Ross, in “Butch Cassidy,” where he makes her undress, and she finally says something like “What took you so long?”

  9. Sheila, I’ve only seen the version of Love Affair starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, which was called An Affair to Remember. Then there was the next remake starring Annette Bening and Warren Beatty. I’ll have to check out the Charles Boyer movie.


  10. Stacey,

    Love those love scenes but I have to admit the one on “Last of the Dogmen” is my all time favorite. That is one of my favorite movies. I can watch it over and over. I love how they have this secret place behing the mountains and waterfall.

    Thanks for such a great post, and for mentionin “Last of the Dogmen”

    Walk in harmony,

  11. Melinda,
    Last of the Dogmen is an unknown movie for so many people, but I’m with you. I can watch it over and over, too. I absolutely love the way Tom Berenger jumps off his horse and runs back to kiss Barbara Hershey. Very romantic! All of these movies are in my DVD collection.

  12. Delightful post, Stacey! You mentioned all my favorites 🙂 One more . . . it’s definitely on the cheesy side, but I love the scene in “The Sound of Music” with Maria and Captain Trapp in the gazebo 🙂

  13. Oh, I’m a Sam Elliott girl through and through. And to think, Katharine Ross gets to sleep with him every night SIGH. That said, I love her and Robert Redford in the Teacher-Lady scene in Butch Cassidy. SIGH again.

    A way oldster: John Wayne and Maurene O’Hara in The Quiet Man.

    And my ultimate: Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in Notting Hill.

    Stacey, welcome to Wildflower Junction, my wonderful Bandera friend! oxoxox Hi to your handsome hubby, okay? I am reading Third Time’s a Charm right now–loving it! Hubba-hubba Tucker. It’s definitely one of the best books of 2010. Hugs to you and your girls, too, and your horses! ooxoxox

  14. John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara are deffinately at the top of my list but I love several of the others also.

  15. Oh, I forgot this one. Daniel Day-Lewis and “Cora Munro” (I can’t recall the actress’s name)in Last of the Mohicans. His streaming hair. The pounding waterfall. Whew. “I will find you. No matter how far, no matter how long it takes.” Aw.

  16. Stacey, welcome to P&P. We love having you. And what a wonderful blog. Your list just about mirrors mine. I loved The Outsiders. I never tire of watching it. And Conagher was another favorite. And Quigley Down Under! *sigh* What a hero. But I also loved John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara together. Can’t recall the name of the movie off hand though.

    Hope you come back again soon.

  17. This is fun. You chose some great scenes. Most of the movies I’ve seen and a few I want to check out now. lol

    Here’s a few more romantic kisses!
    How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
    Starring: Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey
    When Benjamin and Andie kiss in the bathroom on Staten Island. It’s the first they both realize there’s more to their relationship than winning a bet.

    The Notebook
    Tim Ivey and Gena Rowlands
    Noah and Allie are standing in the pouring rain. Noah confesses “It still isn’t over.” and then they kiss.

    The Lakehouse
    Starring: Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves
    Kate is waiting at the mailbox at the Lakehouse for Alex’s response. She falls to her knees crying, not yet knowing his fate. In her letter she asks him to wait the 2 years for her. Alex pulls up and walks over to her. They embrace for one passionate kiss.

    First Knight
    Staring Richard Gere, Sean Connery,Julia Ormond

    When Lancelot(Richard Gere) and Guinevere (Julia Ormond kiss for the first time. The chemistry is off the charts moving and all so convincing that they love each other.

    Starring: Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore
    Molly and Sam’s Spirit Smooch is heartwrenching.
    When love reaches past death, you know it’s full of passion.

    I could go on and on. lol The romance to me is all in the kiss. 🙂

  18. Wonderful couples!!! The first one that popped into my head was Rhett & Scarlett. 😀 So many great movies and on screen kisses!

  19. Totally agree with your listings! I would add
    Richard Gere and Debra Winger in An Officer And
    A Gentleman. In fact, Richard Gere and his ladies
    in any & every one of his films!

    Pat Cochran

  20. A lot of sizzling hot chemistry in the movies mentioned! I loved the photos you found to go with them. I’ve always enjoyed westerns with a good romance both in novels and films.

  21. Thanks to everyone for visiting my blog today. I’m sorry I haven’t addressed each and every one of you personally. I’ve been with my horse most of the day. Unfortunately, we have to sell my mare, so we met with a nice couple who seem interested in her. I love all the movie couples y’all have come up with, and agree that all of them are romantic.


  22. I love anything with Sam Elliott or Tom Selleck in it. Here are some you left out: Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan in “French Kiss” when at the end he goes on the plane and says, “I want…I want…I want you.” They were great together. He was also great in “Dave” with Sigourney Weaver.

    Another great scene in Quigley is near the end when he lets her call him the wrong name and it saves his life.

    Not that we’ve seen these moves more than once, right? Yeah, right. LOL

  23. You’re right about Kevin and Meg in French Kiss, Caroline. I love that movie and it’s in my collection, too. I love that line he says. I have Quigley, too. Absolutely love Tom Selleck.


  24. Wow! So many good ones. The reason Sam Elliot and Katherine Ross kiss so good is probably because they are really married to each other. DARN. Lots of practice, there. But all the ones you listed are winners.
    I had never heard of “The Last of the Dogmen” until a few months ago. It was on cable and I wondered how I had missed this one. It was very good. I have watched it twice since then, but who’s telling?

  25. Mary J.,
    You’ll notice several ladies mentioning Last of the Dogmen. It’s a great movie. Another I highly recommend for its scorching romance is The Outsider. Tim Daly is hot hot hot in this flick!

  26. Before the end of the day wraps up, I want to thank the ladies here at P&P for having me again. I always love to visit. I’ll look forward to the next time. And thanks to all the friends who stopped by. I’ll look forward to learning who the lucky winner of one of my books is. Drawing will be held tomorrow.


  27. Loved Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh!!! Also agree with other ladies, Julia Roberts and Richard Gere were great together.
    Enjoyed your post!!!

  28. STACEY–I couldn’t pass this up, and almost missed it. The movies you chose and the scenes were spot on, some of the very best in movie history. Best? Australia, The Outsider–favorites. Here’s another of mine. OPEN RANGE, Kevin Costner and, oh, the actress married to Warrne Beatty (sorry)–he comes to her door to kiss her, removes his hat, and says, “Well….Sue…” She laughs sort of low, and says, “Well….Charlie..” Love it! Thanks for the great post. Celia

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