The “Love Story” Movie and Houses

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The romance movie “Love Story” is by Erich Segal who wrote the screenplay for the movie, but Paramount Pictures wanted him to release a novel first as a preview of the movie.  The novel came out on February 14th, 1970 Valentine’s Day with excerpts released to Ladies Home Journal.  As a young girl staying with my Grandma in the summer as I often did, I happened to pick up and read this same Love Story excerpt.  I can still see myself lying on my Grandma’s couch holding the magazine and devouring the story.

Upon returning home that summer, my friend was all agog about a new movie coming out called Love Story.  When I told her I had already read the book and knew all about it, well, she could not believe me!  The two houses from Love Story are the Oliver Barrett III house and Oliver and Jennifer’s college campus house.

 The "Love Story" Movie and Houses

The Love Story couple Oliver, played by Ryan O’Neal, and Jennifer, played by Ali MacGraw,  house where they moved after they got married in the movie is located at 119 Oxford Street, Cambridge near Harvard.  The famous immortalized words from the movie were spoken from the steps of this house.  “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

This line from the movie was talked about and written about quite a bit.  I love how Ryan O’Neal was given a great line about it in his later film with Barbara Streisand called “What’s up Doc?” where Barbara says the “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” line and Ryan O’Neal’s character replies back “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.”  There is a list of 100 top movie quotes from the American Film Institute and this Love Story line made it to number 13. 

The Love Story Movie and housesCC commons wikimedia

The Love Story driveway scene where Oliver is taking Jennifer home to meet his Dad,  Oliver Barrett III, was filmed at Old Westbury Gardens in Old Westbury, New York.  The house itself is a bit of a love story, as it was built by John Shaffer Phipps in 1903 for his fiancee Margarita.  He promised to build a home for her in the United States that resembled her family estate in Battle Abby, East Sussex, England.  John Shaffer Phipps was an heir to a U.S. Steel fortune.  He began building the house in 1903 and it was completed in 1906.  The house has 23 rooms and sits on 160 acres and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, but has been open for tours since 1959.

The Love Story movie was an event that happened when it came out like today’s event love movies such as Titanic or more closely resembling Twilight, because Love Story captured the attention of the teens.  Love Story was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1970 with winning for Best Music, Original Score.  It won five Golden Globe Awards for Best Drama, Best Director, Ali MacGraw for Best Actress, Best Score, and Erich Segal for his screenplay.  The famous song from the film is “Where Do I Begin?”

Love Story actress Ali MacGrawedgesanfrancisco

Ali Macgraw who played Jennifer in the movie was a fashion model before becoming an actress.  Her styles worn in the Love Story movie took fashion by storm; most notably in my memory for her crocheted hats.  It made Ali Macgraw the “It Girl”.  My mom crocheted me a hat like Ali’s one winter, complete with a flower on the side.  I love my mom for doing this for me, it is a fond memory for me of my mom and for the Love Story movie.

I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Old Westbury Gardens

Other sources: Movie Locations, wikipedia, wikipedia Old Westbury Gardens,

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