List of movies concerning history and literature of the Middle ages through Elizabethian times (500-1600AD)

by Sherrill777 | created - 11 Feb 2013 | updated - 22 Dec 2015 | Public

This list attempts to collect and organize the best movies showing the history and literature of the Middle Ages through the Elizabethan period (500-1600AD). I created this with the idea that it would supplement a study of that time period, so will include documentaries, dramas and docu-dramas.

To make it easier to find what you may be interested in, I have created a table of contents (the # refers to the position of the 1st movie of the category) . Please be aware that some categories overlap. 1 - Byzantine Empire 9 - Medieval Legends 18- Persian Myths 24- Norse/Viking 37- Crusaders (1000-1300) 55- Early Renaissance (1300-1550) 78- Explorers 83- South America 94- Reformation 101- Henry VIII 109- Shakespeare 136- Elizabethan period 150- Far East (500-1600) 162- Feudal Japan

My criteria for this list is as follows: 1) The movie had to fall within the time frame 2) The movie had to have at least a rating of 6.0 from IMDb 3) It had to be at least theoretically possible to FIND the movie (on someplace like Netflix or Amazon).

Although I did my best to select movies that would be appropriate for at least a high school student (and I tried to get younger ages too), I have not watched the majority of the films on this list so make no guarantees about the quality or appropriateness of any film here. *Parental Discretion Advised*

Please see my other lists for other time periods.

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1. Byzantium: The Lost Empire (1997– )

208 min | Documentary

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

John Romer recreates the glory and history of Byzantium. From the Hagia Sophia in present-day Istanbul to the looted treasures of the empire now located in St. Marks in Venice.

Star: John Romer

Votes: 177

This list starts after the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Byzantine period. This TV series focused on the art and architecture of the period.

2. Engineering an Empire (2005–2007)
Episode: The Byzantines (2006)

Documentary, History

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of Byzantium and some of there accomplishments.

Directors: Rebecca Ratliff, Mark Cannon | Stars: Peter Weller, Michael Carroll

Votes: 35

3. The Dark Ages (2007 TV Movie)

120 min | Documentary, Drama, History

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The History Channel examines the Dark Ages from the fall of the Roman Empire to the First Crusade.

Director: Christopher Cassel | Stars: Philip Daileader, Kelly DeVries, Bonnie Effros, Adnan Husain

Votes: 348

4. Theodora (1996 TV Movie)

208 min | Drama, Music

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: Peter Sellars | Stars: Frode Olsen, David Daniels, Richard Croft, Dawn Upshaw

Votes: 37

5. The Message (1976)

PG | 177 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

This epic historical drama chronicles the life and times of Muhammad and serves as an introduction to early Islamic history.

Director: Moustapha Akkad | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas, Michael Ansara, Johnny Sekka

Votes: 37,788

I have not watched this, so could not say whether this movie tells of the birth of Islam from a Christian or Muslim perspective.

6. Charlemagne (1993– )

90 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Young Charlemagns is placed on the Frankish throne in the middle of the 8th Century A.D. Despite having many powerful enemies he slowly unites the nations of Western Europe and rebuilds civilization on the ruins of the Roman Empire.

Stars: Christian Brendel, Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus, Paolo Bonacelli, Vanni Corbellini

Votes: 181

I'm not positive that this mini-series will be easy to find....

7. The Secret of Kells (2009)

Not Rated | 75 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
81 Metascore

A young boy in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids is beckoned to adventure when a celebrated master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers.

Directors: Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey | Stars: Evan McGuire, Brendan Gleeson, Mick Lally, Christen Mooney

Votes: 26,158 | Gross: $0.69M

8. Alfred the Great (I) (1969)

M | 122 min | Drama, History, War

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

While Old England is being ransacked by roving Danes in the ninth century, Alfred is planning to join the priesthood. But observing the rape of his land, he puts away his religious vows, to... See full summary »

Director: Clive Donner | Stars: David Hemmings, Michael York, Prunella Ransome, Colin Blakely

Votes: 827

9. Pope Joan (2009)

149 min | Drama, Romance

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman of English extraction born in the German city of Ingelheim in the ninth century disguises herself as a man and rises through the Vatican ranks.

