My period drama to-watch list

by Basilesque | created - 21 Apr 2011 | updated - 5 months ago | Public

Where to find even more comprehensive lists:

charitysplace.com/reviews erasofelegance.com/entertainment.html enchantedserenityperiodfilms.blogspot.com

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1. The Abduction Club (2002)

96 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A group of Irish noblemen kidnap girls in order to marry into their fortune and avoid becoming priests or soldiers.

Director: Stefan Schwartz | Stars: Alice Evans, Daniel Lapaine, Sophia Myles, Matthew Rhys

Votes: 1,589

2. War and Peace (2007– )

394 min | Drama, History, Romance

The story of five aristocratic families in Russia during the Napoleonic Wars of 1812

Stars: Clémence Poésy, Alessio Boni, Alexander Beyer, Malcolm McDowell

Votes: 1,664

3. Anna and the King (1999)

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

56 Metascore

The story of the romance between the King of Siam and widowed British schoolteacher, Anna Leonowens, during the 1860s.

Director: Andy Tennant | Stars: Jodie Foster, Yun-Fat Chow, Bai Ling, Tom Felton

Votes: 33,250 | Gross: $39.26M

4. Anna Karenina (1977– )

500 min | Drama, History, Romance

Anna Karenina is the young wife of an older husband. She has an affair with the handsome Count Vronsky. By following her desires, Anna complicates her life.

Stars: Nicola Pagett, Stuart Wilson, Eric Porter, Robert Swann

Votes: 208

5. Anna Karenina (1985 TV Movie)

PG | 135 min | Drama, Romance

Tragic Anna leaves her cold husband for dashing Count Vronsky in 19th-century Russia.

Director: Simon Langton | Stars: Jacqueline Bisset, Christopher Reeve, Paul Scofield, Ian Ogilvy

Votes: 266

6. 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 »

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Takuya Shimada, Brian Blessed, Richard Clifford, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 2,728

7. Cold Mountain (2003)

R | 154 min | Adventure, Drama, History

73 Metascore

In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, Eileen Atkins

Votes: 127,947 | Gross: $95.64M

8. David Copperfield (1999– )

Unrated | 185 min | Drama

A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Trevor Eve, Michael Elphick, James Thornton

Votes: 3,638

9. David Copperfield (2000 TV Movie)

180 min | Drama

A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: Hugh Dancy, Michael Richards, Eileen Atkins, Anthony Andrews

Votes: 911

10. Doctor Zhivago (2002)

226 min | Drama, Romance

Young and beautiful Lara is loved by three men: a revolutionary, a mogul, and a doctor. Their lives become intertwined with the drama of Russian revolution. Doctor Zhivago is about to get ... See full summary »

Stars: Keira Knightley, Sam Neill, Hans Matheson, Alexandra Maria Lara

Votes: 4,484

11. Emily of New Moon (1998– )

TV-G | 60 min | Drama

An orphan is sent to live with relatives in picturesque turn-of-the-century Prince Edward Island.

Stars: Martha MacIsaac, Sheila McCarthy, Jessica Pellerin, Stephen McHattie

Votes: 357

12. Finding Neverland (2004)

PG | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Family

67 Metascore

The story of J.M. Barrie's friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Radha Mitchell

Votes: 186,152 | Gross: $51.68M

13. The Forsyte Saga (1967– )

50 min | Drama, Romance

The extended Forsyte family live a more than pleasant upper middle class life in Victorian and later Edwardian England. The two central characters are Soames Forsyte and his cousin Jolyon ... See full summary »

Stars: Eric Porter, Margaret Tyzack, Nyree Dawn Porter, June Barry

Votes: 792

14. Garrow's Law (2009– )

Biography, Drama

Garrow's Law is the true tale of William Garrow, who acted as counsel for the accused, introducing the concept of 'innocent until proved guilty' at London's Old Bailey.

Stars: Andrew Buchan, Lyndsey Marshal, Rupert Graves, Aidan McArdle

Votes: 945

15. Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

PG-13 | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

A young peasant maid working in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer becomes his talented assistant and the model for one of his most famous works.

Director: Peter Webber | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson, Judy Parfitt

Votes: 65,893 | Gross: $11.63M

16. The Golden Bowl (2000)

R | 130 min | Drama, Romance

62 Metascore

A man marries an heiress for her money even though he is actually in love with her friend.

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Uma Thurman, Jeremy Northam, Kate Beckinsale, James Fox

Votes: 3,958 | Gross: $3.04M

17. Gone with the Wind (1939)

G | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 250,601 | Gross: $198.68M

18. The Lost Prince (2003 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 180 min | Biography, Drama

The true story of the British royal prince locked away because of having epilepsy.

