Best European Historical Moviesby amani-preston | created - 28 Dec 2013 | updated - 17 Dec 2015 | Public
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1. The Merchant of Venice (2004)
R | 131 min | Drama, Romance
In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead.
Votes: 31,413 | Gross: $3.77M
2. Gladiator (2000)
R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
When a Roman General is betrayed, and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.
Votes: 1,094,413 | Gross: $187.71M
3. Tristan + Isolde (2006)
PG-13 | 125 min | Drama, Romance
An affair between the second in line to Britain's throne and the princess of the feuding Irish spells doom for the young lovers.
Votes: 47,152 | Gross: $14.73M
4. Becket (1964)
PG-13 | 148 min | Biography, Drama, History
King Henry II of England comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant Thomas à Becket, who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather than the king's.
5. The Lion in Winter (1968)
PG | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History
1183 A.D.: 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.
Votes: 24,855 | Gross: $0.02M
6. A Man for All Seasons (1966)
G | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History
The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.
Votes: 25,687 | Gross: $28.35M
7. To Kill a King (2003)
102 min | Biography, Drama, History
A recounting of the relationship between General Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, as they try to cope with the consequences of deposing King Charles I.
8. Atonement (2007)
R | 123 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
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.
Votes: 209,830 | Gross: $50.93M
9. Impromptu (1991)
PG-13 | 107 min | Biography, Comedy, Music
Votes: 4,100 | Gross: $4.08M
10. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)
PG | 116 min | Drama, Romance
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.
11. The Secret Garden (1993)
G | 101 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy
Living in India, Mary Lennox, a young, privileged girl, is left orphaned when her parents are killed in an earthquake. She is sent back to England where she goes to live on her uncle's ... See full summary »
Votes: 31,281 | Gross: $31.18M
12. The Wings of the Dove (1997)
R | 102 min | Drama, Romance
An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. When she discovers the heiress is attracted to her own lover and is dying, she sees a chance to have both the privileged life she cannot give up and the lover she cannot live without.
Votes: 9,353 | Gross: $13.72M
13. Valmont (1989)
R | 137 min | Drama, Romance
Set in Baroque France, a scheming widow and her lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. The lover, Valmont, bets that he can seduce her, even though she is an... See full summary »
Votes: 10,885 | Gross: $1.13M
15. Twelfth Night or What You Will (1996)
PG | 134 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Shakespeare's comedy of gender confusion, in which a girl disguises herself as a man to be near the count she adores, only to be pursued by the woman he loves.
Votes: 5,031 | Gross: $0.55M
16. Stage Beauty (2004)
R | 106 min | Drama
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?
Votes: 9,190 | Gross: $0.78M
17. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, History
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.
Votes: 188,663 | Gross: $100.32M
18. The Portrait of a Lady (1996)
PG-13 | 144 min | Drama, Romance
An American girl inherits a fortune and falls into a misguided relationship with a gentleman confidence artist whose true nature, including a barbed and covetous disposition, turns her life into a nightmare.
Votes: 9,392 | Gross: $3.69M
19. Restoration (1995)
R | 117 min | Biography, Drama, History
The exiled royal physician to King Charles II devotes himself to helping Londoners suffering from the plague, and in the process falls in love with an equally poor woman.
Votes: 7,938 | Gross: $4.10M
20. Onegin (1999)
R | 106 min | Drama, Romance
In the opulent St. Petersburg of the Empire period, Eugene Onegin is a jaded but dashing aristocrat - a man often lacking in empathy, who suffers from restlessness, melancholy and, finally,... See full summary »
Votes: 6,669 | Gross: $0.21M
21. The Remains of the Day (1993)
PG | 134 min | Drama, Romance
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.
Votes: 50,538 | Gross: $22.95M
22. Nicholas Nickleby (2002)
PG | 132 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
A young, compassionate man struggles to save his family and friends from the abusive exploitation of his cold-heartedly grasping uncle.
Votes: 10,054 | Gross: $1.59M
24. The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
R | 118 min | Drama, History, Romance
In pre-Revolutionary France, a young aristocratic woman left penniless by the political unrest in the country, must avenge her family's fall from grace by scheming to steal a priceless necklace.
Votes: 4,659 | Gross: $0.43M
25. A Room with a View (1985)
Not Rated | 117 min | Drama, Romance
When Lucy Honeychurch and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence with rooms without views, fellow guests Mr Emerson and son George step in to remedy the situation. Meeting... See full summary »
Votes: 32,514 | Gross: $20.97M
27. Amazing Grace (2006)
PG | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History
The idealist William Wilberforce maneuvers his way through Parliament, endeavoring to end the British transatlantic slave trade.