Director: Sönke Wortmann | Stars: Johanna Wokalek, David Wenham, John Goodman, Iain Glen

Votes: 7,537

This begins the section on Medieval Legends.

10. Excalibur (1981)

PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
56 Metascore

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi

Votes: 50,582 | Gross: $34.97M

There are numerous King Arthur movies and TV series, but I found a small selection of some of the highlights.

11. Merlin (2008–2012)

TV-PG | 45 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

These are the brand new adventures of Merlin, the legendary sorcerer as a young man, when he was just a servant to young Prince Arthur on the royal court of Camelot, who has soon become his best friend, and turned Arthur into a great king and a legend.

Stars: John Hurt, Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Richard Wilson

Votes: 61,447

12. King Arthur (2004)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
46 Metascore

A demystified take on the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Clive Owen, Stephen Dillane, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffudd

Votes: 146,102 | Gross: $51.88M

13. The Sword in the Stone (1963)

G | 79 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
70 Metascore

A poor boy named Arthur learns the power of love, kindness, knowledge and bravery with the help of a wizard called Merlin in the path to become one of the most beloved kings in English history.

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Rickie Sorensen, Sebastian Cabot, Karl Swenson, Junius Matthews

Votes: 73,653 | Gross: $22.18M

14. The Mists of Avalon (2001– )

Unrated | 183 min | Drama, Fantasy

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Based on the bestseller by Marion Zimmer Bradley It tells the story of the women behind King Arthur; including his mother, Igraine; his half-sister, Morgaine; his aunt Viviane, the Lady of ... See full summary »

Stars: Anjelica Huston, Julianna Margulies, Joan Allen, Samantha Mathis

Votes: 7,746

15. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949)

Not Rated | 106 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A singing mechanic from 1912 finds himself in Arthurian Britain.

Director: Tay Garnett | Stars: Bing Crosby, Rhonda Fleming, Cedric Hardwicke, William Bendix

Votes: 1,900

This Mark Twain classic doesn't exactly have a lot of history in it, but it is still a great story.

16. The Legend of Prince Valiant (1991–1994)

22 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After his castle is taken over, Valiant, Prince of Thule, has a dream, in which King Arthur calls him to Camelot. Valiant heeds the advice of the dream, and sets out on a quest to find the ... See full summary »

Stars: Robby Benson, Michael Horton, Noelle North, Alan Oppenheimer

Votes: 481

17. Tristan + Isolde (2006)

PG-13 | 125 min | Action, Drama, Romance

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
49 Metascore

An affair between the second in line to Britain's throne and the princess of the feuding Irish spells doom for the young lovers.

Director: Kevin Reynolds | Stars: James Franco, Sophia Myles, Rufus Sewell, David O'Hara

Votes: 47,396 | Gross: $14.73M

18. The Singing Princess (1949)

76 min | Animation, Fantasy

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An insane woman brings peace to her village by being the most ultimate singer around.

Director: Anton Gino Domenighini | Stars: Stefano Sibaldi, Germana Calderini, Giulio Panicali, Olinto Cristina

Votes: 162

This starts the section on 'Persian Myths'. The majority of these tales come from '1001 Arabian Nights', stories compiled from the Islamic Golden Age.

19. Arabian Nights (2000– )

Not Rated | 175 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

To cure a prince's murderous madness, Scheherezade tells him a series of wonderous stories.

Stars: Mili Avital, Alan Bates, James Frain, Tchéky Karyo

Votes: 4,381

20. Aladdin (1992)

G | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie's magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker | Stars: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman

Votes: 294,700 | Gross: $217.35M

21. The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

Not Rated | 106 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being tricked and cast out of Bagdad by the evil Jaffar, King Ahmad joins forces with a thief named Abu to reclaim his throne, the city, and the Princess he loves.

Directors: Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell, Tim Whelan, Alexander Korda, Zoltan Korda, William Cameron Menzies | Stars: Conrad Veidt, Sabu, June Duprez, John Justin

Votes: 10,053

22. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)

PG | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
48 Metascore

The sailor of legend is framed by the goddess Eris for the theft of the Book of Peace, and must travel to her realm at the end of the world to retrieve it and save the life of his childhood friend Prince Proteus.

