Historical Romance

by PaintedSky | created - 20 May 2015 | updated - 4 days ago | Public

Period films and TV series containing a love story/romantic element as part of the storyline. Happily-ever-afters are not guaranteed.

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1. 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: 958,028 | Gross: $659.33M

2. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, History

87 Metascore

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.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 201,292 | Gross: $100.32M

3. Young Goethe in Love (2010)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

After aspiring poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe fails his law exams, he's sent to a sleepy provincial court to reform. Instead, he falls for Lotte, a young woman who is promised to another man.

Director: Philipp Stölzl | Stars: Alexander Fehling, Miriam Stein, Moritz Bleibtreu, Volker Bruch

Votes: 2,594 | Gross: $0.16M

4. 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: 1,620

5. Amazing Grace (2006)

PG | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

65 Metascore

The idealist William Wilberforce maneuvers his way through Parliament, endeavoring to end the British transatlantic slave trade.

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: Ioan Gruffudd, Albert Finney, Michael Gambon, Romola Garai

Votes: 22,952 | Gross: $21.21M

6. Angel (2007)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, Romance

The rise and fall of a young eccentric British writer, in the early 20th century.

Director: François Ozon | Stars: Romola Garai, Sam Neill, Lucy Russell, Michael Fassbender

Votes: 4,938

7. Anna Karenina (I) (2012)

R | 129 min | Drama, Romance

63 Metascore

In late-19th-century Russian high society, St. Petersburg aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the dashing Count Alexei Vronsky.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen

Votes: 84,753 | Gross: $12.82M

8. Anna Karenina (1997)

PG-13 | 108 min | Drama, Romance

Anna (Marceau) is a wife and mother who has an affair with the handsome Count Vronsky (Bean). Based on the novel by Tolstoy.

Director: Bernard Rose | Stars: Sophie Marceau, Sean Bean, Alfred Molina, Mia Kirshner

Votes: 5,193 | Gross: $0.79M

9. Atonement (2007)

R | 123 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

85 Metascore

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.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan

Votes: 228,658 | Gross: $50.93M

10. Australia (2008)

PG-13 | 165 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

53 Metascore

Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.

Director: Baz Luhrmann | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Shea Adams, Eddie Baroo

Votes: 113,814 | Gross: $49.55M

11. Before the Rains (2007)

PG-13 | 98 min | Drama, History, Romance

47 Metascore

A English spice baron settles in South India during the waning years of the Raj.

Director: Santosh Sivan | Stars: Linus Roache, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Jennifer Ehle

Votes: 1,927 | Gross: $1.04M

12. Becoming Jane (2007)

PG | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman.

Director: Julian Jarrold | Stars: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell

Votes: 54,609 | Gross: $18.67M

13. 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: 23,981 | Gross: $4.44M

14. Casanova (2005)

R | 112 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

57 Metascore

The fabled romantic Giacomo Casanova, after failing to win the affection of the Venetian woman Francesca Bruni, strives to discover the real meaning of love.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Oliver Platt

Votes: 49,457 | Gross: $11.29M

15. Chocolat (2000)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Carrie-Anne Moss

Votes: 168,452 | Gross: $71.51M

16. 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: 132,311 | Gross: $95.64M

17. 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.

Director: Marshall Herskovitz | Stars: Catherine McCormack, Rufus Sewell, Oliver Platt, Fred Ward

Votes: 14,915 | Gross: $4.53M

18. Dorian Gray (2009)

R | 112 min | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty eternally, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Director: Oliver Parker | Stars: Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, Rebecca Hall, John Hollingworth

Votes: 57,918

19. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

R | 128 min | Horror

57 Metascore

The centuries old vampire Count Dracula (Gary Oldman) comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's (Keanu Reeves') fiancée Mina Murray (Winona Ryder) and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

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

Votes: 173,736 | Gross: $82.52M

20. Dracula (2013–2014)

TV-14 | 43 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

Dracula travels to London, with dark plans for revenge against those who ruined his life centuries earlier. However, his plan is complicated when he falls in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.

Stars: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jessica De Gouw, Thomas Kretschmann, Victoria Smurfit

Votes: 26,875

21. Dresden (2006 TV Movie)

176 min | Drama, Romance, War

A romance between a British pilot hiding in Germany and a German nurse is shown on the background of massive allied bombing of Dresden towards the end of World War 2.

Director: Roland Suso Richter | Stars: Felicitas Woll, John Light, Benjamin Sadler, Heiner Lauterbach

Votes: 2,321

22. Cinderella (I) (2015)

PG | 105 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

67 Metascore

When her father unexpectedly dies, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her scheming stepsisters. Never one to give up hope, Ella's fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter

Votes: 143,138 | Gross: $201.15M

23. Cinderella (1965 TV Movie)

G | 84 min | Musical, Fantasy, Romance

Although mistreated by her cruel stepmother and stepsisters, Cinderella is able to attend the royal ball through the help of a fairy godmother.

Director: Charles S. Dubin | Stars: Ginger Rogers, Walter Pidgeon, Celeste Holm, Jo Van Fleet

Votes: 2,014

24. The Duchess (2008)

PG-13 | 110 min | Biography, Drama, History

62 Metascore

A chronicle of the life of 18th-century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life.

Director: Saul Dibb | Stars: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper, Charlotte Rampling

Votes: 72,707 | Gross: $13.82M

25. The Duchess of Langeais (2007)

Unrated | 137 min | Drama, Music, Romance

74 Metascore

In Majorca, in 1823, a French general, Armand de Montriveau, overhears a cloistered nun singing in a chapel; he insists on speaking to her. She is Antoinette, for five years he has searched... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Rivette | Stars: Jeanne Balibar, Guillaume Depardieu, Bulle Ogier, Michel Piccoli

Votes: 1,190 | Gross: $0.28M

26. Emma (2009)

240 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, to have a loving father whom she cares for, friends and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors ... See full summary »

Stars: Romola Garai, Michael Gambon, Jonny Lee Miller, Jodhi May

Votes: 13,456

27. Emma (1996 TV Movie)

TV-G | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

While matchmaking for friends and neighbors, a young 19th-century Englishwoman nearly misses her own chance at love.

Director: Diarmuid Lawrence | Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Bernard Hepton, Mark Strong, Samantha Bond

Votes: 4,871

28. Emma (1996)

PG | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

While matchmaking for friends and neighbours, a young 19th Century Englishwoman nearly misses her own chance at love.

Director: Douglas McGrath | Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, James Cosmo, Greta Scacchi, Alan Cumming

Votes: 32,888 | Gross: $22.20M

29. Ethan Frome (1993)

PG | 99 min | Drama, Romance

A new pastor arrives in a stark Vermont village and is intrigued by crippled, misshapen Ethan Frome living on an isolated, hardscrabble farm with his sickly wife Zeena.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Liam Neeson, Patricia Arquette, Gil Rood, Tate Donovan

Votes: 1,886 | Gross: $0.30M

30. Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)

PG-13 | 121 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

The Brothers Grimm arrive at the home of a wealthy Grande Dame who speaks of the many legends surrounding the fable of the cinder girl before telling the "true" story of her ancestor.

Director: Andy Tennant | Stars: Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott, Patrick Godfrey

Votes: 64,896 | Gross: $65.71M

31. Fanny Hill (2007– )

60 min | Drama, Romance

Orphaned by smallpox, young Lancashire country lady Fanny Hill cheerfully accepts her friend Esther Davies's offer to join the London 'working girls' with Mrs. Brown, a madam who recruits ... See full summary »

Stars: Rebecca Night, Alison Steadman, Hugo Speer, Emma Stansfield

Votes: 1,002

32. 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 »

Director: William Nicholson | Stars: Sophie Marceau, Stephen Dillane, Dominique Belcourt, Kevin Anderson

Votes: 3,855 | Gross: $0.78M

33. Frenchman's Creek (1998 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama, History, Romance

Seeking to escape the stifling London court society, the beautiful headstrong Lady Dona St. Columb flees to her family estate on the Cornish coast. Her new freedom swiftly brings her into ... See full summary »

Director: Ferdinand Fairfax | Stars: Richard Bonehill, Jeremy Child, Christian Cloarec, Anthony Delon

Votes: 335

34. Jane Eyre (2011)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret.

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga | Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Su Elliot

Votes: 75,105 | Gross: $11.24M

35. Jane Eyre (2006)

TV-PG | 230 min | Drama, Romance

A young governess falls in love with her brooding and complex master. However, his dark past may destroy their relationship forever.

Stars: Ruth Wilson, Toby Stephens, Lorraine Ashbourne, Aidan McArdle

Votes: 17,893

36. Jane Eyre (1996)

PG | 112 min | Drama, Romance

Jane Eyre is an orphan cast out as a young girl by her aunt, Mrs. Reed, and sent to be raised in a harsh charity school for girls. There she learns to become a teacher and eventually seeks ... See full summary »

Director: Franco Zeffirelli | Stars: William Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Anna Paquin, Nic Knight

Votes: 8,515 | Gross: $5.20M

37. Jane Eyre (1983)

239 min | Romance

A young governess falls in love with her mysterious employer, but a terrible secret puts their happiness at risk.

Stars: Zelah Clarke, Timothy Dalton, Carol Gillies, James Marcus

Votes: 2,865

38. King Arthur (2004)

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

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: 152,054 | Gross: $51.88M

39. A Knight's Tale (2001)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

56 Metascore

After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight.

Director: Brian Helgeland | Stars: Heath Ledger, Mark Addy, Rufus Sewell, Shannyn Sossamon

Votes: 157,682 | Gross: $56.57M

40. Lady Chatterley's Lover (2015 TV Movie)

89 min | Drama, Romance

In 1913 Connie Reid marries wealthy Nottingham colliery owner Sir Clifford Chatterley but he returns from the Great War disabled and in a wheelchair. Connie is loyal but begins to feel ... See full summary »

Director: Jed Mercurio | Stars: Holliday Grainger, Richard Madden, James Norton, Jodie Comer

Votes: 2,333

41. Lady Chatterley (1993)

Unrated | 205 min | Drama, Romance

Lady Constance Chatterley is married to the handicapped Sir Clifford Chatterley, who was wounded in the First World War. When they move to his family's estate, Constance (Connie) meets ... See full summary »

Stars: Joely Richardson, Sean Bean, James Wilby, Shirley Anne Field

Votes: 1,425

42. Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981)

R | 104 min | Drama, Romance

A film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's novel. After a crippling injury leaves her husband impotent, Lady Chatterly is torn between her love for her husband and her physical desires. With her ... See full summary »

Director: Just Jaeckin | Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Shane Briant, Nicholas Clay, Ann Mitchell

Votes: 2,211

43. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

R | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

76 Metascore

Three trappers protect the daughters of a British Colonel in the midst of the French and Indian War.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig

Votes: 136,450 | Gross: $75.51M

44. Little Women (1994)

PG | 115 min | Drama, Family, Romance

87 Metascore

The March sisters live and grow in post-Civil War America.

Director: Gillian Armstrong | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes

Votes: 43,740 | