AB's Top British Period Dramas & Romances:

This is a list of a variety of films and tv adaptations. I revisit many of them often and, like great books, consider them old friends.
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1.
North & South (2004 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
North and South is a four part adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's love story of Margaret Hale, a middle class southerner who is forced to move to the northern town of Milton. (235 mins.)
“ My favorite mini-series of all time. My second favorite movie of any kind. One of my very favorite heroes is Richard Armitage's character. ” - abcj-2
 
2.
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice? (129 mins.)
Director: Joe Wright
“ My favorite film of all films! I knew it the first time I experienced it. The acting, the directing, the cinematography, a first-class script, the attention to every detail, and my absolute favorite score are all superb. ” - abcj-2
 
3.
Pride and Prejudice (1995 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
Jane Austen's classic novel about the prejudice that occurred between the 19th century classes and the pride which would keep lovers apart. (327 mins.)
“ Delightful in every way (except for some of the hairstyles!), and I love it almost equal to the 2005 version. This is my tied for first place miniseries. ” - abcj-2
 
4.
Jane Eyre (2006 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A young governess falls in love with her brooding and complex master. However, his dark past may destroy their relationship forever. (230 mins.)
“ My second favorite mini-series and one of my favorite romance movies of all time. I favor this over the 2011 version and any older version. I do think the 2011 version is worth seeing and definitely wins best ending. Otherwise, these two leads have palpable chemistry that's just rare and magnetic. ” - abcj-2
 
5.
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites. (136 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
“ I am torn having to rank these, but if I don't I'll never get to my absolute favorites list. That said, this just falls short of Pride and Prejudice. Emma Thompson's Oscar winning script, Ang Lee's direction, Kate Winslet's lovely voice, the always handsome Hugh Grant, and the biggest surprise of all...Alan Rickman is sexy! Genius casting on all levels. ” - abcj-2
 
6.
Emma (2009 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, a loving father whom she cares for, friends, and a home... (240 mins.)
“ My tied for second favorite mini-series of all time and favorite adaptation of "Emma." ” - abcj-2
 
7.
Under the Greenwood Tree (2005 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In this lighthearted romance from Victorian novelist Thomas Hardy, the beautiful new village school teacher is pursued by three suitors: a working-class man, a landowner, and the vicar. (93 mins.)
Director: Nick Laughland
“ This is a delightfully romantic treasure. Talk about chemistry. I can't even describe it. Just look for the hand washing scene, the pond scene, et. al. ” - abcj-2
 
8.
'I Know Where I'm Going!' (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Joan Webster is an ambitious and stubborn middle-class English woman determined to move forward since her childhood... (91 mins.)
 
9.
Random Harvest (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life. (126 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
“ A tug at your heart romance set just after WWI. Ronald Colman is so handsome and I love his speaking voice and commanding presence onscreen. ” - abcj-2
 
10.
Kate & Leopold (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
An English Duke from 1876 is inadvertedly dragged to modern day New York where he falls for a plucky advertising executive. (118 mins.)
Director: James Mangold
“ Hugh Jackman is so great as the Duke of Albany. So charming and funny while being so serious. This is one of my very, very, favorites, but it's so quirky it needs to be on this list, too. ” - abcj-2
 
11.
Separate Tables (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The stories of several people are told as they stay at a seaside hotel in Bournemouth which features dining at "Separate Tables." (100 mins.)
Director: Delbert Mann
“ This little film totally captivated me and is one of my very few 10's. Niven is perfect. I'm so glad he won the Oscar. Great cast and acting. ” - abcj-2
 
12.
Notting Hill (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The life of a simple bookshop owner changes when he meets the most famous film star in the world. (124 mins.)
Director: Roger Michell
“ My only favorite Julia Roberts film. She and Hugh are adorable. Tops on my best ending list, too:) ” - abcj-2
 
13.
Braveheart (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, Sir William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England. (178 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
“ This is another one of my very favorite films. The entire story hinges on the love William Wallace has for Muron. This may be a bit violent, but it's one of the best movies ever...period. ” - abcj-2
 
14.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America. (138 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ This is a wonderful film about British history and true friendship. Oh how I yearn for a sequel. ” - abcj-2
 
15.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In 1900, a young widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted...and forms a unique relationship with the ghost. (104 mins.)
“ I love this movie! It is one of the dearest romances of all time. ” - abcj-2
 
16.
The Reluctant Debutante (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A teenage American girl while visiting her father, is thrown into London society during the "Debutante Season". (94 mins.)
“ Kay Kendall is enchanting. I love the whole cast and the really cool London flat. ” - abcj-2
 
17.
Please Believe Me (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Alison Kirbe of London, receives a telegram from Texas, that she has inherited a livestock ranch. It... (87 mins.)
Director: Norman Taurog
“ As a huge Deborah Kerr fan, this is a cute film that I recommend to fans of light romantic comedy. ” - abcj-2
 
18.
Far from the Madding Crowd (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Bathsheba Everdene, a willful, flirtatious, young woman, unexpectedly inherits a large farm and is romantically pursued by three very different men. (168 mins.)
“ The late sixties influence mars the beauty of this production, but if you can accept that, then this is pure gold. ” - abcj-2
 
19.
Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Henry VIII of England discards one wife, Katharine of Aragon, who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn. (145 mins.)
Director: Charles Jarrott
“ Absolutely incredible jaw-dropping acting! Burton and Bujold are amazing! ” - abcj-2
 
20.
The King's Speech (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it. (118 mins.)
Director: Tom Hooper
“ I've neglected this list and should have added this film ages ago. Oscar worthy in every way. It's not a spectacle but rather a film that tells a story beautifully. ” - abcj-2
 
21.
The Secret Garden (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A girl is sent to live with her uncle on his estate when her parents die. There she discovers much intrigue, family history and secrets and personal baggage. In particular, a screaming child and...a secret garden. (92 mins.)
Director: Fred M. Wilcox
“ Margaret O'Brien and Dean Stockwell were amazing child actors. Herbert Marshall is wonderful as the brooding father. This is one of my very favorite classics. ” - abcj-2
 
22.
National Velvet (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A jaded former jockey helps a young girl prepare a wild but gifted horse for England's Grand National Sweepstakes. (123 mins.)
Director: Clarence Brown
“ This is Elizabeth Taylor at her very best. She was so beautiful and sweet. It's one of my favorite classics and has a terrific supporting cast. ” - abcj-2
 
23.
The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Three trappers protect a British Colonel's daughters in the midst of the French and Indian War. (112 mins.)
Director: Michael Mann
“ The girls are British as is the army although this is set in young America during the French & Indian war. This is Daniel Day-Lewis at his absolute screen best. A true hero of the kind that is awesomely tough but powerfully romantic. ” - abcj-2
 
24.
Cranford (2007 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip; and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town. (60 mins.)
“ I'd say this tops most any miniseries. Terrific cast and a delightful experience. ” - abcj-2
 
25.
Emma (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
In rural 1800s England things go bad for a young matchmaker after she finds a man for another woman. (120 mins.)
Director: Douglas McGrath
“ Don't know how I neglected to add this one. I like the 2009 just a bit more, but this is still very much one of my favorites. ” - abcj-2
 
26.
Gandhi (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed. (191 mins.)
“ An English gentleman who returns to India to become a beacon of pacifism and hope. ” - abcj-2
 
27.
Captain Blood (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After being wrongly convicted as a traitor, Peter Blood, an English physician, is sent to exile in the British colonies of the Caribbean, where he becomes a pirate. (119 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ An English doctor and an English girl have an exciting romance set among the pirates and English aristocracy in Jamaica. Much better than The Sea Hawk. ” - abcj-2
 
28.
Adam and Evalyn (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
When a friend dies, a gambler adopts his daughter. Complications ensue. (92 mins.)
Director: Harold French
“ I'm a huge fan of Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons. This is a cute film. ” - abcj-2
 
29.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it. (161 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ I realized recently that I left this film great off the list. It is one of the greatest films ever made. ” - abcj-2
 
30.
The Holiday (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other's countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love. (138 mins.)
Director: Nancy Meyers
“ Half in America and half in the charming English countryside. A modern delight for any romantic. ” - abcj-2
 
31.
Wives and Daughters (1999 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The daughter of a country doctor copes with an unwanted stepmother, an impetuous stepsister, burdensome secrets, the town gossips, and the tug on her own heartstrings for a man who thinks of her only as a friend. (301 mins.)
“ Top notch miniseries with a great cast. This is a must see for lovers of romantic period dramas. ” - abcj-2
 
32.
Being Julia (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Set in '30s London, the film involves stage actors and their experiences with love and revenge. (104 mins.)
Director: István Szabó
“ Annette Bening's missed chance at a well-deserved Oscar. If you're over forty, you'll especially appreciate her delimma. ” - abcj-2
 
33.
Pygmalion (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A Victorian dialect expert makes a bet that he can teach a cockney flower girl to speak proper English and pass as a lady in high society. (96 mins.)
“ George Bernard Shaw's play as it originally came to the screen and from which My Fair Lady was also adapted. Excellent in every way. ” - abcj-2
 
34.
Young Bess (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The early life of Elizabeth I, from her childhood until her accession to the throne of England in 1558. (112 mins.)
Director: George Sidney
“ This is my favorite depiction of the life of Queen Elizabeth I. Jean Simmons is amazing! ” - abcj-2
 
35.
Waterloo Bridge (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
During World War I, believing her fiancé to be dead, a young ballerina loses her job and is forced to turn to prostitution. (108 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
“ A weepy romance that I enjoy purely because this was Vivien Leigh's favorite of her films (as well as Robert Taylor's). Her acting is so subtle compared to that of Scarlett O'Hara from the previous year, yet just as remarkable and unforgettable. ” - abcj-2
 
36.
Great Expectations (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor. (118 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ This is one of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book. David Lean's vision jumps to life and is a true classic just as Dickens' novel is as well. ” - abcj-2
 
37.
Brief Encounter (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband. (86 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ I saw this again recently and really fell hard for it. It's such an emotionally charged film. Can't say much more due to spoilers. Just see it! ” - abcj-2
 
38.
Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
During the Napoleonic wars, a British naval captain has adventures in Central American waters. (117 mins.)
Director: Raoul Walsh
“ Gregory Peck at the peak of handsomeness. This also has a wonderful love story. ” - abcj-2
 
39.
Downton Abbey (2010 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early 20th Century. (58 mins.)
“ Season 1 got better and better each week. Since I'm an American, I patiently awaited for all of Season 2 to record from Masterpiece Classic. Then, I had the best time watching each episode back to back without all the suspense of waiting week to week. Loved Season 2 even more:) ” - abcj-2
 
40.
A Tale of Two Cities (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A pair of lookalikes, one a former French aristocrat and the other an alcoholic English lawyer, fall in love with the same woman amongst the turmoil of the French Revolution. (128 mins.)
Director: Jack Conway
“ Oh my goodness! I finally saw this recently and was blown away by it and Ronald Colman's brilliant performance. ” - abcj-2
 
41.
Shadowlands (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer and professor, leads a passionless life until he meets a spirited poet from the U.S. (131 mins.)
“ Another weepy melodrama but a beautiful love story based on C.S. Lewis's life. ” - abcj-2
 
42.
The Dawn Patrol (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
British flying aces in World War I contend with the harsh realities of war. (103 mins.)
Director: Edmund Goulding
“ This is a war film, a buddy movie, an exciting adventure, totally serious one minute and hilarious the next. The acting is superb. This is one of the greatest films I've ever seen! ” - abcj-2
 
43.
Finding Neverland (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The story of J.M. Barrie's friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan. (106 mins.)
Director: Marc Forster
“ This is one of the sweetest films ever made. ” - abcj-2
 
44.
Screen Two (1985 TV Series)
Episode: Persuasion (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Eight years earlier, Anne Elliot, the daughter of a financially troubled aristocratic family, was persuaded...
“ This is the best version of the Persuasion adaptations. It's not perfect, so I also like the 2007 version. ” - abcj-2
 
45.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
When Robin and his Moorish companion come to England and the tyranny of the Sheriff of Nottingham, he decides to fight back as an outlaw. (143 mins.)
Director: Kevin Reynolds
“ Gets funnier to me each time:) ” - abcj-2
 
46.
My Fair Lady (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A misogynistic and snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society. (170 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
“ One of the best ever made. I watch it every time it comes on TCM, which is frequently. ” - abcj-2
 
47.
The White Cliffs of Dover (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
London based American nurse, Susan, Lady Ashwood, is at the hospital awaiting the imminent arrival of injured soldiers... (126 mins.)
Director: Clarence Brown
“ A wartime melodrama set in England where most of the focus is on the romance and the mother's love for her son. I'm a huge Irene Dunne fan and love to hear her beautiful speaking voice as the narrator. ” - abcj-2
 
48.
The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
An American showgirl becomes entangled in political intrigue when the prince regent of a foreign country attempts to seduce her. (115 mins.)
“ This is the "troubled production" on which My Week with Marilyn is based. Troubled or not, I love thusly film. ” - abcj-2
 
49.
Jane Eyre (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret. (120 mins.)
“ This is a wonderful film that doesn't quite capture the romance of the 2006 miniseries, but it's still worth watching and very good. I think the touching ending is best depicted in this version. Fassbender really is a marvelous actor. ” - abcj-2
 
50.
Jane Eyre (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After a harsh childhood, orphan Jane Eyre is hired by Edward Rochester, the brooding lord of a mysterious manor house, to care for his young daughter. (97 mins.)
“ Love Joan Fontaine's Jane and Margaret O'Brien's Adele. She's my favorite Adele. Joan is my second favorite Jane. ” - abcj-2
 
51.
The Remains of the Day (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years leading up to World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty was to his lordly employer. (134 mins.)
Director: James Ivory
“ Timing is everything which makes this film so beautifully bittersweet. ” - abcj-2
 
52.
Stage Beauty (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A female theatre dresser creates a stir and sparks a revolution in seventeenth century London theatre by playing Desdemona in Othello. But what will become of the male actor she once worked for and eventually replaced? (106 mins.)
Director: Richard Eyre
“ This is one of those more obscure period pieces that I passed on for years. When I finally watched it, I was completely captivated and am now a great fan. ” - abcj-2
 
53.
Love Actually (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. (135 mins.)
Director: Richard Curtis
“ This quirky little film is such a delight that I watch it a few times a year and always before Christmas. ” - abcj-2
 
54.
The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1890s London, two friends use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues. (97 mins.)
Director: Oliver Parker
“ A terrific cast with a wonderful Oscar Wilde based script. Colin Firth fans will surely enjoy. ” - abcj-2
 
55.
Rebecca (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife. (130 mins.)
“ Olivier is so absolutely magnetic that I'd drop everything and go back to his scary mansion, too:) ” - abcj-2
 
56.
Atonement (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. (123 mins.)
Director: Joe Wright
“ Not all romance is bursting with happiness. This is melodrama at its best. ” - abcj-2
 
57.
The Others (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted. (101 mins.)
“ I watch this every couple of years or so. It's one of the few "scary" movies I like. It's quite disturbing but brilliantly made. ” - abcj-2
 
58.
Mansfield Park (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
At 10, Fanny Price, a poor relation, goes to live at Mansfield Park, the estate of her aunt's husband... (112 mins.)
Director: Patricia Rozema
“ Jane Austen's work brought to life in a delightfully quirky film. ” - abcj-2
 
59.
Cold Comfort Farm (1995 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In England in the early 1930's, 20 year old Flora Poste, recently orphaned and left with only 100 pounds a year... (95 mins.)
“ This is the cutest, quirkiest film I've seen in a long time. I bought it recently I loved it so much. Kate Beckinsale is such a natural beauty and Rufus Sewell is smolderingly sexy looking;) ” - abcj-2
 
60.
Persuasion (2007 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Royal Navy captain Wentworth was haughtily turned down eight years ago as suitor of pompous baronet Sir Walter Elliot's daughter Anne... (93 mins.)
Director: Adrian Shergold
“ I prefer parts of this and parts of the 90's version. Therefore, I watch both a couple of times a year. ” - abcj-2
 
61.
Miss Austen Regrets (2008 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In the later years of her life, as she's approaching the age of forty, the novelist Jane Austen helps her niece find a husband. (90 mins.)
Director: Jeremy Lovering
“ This is not my very favorite, but it's worth a mention and very enjoyable. ” - abcj-2
 
62.
Northanger Abbey (2007 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A young woman's penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart. (84 mins.)
Director: Jon Jones
“ Weakest of Austen's novels and, therefore, weaker mini-series. However, weak Austen is better than stronger most anything else. ” - abcj-2
 
63.
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Midshipman Roger Byam joins Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian aboard HMS Bounty for a voyage to Tahiti... (132 mins.)
Director: Frank Lloyd
“ The best version and so obvious why Clark Gable became such a star. ” - abcj-2
 
64.
Damn the Defiant! (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
On the H.M.S. Defiant, during the French Revolutionary Wars, fair Captain Crawford is locked in a battle of wills against his cruel second-in-command Lt. Scott-Paget whose heavy-handed command style pushes the crew to mutiny. (101 mins.)
Director: Lewis Gilbert
“ A great film about power and the abuse of it. No romance, but an excellent film regardless. ” - abcj-2
 