Directors: Patrick Gilmore, Tim Johnson | Stars: Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joseph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer

Votes: 40,897 | Gross: $26.48M

23. The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)

G | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sinbad and his crew intercept a homunculus carrying a golden tablet. Koura, the creator of the homunculus and practitioner of evil magic, wants the tablet back and pursues Sinbad. Meanwhile... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Hessler | Stars: John Phillip Law, Caroline Munro, Tom Baker, Douglas Wilmer

Votes: 6,812

24. The 13th Warrior (1999)

R | 102 min | Action, Adventure, History

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
42 Metascore

A man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled on a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.

Directors: John McTiernan, Michael Crichton | Stars: Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Dennis Storhøi, Vladimir Kulich

Votes: 106,793 | Gross: $32.70M

This starts the section of Norse/Viking history and legends.

25. Horus: Prince of the Sun (1968)

Not Rated | 82 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A boy with a mythical sword wants to protect a Norse village from an evil ice wizard and his minions, who destroyed his family's village. However, the villagers don't fully trust him and a mysterious girl with a dark secret befriends him.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Mikijirô Hira, Etsuko Ichihara, Eijirô Tôno, Masao Mishima

Votes: 1,678

Also Known as 'The Little Norse Prince'.

26. Valhalla (1986)

89 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Through Loki's treachery, two children in the Viking age find themselves spirited away into the world of Norse Mythology.

Directors: Peter Madsen, Jeffrey James Varab | Stars: Dick Kaysø, Preben Kristensen, Laura Bro, Marie Ingerslev

Votes: 1,680

27. Thor (2011)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
57 Metascore

The powerful, but arrogant god Thor, is cast out of Asgard to live amongst humans in Midgard (Earth), where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston

Votes: 606,540 | Gross: $181.03M

28. Thor: Tales of Asgard (2011 Video)

Not Rated | 77 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The young Norse god Thor embarks on a quest with his brother Loki to find and recover a legendary sword.

Director: Sam Liu | Stars: Matthew Wolf, Rick Gomez, Tara Strong, Alistair Abell

Votes: 4,336

29. The Vikings (1958)

Unrated | 116 min | Action, Adventure

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A slave and a Viking prince fight for the love of a captive princess.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Janet Leigh

Votes: 10,483

30. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

PG | 98 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
74 Metascore

A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.

Directors: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders | Stars: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson

Votes: 554,097 | Gross: $217.58M

31. Wickie und die starken Männer (2009)

85 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

5.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The story of a young Viking boy who accompanies his father, the chief of their village, and his men on their adventures -- and often is the person who uses his wit and instincts to help the men in their times of need.

Director: Michael Herbig | Stars: Jonas Hämmerle, Waldemar Kobus, Günther Kaufmann, Michael Herbig

Votes: 2,462

32. Beowulf (2007)

PG-13 | 115 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

6.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
59 Metascore

The warrior Beowulf must fight and defeat the monster Grendel who is terrorizing Denmark, and later, Grendel's mother, who begins killing out of revenge.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Ray Winstone, Crispin Glover, Angelina Jolie, Robin Wright

Votes: 149,908 | Gross: $82.16M

33. Chronicle (1966–1991)
Episode: The Vikings in North America (1966)

Documentary, History

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: Julia Cave

34. Astrid Silverlock

86 min | Animation, Adventure, Family | Filming

In the year of the Lord, 859AD, King Erik Silverlock and his son travel to the Brittish islands to trade. After their ship goes missing, young Astrid Silverlock decides to find out the truth. It's an epic adventure story.

Director: Robert Rhodin | Star: Roger Moore

This is an upcoming film that might fit this time period. Maybe.

35. Ring of the Nibelungs (2004 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 184 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The legend of Siegfried and Brunhild, loosely based on characters from the Norse sagas and the pre-Christian Germanic heroic motifs outlined in the Nibelungensaga.

Director: Uli Edel | Stars: Benno Fürmann, Kristanna Loken, Alicia Witt, Julian Sands

Votes: 8,639

36. When the Raven Flies (1984)

109 min | Action, Drama

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An Irish man seeks vengeance against the vikings who killed his parents.

