Love Story is a 1970 American romantic drama film written by Erich Segal, who was also the author of the best-selling 1970 novel of the same name. It was produced by Howard G. Minsky and directed by Arthur Hiller and starred Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal, alongside John Marley, Ray Milland, and Tommy Lee Jones in his film debut in a minor role.
The film is considered one of the most romantic by the American Film Institute (No. 9 on the list) and is one of the highest-grossing films of all time. It was followed by a sequel, Oliver's Story (1978), starring O'Neal with Candice Bergen.
Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars and called it "infinitely better than the book," adding, "because Hiller makes the lovers into individuals, of course we're moved by the film's conclusion. Why not?" The film was ranked number 9 on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions list, which recognizes the top 100 love stories in American cinema. The film also spawned a trove of imitations, parodies, and homages in countless films, having re-energized melodrama on the silver screen, as well as helping to set the template for the modern "chick flick".