65.
Wuthering Heights (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveler the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff. (104 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
“ I'm one of the rare people who loves most Brit list and and movies, but this one was not an original favorite. However, it has grown on me. ” - abcj-2
 
66.
A Yank in the R.A.F. (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Tyrone Power is a pilots' pilot, but he doesn't believe in anything beyond his own abilities. He gets... (98 mins.)
Director: Henry King
“ Loved this film. Tyrone Power is so handsome and charismatic that I was glued from the beginning. The love story fits in perfectly. ” - abcj-2
 
67.
Lost in Austen (2008 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Amanda, an ardent Jane Austen fan, lives in present day London with her boyfriend Michael, until she finds she's swapped places with Austen's fictional creation Elizabeth Bennet. (180 mins.)
“ Terrific time travel miniseries for Austen lovers and all romantics. ” - abcj-2
 
68.
Miss Potter (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The story of Beatrix Potter, the author of the beloved and best-selling children's book, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", and her struggle for love, happiness and success. (88 mins.)
Director: Chris Noonan
“ A wonderful film with gorgeous scenery and a touching love story. ” - abcj-2
 
69.
The Prestige (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Two stage magicians engage in competitive one-upmanship in an attempt to create the ultimate stage illusion. (130 mins.)
“ One of the best films ever. Not much on romance, but great on every other level. ” - abcj-2
 
70.
Hobson's Choice (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Henry Hobson is a successful bootmaker and tyrannical widower of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses as marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements. (108 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ For those who love classics in black and white, this a hidden gem. ” - abcj-2
 
71.
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An American boy turns out to be the long-lost heir of a British fortune. He is sent to live with the cold and unsentimental lord who oversees the trust. (102 mins.)
Director: John Cromwell
“ A dear classic that I adore for the precious Freddie Bartholomew and the fine story and cast. ” - abcj-2
 
72.
The Duchess (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A chronicle of the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life. (110 mins.)
Director: Saul Dibb
“ Keira Knightley's performance is amazing. I also own this beautiful score. ” - abcj-2
 
73.
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays. (123 mins.)
Director: John Madden
“ I like this so much better now than I did in the 90's. It's a timeless classic. ” - abcj-2
 
74.
Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A British woman is determined to improve herself while she looks for love in a year in which she keeps a personal diary. (97 mins.)
Director: Sharon Maguire
“ Firth or Grant? Grant or Firth? Hmmm.... You just have to see it:) ” - abcj-2
 
75.
Tristan + Isolde (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An affair between the second in line to Britain's throne (Franco) and the princess of the feuding Irish (Myles) spells doom for the young lovers. (125 mins.)
Director: Kevin Reynolds
“ I'm a huge Rufus Sewell fan. He's not the baddie and he's marvelous eye candy. It's worth it to watch for him alone. ” - abcj-2
 
76.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Guinevere Pettigrew, a middle-aged London governess, finds herself unfairly dismissed from her job. An attempt to gain new employment catapults her into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse. (92 mins.)
Director: Bharat Nalluri
“ One of the cutest films ever! ” - abcj-2
 
77.
An Education (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age. (100 mins.)
Director: Lone Scherfig
“ I understand completely why Carrie Mulligan caused such a stir after seeing this. She's amazing. ” - abcj-2
 
78.
The Young Victoria (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria's rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert. (105 mins.)
“ Exquisite costuming! Worth seeing for that alone, but still a good film. ” - abcj-2
 
79.
Billy Budd (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Billy is an innocent, naive seaman in the British Navy in 1797. When the ship's sadistic master-at-arms is murdered, Billy is accused and tried. (123 mins.)
Director: Peter Ustinov
“ A standout performance by a young Terrence Stamp. No romance aboard ship, but a good film that makes you think about good vs. evil and right vs. wrong. ” - abcj-2
 
80.
About a Boy (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A cynical, immature young man is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy. (101 mins.)
“ Hugh Grant at the height of handsomeness and a delightfully quirky film. ” - abcj-2
 
81.
An Ideal Husband (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful Government minister, well-off and with a loving wife. All this is... (97 mins.)
Director: Oliver Parker
“ Great casting and a fun storyline. ” - abcj-2
 
82.
A Knight's Tale (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight. (132 mins.)
Director: Brian Helgeland
“ Love the music and one of Heath's best. Great cast of men, too. ” - abcj-2
 