Director: Hrafn Gunnlaugsson | Stars: Jakob Þór Einarsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Helgi Skúlason, Gotti Sigurdarson

Votes: 2,102

It looks like there is a re-make in the works.

37. El Cid (1961)

Approved | 182 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone, Geneviève Page

Votes: 10,847 | Gross: $26.62M

This film begins the section on European history from around 1000 AD to about 1300 AD.

38. Stealing Heaven (1988)

R | 108 min | Drama, History, Romance

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In medieval Paris, a young religious scholar and the beautiful niece of a local patrician fall madly in love and consummate their passion for each other. In the religious uproar that follows, they are condemned and brutally punished.

Director: Clive Donner | Stars: Derek de Lint, Kim Thomson, Denholm Elliott, Bernard Hepton

Votes: 587

39. The Lion in Winter (1968)

PG | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Anthony Harvey | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, John Castle

Votes: 25,195 | Gross: $0.02M

40. Ivanhoe (1997– )

270 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Ivanhoe returning from crusading in the Holy Land to England which is ruled by corrupt Prince John.

Stars: David Barrass, Ralph Brown, Jimmy Chisholm, Trevor Cooper

Votes: 868

There are other movies of this name, but this one had the best ratings.

41. The Pillars of the Earth (2010)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, History, Romance

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tears lives and families apart.

Stars: Ian McShane, Matthew Macfadyen, Eddie Redmayne, Hayley Atwell

Votes: 24,874

42. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

PG | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
97 Metascore

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.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains

Votes: 41,639 | Gross: $3.98M

43. Robin Hood (1984–1986)

60 min | Action, Fantasy, Drama

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A forest mystical being appoints two men in succession as the legendary outlaw defender of the oppressed.

Stars: Peter Llewellyn Williams, Ray Winstone, Mark Ryan, Clive Mantle

Votes: 3,250

44. Robin Hood (1973)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of the legendary outlaw is portrayed with the characters as humanoid animals.

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Brian Bedford, Phil Harris, Roger Miller, Peter Ustinov

Votes: 95,137 | Gross: $32.06M

45. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
51 Metascore

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.

Director: Kevin Reynolds | Stars: Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Christian Slater

Votes: 157,155 | Gross: $165.50M

There's also a parody of this called 'Men in Tights', if you like that sort of thing.

46. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

R | 144 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
63 Metascore

Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the Crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Martin Hancock

Votes: 237,422 | Gross: $47.40M

47. Justin and the Knights of Valour (2013)

PG | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

6.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young boy becomes a man as he embarks on a quest to become a knight.

Director: Manuel Sicilia | Stars: Freddie Highmore, Antonio Banderas, James Cosmo, Charles Dance

Votes: 4,916

48. Becket (1964)

PG-13 | 148 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
68 Metascore

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.

Director: Peter Glenville | Stars: Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud, Gino Cervi

Votes: 11,987

49. Arn: Tempelriddaren (2007)

R | 139 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Arn, the son of a high-ranking Swedish nobleman is educated in a monastery and sent to the Holy Land as a knight templar to do penance for a forbidden love.

Director: Peter Flinth | Stars: Joakim Nätterqvist, Sofia Helin, Stellan Skarsgård, Michael Nyqvist

Votes: 19,245

50. Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972)

PG | 121 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This is a dramatization of events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi from before his conversion experience through his audience with the pope, including his friendship with St. Clare.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli | Stars: Graham Faulkner, Judi Bowker, Leigh Lawson, Kenneth Cranham

Votes: 3,526

Movie on St. Francis of Assisi

51. Francesco (1989)

PG-13 | 119 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Docudrama about the life of St-Francis of Assisi

Director: Liliana Cavani | Stars: Mickey Rourke, Helena Bonham Carter, Andréa Ferréol, Nikolaus Dutsch

Votes: 1,134

Movie on St. Francis of Assisi

52. Ironclad (2011)

R | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
42 Metascore

In 13th-century England, a small group of Knights Templar fight to defend Rochester Castle against the tyrannical King John.