Votes: 22,021 | Gross: $21.21M
28. Agora (2009)
R | 127 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hope of pursuing freedom while falling in love with his mistress, the famous philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.
Votes: 57,438 | Gross: $0.62M
29. Dangerous Beauty (1998)
R | 111 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
A Venetian courtesan becomes a hero to her city, but later becomes the target of an inquisition by the Church for witchcraft.
Votes: 13,625 | Gross: $4.53M
30. A Knight's Tale (2001)
PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Romance
After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight.
Votes: 147,395 | Gross: $56.57M
31. Firelight (1997)
R | 103 min | Romance, Drama
In 1838, lovely governess Elisabeth agrees to bear a child of anonymous English landowner, and he will in return pay her father's debt. At birth she, as agreed, gives up the child. Seven ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,664 | Gross: $0.78M
32. Hamlet (1996)
PG-13 | 242 min | Drama
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.
Votes: 32,371 | Gross: $4.41M
33. Illuminata (1998)
R | 119 min | Drama, Romance
It's the start of the 20th century, and Tuccio, resident playwright of a theatre repertory company offers the owners of the company his new play, "Illuminata". They reject it, saying it's ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,425 | Gross: $0.84M
34. The Woodlanders (1997)
PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance
The story is set in late 19th century rural corner of South England. The daughter of timber merchant Melbury, Grace, returns to the town after finishing school. Her father now believes she ... See full summary »
35. Luther (2003)
PG-13 | 123 min | Biography, Drama, History
During the early 16th Century idealistic German monk Martin Luther, disgusted by the materialism in the church, begins the dialogue that will lead to the Protestant Reformation.
Votes: 13,537 | Gross: $5.79M
36. The Winslow Boy (1999)
G | 104 min | Drama, Romance
Early 20th century England: while toasting his daughter Catherine's engagement, Arthur Winslow learns the royal naval academy expelled his 14-year-old son, Ronnie, for stealing five ... See full summary »
Votes: 6,693 | Gross: $3.96M
38. Dean Spanley (2008)
PG | 100 min | Comedy, Drama
Set in Edwardian England where upper lips are always stiff and men from the Colonies are not entirely to be trusted, Fisk Senior has little time or affection for his son, but when the pair visit an eccentric Indian, they start a strange journey that eventually allows the old man to find his heart.
39. Orlando (1992)
PG-13 | 94 min | Biography, Drama, Fantasy
Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. Miraculously, he does just that. The film follows him as he moves through several centuries of British ... See full summary »
Votes: 11,056 | Gross: $5.29M
40. Lady Jane (1986)
PG-13 | 136 min | Biography, Drama, History
The death of King Henry VIII throws his kingdom into chaos because of succession disputes. His weak son Edward, is on his deathbed. Anxious to keep England true to the Reformation, a ... See full summary »
Votes: 5,405 | Gross: $0.28M
41. Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
PG-13 | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Young lovers Hero and Claudio, soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick and Beatrice to wed as well.
Votes: 39,673 | Gross: $22.55M
43. The Twisted Tale of Bloody Mary (2008)
104 min | Drama, History
She was loved, she was a princess, heir to the throne - but the childhood fairytale turned to lifelong nightmare for Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's first child. When Henry divorced her mother and... See full summary »
44. Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)
PG | 145 min | Biography, Drama, History
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.
45. The Conclave (2006)
100 min | Biography, Drama, History
In 1458, five years after the fall of Constantinople to the Turk, eighteen cardinals met in Rome to elect a new pope. A 27-year-old Spanish cardinal, Rodrigo Borgia, learns to play a very dangerous game; how to survive his first conclave.
46. The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)
Approved | 138 min | Biography, Drama, History
The biographical story of Michelangelo's troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II.
47. The Advocate (1993)
R | 102 min | Crime, Drama, History
In medieval France, young lawyer Richard Courtois leaves Paris for the simpler life in the country. However, he is soon drawn into amorous and political intrigues. At the same time, he is ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,675 | Gross: $0.67M
48. God's Outlaw (1986)
Not Rated | 93 min | Biography, Drama, History
A dramatized biography of William Tyndale, the 16th Century reformer determined to translate the Bible into English, which illegal act set him at odds with the Catholic Church, Sir Thomas More and King Henry VIII.
49. As You Like It (2006)
PG | 127 min | Drama, Comedy, Romance
Rosalind, the daughter of Duke Senior (the banished duke), is raised at the court of Duke Frederick (who is younger brother to Duke Senior and took over his dukedom), with her cousin Celia ... See full summary »
50. Anonymous (I) (2011)
PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Thriller
The theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who penned Shakespeare's plays. Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I and the Essex rebellion against her.
Votes: 36,338 | Gross: $4.46M