83.
Robin Hood (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
In 12th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power. (140 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ A unique telling of the popular story. ” - abcj-2
 
84.
The Lion in Winter (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
1183 AD: King Henry II's three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won't commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him. (134 mins.)
Director: Anthony Harvey
“ Fabulous cast. ” - abcj-2
 
85.
The Madness of King George (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A meditation on power and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced... (104 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Hytner
“ Quirky but fun and informative. ” - abcj-2
 
86.
Titanic (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. (194 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
“ Technically this is an American film, but with the lovely English Rose at the helm, I think it should count as British, too. ” - abcj-2
 
87.
The African Queen (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship. (105 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ This is one of those films that should have gone on this list when I first made it. It is perfect in about every way. Bogart and Hepburn aren't always my favorites, but they are wonderful in this adventure. ” - abcj-2
 
88.
Black Narcissus (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings. (100 mins.)
“ This is a strangely captivating film. The altitude of the Himalayas, the flashbacks of Deborah Kerr's life, the dissension among the nuns, and the colorful supporting cast make this worth a watch. Jack Cardiff's uniquely colorful cinematography makes this worth a watch just for a perfect example of his genius. ” - abcj-2
 
89.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades. (114 mins.)
Director: Sam Wood
“ This film has grown on me. I enjoy Donat, but I would have rather Gable received the Oscar. Not to be, though! Still, this is a sentimental film that hooks you in and makes you happy you stayed. ” - abcj-2
 
90.
A Room with a View (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
When Lucy Honeychurch and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence with rooms without views... (117 mins.)
Director: James Ivory
“ I've come to like this one more and more over the years but not so much the first time. Some films are just like that. ” - abcj-2
 
91.
Howards End (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A businessman thwarts his wife's bequest of an estate to another woman. (140 mins.)
Director: James Ivory
“ This has such a wonderful cast and is one that hooks me every time. ” - abcj-2
 
92.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A headstrong young teacher in a private school in 1930s Edinburgh ignores the curriculum and influences her impressionable 12 year old charges with her over-romanticized world view. (116 mins.)
Director: Ronald Neame
“ Maggie Smith has had "it" from the beginning of her career. This is an unusual film, but excellent. ” - abcj-2
 
93.
The Pumpkin Eater (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children... (118 mins.)
Director: Jack Clayton
“ I was afraid this was going to be too depressing for me. It is about a sad woman played wonderfully by Anne Bancroft. Peter Finch and Maggie Smith shine as well. I was quite surprised that it moved me so much emotionally. Great film! ” - abcj-2
 
94.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army. (102 mins.)
“ I can't believe I left this off the list. This is one of the greatest films of all time. Compares to the movies of today, it's a bit campy, but it's still the most popular telling of the Robin Hood story. Pure fun and romance. ” - abcj-2
 
95.
Cluny Brown (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A free-spirited parlor maid and a Czech refugee surprise an English village with their unconventional ways. (100 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
“ A truly fun film with the innocent Jennifer Jones as Cluny Brown and the aging but still very dashing Charles Boyer as the man determined to woo her. Fun film and great cast. ” - abcj-2
 
96.
The Hours (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of how the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives. (114 mins.)
Director: Stephen Daldry
“ I'm counting this as British because a third of it is set in the English countryside. It just happens to be the part Nicole Kidman won her Oscar for and totally deserved. This is a strange film, but I love how it all ties up neatly in the end. ” - abcj-2
 
97.
Nanny McPhee (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A governess uses magic to rein in the behavior of seven ne'er-do-well children in her charge. (97 mins.)
Director: Kirk Jones
“ This is a dear movie that I watched thinking it would be an okay kid's movie when my kids were younger. Turns out it is a great film for all ages. ” - abcj-2
 
98.
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England. (128 mins.)
Director: Guy Ritchie
“ I started this film one evening out of curiosity and was immediately hooked. Other than a few really gross out scenes (larvae, etc...), I loved every minute. This is pure fun entertainment with a terrific cast. ” - abcj-2
 
99.
Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Cheated out of his estate by his sadistic uncle, young Benjamin Blake goes to the South Seas to make his fortune so he can return to claim his birthright. (98 mins.)
Director: John Cromwell
“ This is like watching a romance novel play out in a movie but better. Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney are one of the loveliest screen couples ever. ” - abcj-2
 
100.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks. (216 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ I finally had the needed attention span to get through this very long epic. It was totally worth it. ” - abcj-2