Director: Jonathan English | Stars: Paul Giamatti, Jason Flemyng, Brian Cox, James Purefoy

Votes: 36,644

53. Údolí vcel (1968)

97 min | Drama, History

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Ondrej, a young boy who loves bees and bats, is introduced to his new mother, a woman much younger than his father. He brings her a basketful of flowers which she starts to throw in the air... See full summary »

Director: Frantisek Vlácil | Stars: Petr Cepek, Jan Kacer, Vera Galatíková, Zdenek Kryzánek

Votes: 1,128

54. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
68 Metascore

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.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen

Votes: 828,950 | Gross: $75.60M

55. The Name of the Rose (1986)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An intellectually nonconformist friar investigates a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger, Elya Baskin

Votes: 88,990 | Gross: $7.15M

A mystery

56. The Decameron (1971)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, History

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An adaptation of nine stories from Boccaccio's "Decameron".

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Jovan Jovanovic, Vincenzo Amato

Votes: 7,806

57. Black Death (2010)

R | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
71 Metascore

Set during the time of the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England, a young monk is given the task of learning the truth about reports of people being brought back to life in a small village.

Director: Christopher Smith | Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, Carice van Houten, Kimberley Nixon

Votes: 39,093 | Gross: $0.02M

58. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 127,636

59. Canterbury Tales (2003)

52 min | Drama

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An adaptation of six of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in a modern setting.

Stars: Nikki Amuka-Bird, Rob Brown, Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Nesbitt

Votes: 327

There are other versions of this same title.

60. Andrei Rublev (1966)

Not Rated | 205 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolay Grinko, Nikolay Sergeev

Votes: 30,000

61. Joan of Arc (1999– )

Unrated | 180 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Spurred by divine voices and visions, a 15th-century teen leads French forces against the English.

Stars: Ted Atherton, Jacqueline Bisset, Powers Boothe, Maury Chaykin

Votes: 5,249

62. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley, Maurice Schutz

Votes: 32,092 | Gross: $0.02M

63. Saint Joan (1957)

Not Rated | 110 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1456, French king Charles VII recalls the story of how he met the 17 year-old peasant girl Joan of Arc, entrusted her with the command of the French Army and ultimately burned her at the stake as a heretic.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Richard Widmark, Richard Todd, Anton Walbrook, John Gielgud

Votes: 906

64. The Advocate (1993)

R | 102 min | Crime, Drama, History

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Leslie Megahey | Stars: Colin Firth, Amina Annabi, Jim Carter, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 1,685 | Gross: $0.67M

Also known as 'The hour of the Pig'

65. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

G | 91 min | Animation, Drama, Family

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A deformed bell-ringer must assert his independence from a vicious government minister in order to help his friend, a gypsy dancer.

Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise | Stars: Demi Moore, Jason Alexander, Mary Kay Bergman, Corey Burton

Votes: 116,821 | Gross: $100.14M

66. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (I) (1923)

Unrated | 133 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.

Director: Wallace Worsley | Stars: Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry, Kate Lester

Votes: 3,944 | Gross: $1.02M

67. Dracula (1931)

Not Rated | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye

Votes: 37,779

I'm including this here because this time period is when Prince Vlad (whom Dracula is based off of) was alive.

68. Dracula (1992)

R | 128 min | Horror

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
57 Metascore

The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves

Votes: 160,150 | Gross: $82.52M

69. The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci (1971– )

60 min | Biography

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

He was the creator and artist of the Mona Lisa portrait

Stars: Philippe Leroy, Giulio Bosetti, Bruno Piergentili, Giampiero Albertini

Votes: 265

Any biography of this man would probably do equally well.

70. The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

Approved | 138 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The biographical story of Michelangelo's troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, Diane Cilento, Harry Andrews

Votes: 5,373

Michaelangelo

71. Fetih 1453 (2012)

Not Rated | 162 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After the death of his father Murat II, Mehmet II ascends to the Ottoman throne. After braving internal and external enemies, he decides to complete what he was destined to do - conquer Constantinople.

Director: Faruk Aksoy | Stars: Devrim Evin, Ibrahim Celikkol, Dilek Serbest, Cengiz Coskun

Votes: 53,288 | Gross: $0.07M

This movie may be hard to find

72. The Conclave (2006)

100 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

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.