Director: Stephen Poliakoff | Stars: Daniel Williams, Matthew James Thomas, Brock Everitt-Elwick, Rollo Weeks

Votes: 1,685

19. Hard Times (1994– )

100 min | Drama

Thomas Gradgrind, a wealthy, retired merchant in the industrial city of Coketown, England, devotes his life to a philosophy of rationalism, self-interest, and fact. He raises his oldest ... See full summary »

Stars: Harriet Walter, Bill Paterson, Alan Bates, Beatie Edney

Votes: 217

20. The House of Mirth (2000)

PG | 135 min | Romance, Drama

78 Metascore

A woman risks losing her chance of happiness with the only man she has ever loved.

Director: Terence Davies | Stars: Gillian Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Eleanor Bron, Terry Kinney

Votes: 6,717 | Gross: $3.04M

21. Jude (1996)

R | 123 min | Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

A stonemason steadfastly pursues a cousin he loves. However their love is troubled as he is married to a woman who tricked him into marriage and she is married to a man she does not love.

Director: Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Christopher Eccleston, Kate Winslet, Liam Cunningham, Rachel Griffiths

Votes: 9,258 | Gross: $0.41M

22. The Magnificent Ambersons (2002 TV Movie)

150 min | Drama

The spoiled rotten and utterly unlikable rich kid George Amberson becomes horrified when his recently widowed mother rekindles her relationship with the wealthy Eugene Morgan, who she left ... See full summary »

Director: Alfonso Arau | Stars: Madeleine Stowe, Bruce Greenwood, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Gretchen Mol

Votes: 759

23. The Man in the Iron Mask (I) (1998)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure

48 Metascore

The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

Director: Randall Wallace | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gérard Depardieu

Votes: 139,745 | Gross: $56.97M

24. Middlemarch (1994)

375 min | Drama, History, Romance

This Masterpiece Theatre production, set at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, chronicles the life, loves, foibles and politics of the fictional English town of Middlemarch. Adapted ... See full summary »

Stars: Juliet Aubrey, Douglas Hodge, Robert Hardy, Peter Jeffrey

Votes: 1,891

25. Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

PG | 132 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

71 Metascore

A young, compassionate man struggles to save his family and friends from the abusive exploitation of his cold-heartedly grasping uncle.

Director: Douglas McGrath | Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Christopher Plummer, Jim Broadbent

Votes: 10,452 | Gross: $1.59M

26. The Old Curiosity Shop (2007 TV Movie)

93 min | Drama

A kindly shop owner whose overwhelming gambling debts allow a greedy landlord to seize his shop of dusty treasures. Evicted and with no way to pay his debts, he and his granddaughter flee.

Director: Brian Percival | Stars: Derek Jacobi, Toby Jones, Sophie Vavasseur, Gina McKee

Votes: 595

27. Poldark (1975– )

60 min | Drama, History, Romance

In 1783, Ross Poldark returns from the American wars to his native Cornwall to right wrongs and reunite with the love of his life.

Stars: Robin Ellis, Angharad Rees, Clive Francis, Jill Townsend

Votes: 815

28. The Remains of the Day (1993)

PG | 134 min | Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

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.

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, John Haycraft, Christopher Reeve

Votes: 52,878 | Gross: $22.95M

29. Avonlea (1990–1996)

PG | 60 min | Drama, Adventure, Family

A young rich girl is sent to live with relatives on Prince Edward Island in the early 1900s.

Stars: Zachary Bennett, Lally Cadeau, Mag Ruffman, Cedric Smith

Votes: 3,320

30. A Room with a View (2007 TV Movie)

93 min | Drama

It's the Edwardian era. The Honeychurches - Marian Honeychurch and her two just of age children Lucy Honeychurch and Freddy Honeychurch - are a carefree and fun-loving family that live in ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Renton | Stars: Elaine Cassidy, Laurence Fox, Rafe Spall, Sophie Thompson

Votes: 1,069

31. Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991 TV Movie)

G | 98 min | Drama, Family, Romance

A single New England woman responds to an advertisement by a Midwestern widower in which he asks for a bride to help him raise his two children.

Director: Glenn Jordan | Stars: Glenn Close, Christopher Walken, Lexi Randall, Malgorzata Zajaczkowska

Votes: 1,760

32. A Tale of Two Cities (1980 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 162 min | Drama, History, Romance

An ex-aristocrat from France and an alcoholic English lawyer find themselves crossing paths and in love with the same woman during the French Revolution.

Director: Jim Goddard | Stars: Chris Sarandon, Peter Cushing, Kenneth More, Barry Morse

Votes: 571

33. A Tale of Two Cities (1989– )

188 min | Drama, History, Romance

Two men, one an aristocrat and one a drunken lawyer, fall in love with the same woman during the early stages of the French Revolution.

