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FLICKS FILM AND VIDEO FILE : Pitter-Patter : Some videos to rent for a romantic--or schlocky--Valentine's Day with a heartthrob.

February 14, 1991|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sick of all those Valentine's Day specials on TV that have been re-run for as far back as you can remember? Take a break from them. Rent a video with a sweetheart.

But before you do, here are some rental suggestions culled from video lists at local outlets. Because this is a day for couples, some ideas for double bills have been included:

* "Love Me Tender" (1956) and "Heartbreak Hotel" (1988): Anytime is a good time for an Elvis double feature. The only problem is, he's not in both of these movies. Elvis did make his screen debut in "Love Me Tender," the Civil War story of bickering brothers who are attracted to the same woman. In "Heartbreak Hotel," David Keith plays Elvis, who is kidnaped by a boy and taken to his divorced mother. Mom, played by Tuesday Weld, has always had a "thing" for the King.

* "I Love You, You Love" (1961): This Italian production, done in documentary form, takes a look at love around the world.

* "Love in the Afternoon" (1957): Director Billy Wilder had a wonderful cast to work with in this romantic comedy set in Paris. Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier and John McGiver star.

* "Love Me Tonight" (1932): Maurice Chevalier stars in this one too, along with Jeanette MacDonald, Charlie Ruggles and Myrna Loy. This musical about a tailor who falls in love with a princess features a number of Rodgers and Hart songs, including "Isn't it Romantic." For a double feature, Chevalier and MacDonald also co-star in "The Love Parade" (1929).

* "Heartbeeps" (1981): Do you believe in love at first byte? Andy Kaufman, Bernadette Peters and Randy Quaid star in this story of two robots who fall in love with one another.

* "Love on the Run" (1936) and "Love on the Run" (1979): Joan Crawford and Clark Gable are foreign correspondents and spies in the 1936 movie. The 1979 film, produced in France, is directed by Francois Truffaut. It's the fifth in the series of films featuring the character Antoine Doinel, played by Jean-Pierre Leaud. In this one, he divorces his wife and renews his search for love.

* "Dancing Lady" (1933): You can't really miss for true romance when you've got Fred Astaire, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable and Larry, Curly and Moe. Backstage romance is the theme as Astaire makes his film debut dancing with Crawford.

* "My Bloody Valentine" (1981): The name of this flick pretty much says it all--it's not the most romantic of productions. It's about an ax-wielding miner in a locale called Valentine Bluffs who ruins Valentine's Day for a few of the townsfolk.

* "Love Story" (1944) and "Love Story" (1970): The first story of love is a British film about a dying female pianist who goes to a resort and falls in love with a male pilot who is losing his sight. The second film, starring Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal, is both romantic and tragic.

* And finally, the ultimate romance: "Romeo and Juliet." The only trouble is deciding which movie version to see. There's the 1936 American version starring Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer as the love-struck teen-agers in question. Then there's the 1954 British version starring Laurence Harvey and Susan Shentall, the 1966 Royal Ballet production featuring Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, and the 1968 British-Italian version directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey.

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