Director: Christoph Schrewe | Stars: Manu Fullola, Brian Blessed, James Faulkner, Rolf Kanies

Votes: 421

73. Tower of London (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Drama, History

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King ... See full summary »

Director: Rowland V. Lee | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Barbara O'Neil, Ian Hunter

Votes: 1,473

74. Tower of London (1962)

Not Rated | 79 min | Drama, History, Horror

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The twisted Richard III is haunted by the ghosts of those he has murdered in his attempt to become the King of England.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Vincent Price, Michael Pate, Joan Freeman, Robert Brown

Votes: 1,459

75. Princes in the Tower (2005 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Sixteen years after the presumed deaths of the two boy princes held captive in the Tower, Perkin Warbeck makes his claim to the throne as the rightful King Richard. Did the younger brother ... See full summary »

Director: Justin Hardy | Stars: Mark Umbers, John Castle, Roger Hammond, Sally Edwards

Votes: 117

76. The Borgias (2011–2013)

TV-MA | 50 min | Crime, Drama, History

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 15th century, pope Alexander VI tries to control all power in Italy with the help of his several sons, through murder, intrigue, war and marriage alliances.

Stars: Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Peter Sullivan

Votes: 42,606

77. Los Borgia (2006)

120 min | Biography, History

6.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A portrait of the bloody dynasty that spawned a pope, Alexander VI, as well as the role model for Machiavelli's "The Prince," his son Cesare Borgia, and a legend of femme duplicity, daughter Lucrezia Borgia.

Director: Antonio Hernández | Stars: Lluís Homar, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, María Valverde, Sergio Múñiz

Votes: 1,326

78. Christopher Columbus (1985)

360 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After his proposal to sail west to the East Indies is rejected by Portugal, Columbus overcomes court intrigue in Spain to gain support for his expedition.

Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Rossano Brazzi, Virna Lisi, Oliver Reed

Votes: 559

This begins the section on explorers

Also look for the 'Biography' series to have an episode on this man.

79. Columbus: The Lost Voyage (2007 TV Movie)

120 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of one of the most famous men in history. You might think you know him - the heroic and successful discoverer of America. Now think again.

Director: Anna Thomson | Stars: Olegar Fedoro, Alvaro Martin, David Sant, Javier Mazan

Votes: 63

80. 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)

PG-13 | 154 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
47 Metascore

Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas and the effect this has on the indigenous people.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Armand Assante, Sigourney Weaver, Loren Dean

Votes: 24,657 | Gross: $7.19M

81. Roanoke: The Lost Colony (2007)

86 min | Drama, History

5.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A fictional tale based on the true events of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island in 1587.

Director: Bertie Stephens | Stars: James Alexander, Michael Armstrong, Michael Chalkley, Andy Courtney

Votes: 105

82. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo, Del Negro

Votes: 43,088

This begins the movies on South America during this time period.

83. Mysteries of the Ancient Maya (1997 TV Movie)

Documentary

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Add a Plot

Directors: Dennis B. Kane, Stan Swan | Stars: Tom Chapin, Tom Chaplin, Hugo Medrano, Stan Wait

84. The Road to El Dorado (2000)

PG | 89 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
51 Metascore

Two swindlers get their hands on a map to the fabled city of gold, El Dorado.

Directors: Bibo Bergeron, Don Paul, Jeffrey Katzenberg | Stars: Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Rosie Perez, Armand Assante

Votes: 68,133 | Gross: $50.86M

85. The Mysterious Cities of Gold (1982–1983)

TV-Y7 | 28 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A trio of kids must search throughout 16th Century South America for personal answers linked to the legendary El Dorado.

Stars: Janice Chaikelson, Adrian Knight, Michael Rudder, Terrence Labrosse

Votes: 2,874

86. Nova (1974– )
Episode: The Great Inca Rebellion (2007)

TV-PG | Documentary, Biography

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Recent archaeological research begins to reveal how a small number of Spanish fortune hunters could conquer the mighty Inca Empira. The evidences calls into question the accepted story of ... See full summary »

Star: Jay O. Sanders

Votes: 41

87. Apocalypto (2006)

R | 139 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
68 Metascore

As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, a young man is taken on a perilous journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Max Trujillo, Dalia Hernández, Rudy Youngblood

Votes: 256,945 | Gross: $50.87M

88. Rapa Nui (1994)

R | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Tenuously based on the legends of Easter Island, Chile, this story details a civil war between the two tribes on the island: the Long Ears and the Short Ears. A warrior from the ruling ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Reynolds | Stars: Jason Scott Lee, Esai Morales, Sandrine Holt, Eru Potaka Dewes

Votes: 4,139 | Gross: $0.31M

89. Captain from Castile (1947)

Not Rated | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The invasion of Mexico by Cortez, as seen by a young Spanish officer fleeing the Inquisition.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Tyrone Power, Jean Peters, Cesar Romero, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 1,441

90. The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969)

G | 118 min | Adventure, Drama

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Spanish explorer Pizarro captures the Inca god-chief Atahualpa and promises to free him upon the delivery of a hoard of gold. But Pizarro finds himself torn between his desire for ... See full summary »

Director: Irving Lerner | Stars: Robert Shaw, Christopher Plummer, Nigel Davenport, Leonard Whiting

Votes: 472

91. Quilombo (1984)

114 min | Drama

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Palmares is a 17th-century quilombo, a settlement of escaped slaves in northeast Brazil. In 1650, plantation slaves revolt and head for the mountains where they find others led by the aged ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Diegues | Stars: Bené Batista, Jonas Bloch, Zózimo Bulbul, Emmanuel Cavalcanti

Votes: 360

92. La otra conquista (1998)

R | 105 min | Drama, History

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

It is May 1520 in the vast Aztec Empire one year after the Spanish Conqueror Hernán Cortés' arrival in Mexico. "The Other Conquest" opens with the infamous massacre of the Aztecs at the ... See full summary »

Director: Salvador Carrasco | Stars: Damián Delgado, José Carlos Rodríguez, Elpidia Carrillo, Iñaki Aierra

Votes: 1,056 | Gross: $0.89M

Also known as 'The Other Conquest'

93. Luther (2003)

PG-13 | 123 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
47 Metascore

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.

Director: Eric Till | Stars: Joseph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, Peter Ustinov, Alfred Molina

Votes: 13,628 | Gross: $5.79M

As is appropriate, a movie on Martin Luther begins the section on the Reformation.

94. Luther (1974)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Drama

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man's views cause a rift between peasants and the church.

Director: Guy Green | Stars: Stacy Keach, Patrick Magee, Hugh Griffith, Robert Stephens

Votes: 259

95. Martin Luther (1953)

Approved | 105 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Biopic of German priest Martin Luther covering his life between 1505-1530 A.D. and the birth of the Protestant Reformation movement.

Director: Irving Pichel | Stars: Niall MacGinnis, John Ruddock, Pierre Lefevre, Guy Verney

Votes: 346

96. Martin Luther (2002 TV Movie)

TV-G | 115 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Martin Luther is born into a world dominated by the Catholic Church. For the keenly spiritual Luther, the Church's promise of salvation is irresistible. Caught in a thunderstorm and ... See full summary »

Director: Cassian Harrison | Stars: Liam Neeson, Timothy West

Votes: 181

97. Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (2004 Video)

257 min | Documentary

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

"This video series boldly, clearly, and winsomely sets forth the glorious, saving grace of God in its splendor and will help thousands to understand the gospel better and so to be filled ... See full summary »

Director: James Gelet | Stars: George Grant, Eric Holmberg, D. James Kennedy, Stephen Mansfield

Votes: 22

98. John Wycliffe: The Morning Star (1984)

Not Rated | 75 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of 14th century John Wycliffe, AKA "The Morning Star of the Reformation", who was the first to translate the Bible into English.

Director: Tony Tew | Stars: Michael Bertenshaw, James Downie, Peter Howell, Barrie Cookson

Votes: 108

99. God's Outlaw (1986)

Not Rated | 93 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Tony Tew | Stars: Roger Rees, Bernard Archard, Keith Barron, Kenneth Gilbert

Votes: 166

100. A Man for All Seasons (1966)

G | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw, Leo McKern

Votes: 26,003 | Gross: $28.35M

This begins the section of King Henry the VIII.