Stars: James Wilby, Xavier Deluc, Serena Gordon, John Mills

Votes: 293

34. Titanic (1996)

PG-13 | 173 min | Action, Drama, History

The story of the 1912 sinking of the largest luxury liner ever built, the tragedy that befell over two thousand of the rich and famous as well as of the poor and unknown passengers aboard the doomed ship.

Stars: Peter Gallagher, George C. Scott, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Eva Marie Saint

Votes: 3,791

35. Titanic (1997)

PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates

Votes: 897,075 | Gross: $659.33M

36. Upstairs, Downstairs (1971–1975)

60 min | Drama

The trials of the British aristocratic Bellamy family and their household staff.

Stars: Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh, Angela Baddeley

Votes: 2,268

37. Vanity Fair (2004)

PG-13 | 141 min | Drama

53 Metascore

Growing up poor in London, Becky Sharp defies her poverty-stricken background and ascends the social ladder alongside her best friend, Amelia.

Director: Mira Nair | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Romola Garai, James Purefoy, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Votes: 18,620 | Gross: $16.14M

38. Victoria & Albert (2001 TV Movie)

200 min | Biography, Drama, History

The passionate love story that was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's lengthy marriage. Beginning in 1837, the year of King William IV's death and 18-year-old Victoria's ascension to the ... See full summary »

Director: John Erman | Stars: Victoria Hamilton, Jonathan Firth, James Callis, Diana Rigg

Votes: 880

39. Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991)

PG | 116 min | Drama, Romance

After a rich Edwardian widow impulsively marries a handsome but poor Tuscan dentist and dies in childbirth, her English in-laws try to gain custody of the baby.

Director: Charles Sturridge | Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Rupert Graves, Helen Mirren

Votes: 1,736 | Gross: $1.40M

40. The Wings of the Dove (1997)

R | 102 min | Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

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.

Director: Iain Softley | Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, Alex Jennings, Charlotte Rampling

Votes: 9,520 | Gross: $13.72M

41. Ballet Shoes (1975)

120 min | Family

Pauline, Petrova, and Posy Fossil live with Sylvia Brown, their guardian. Money is tight and as the story opens, three boarders - a garage owner, a retired English professor, and a dance ... See full summary »

Stars: Angela Thorne, Jane Slaughter, Elizabeth Morgan, Sarah Prince

Votes: 99

42. Beau Brummell: This Charming Man (2006 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 78 min | Drama, History

George 'Beau' Brummel, a penniless but witty London gentleman, maintains a refined lifestyle with his loyal servant, cook Robinson. Only the friendship of the unpopular Hanoverian heir and ... See full summary »

Director: Philippa Lowthorpe | Stars: James Purefoy, Hugh Bonneville, Phil Davis, Elliot Levey

Votes: 594

43. Black Beauty (1994)

G | 88 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

The fates of horses, and the people who own and command them, are revealed as Black Beauty narrates the circle of his life.

Director: Caroline Thompson | Stars: Sean Bean, David Thewlis, Docs Keepin Time, Alan Cumming

Votes: 8,106 | Gross: $4.63M

44. Brideshead Revisited (1981)

659 min | Drama, Romance

Two young men meet at Oxford. Charles Ryder, though of no family or money, becomes friends with Sebastian Flyte when Sebastian throws up in his college room through an open window. He then ... See full summary »

Stars: Jeremy Irons, Diana Quick, Roger Milner, Phoebe Nicholls

Votes: 5,456

45. Bright Star (2009)

PG | 119 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

81 Metascore

The three-year romance between 19th-century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne near the end of his life.

Director: Jane Campion | Stars: Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider, Kerry Fox

Votes: 23,253 | Gross: $4.44M

46. David Copperfield (1974– )

300 min | Drama

A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

Stars: Ian Hogg, David Troughton, Patience Collier, David Yelland

Votes: 70

47. Dickens of London (1976– )

60 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

Charles Dickens grew up in a family where his father was larger than life. The elder Dickens is a teller of tales and always seem to have ambitions that are well beyond his means or his ... See full summary »

Stars: Roy Dotrice, John F. Landry, Diana Coupland, Adrienne Burgess

Votes: 53

48. Effie Gray (2014)

PG-13 | 104 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

A look at the scandalous love triangle between Victorian art critic John Ruskin, his teenage bride Effie Gray, and Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais.

Director: Richard Laxton | Stars: Dakota Fanning, Greg Wise, Tom Sturridge, Emma Thompson

Votes: 3,306 | Gross: $0.34M

49. Elizabeth (1998)

R | 124 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5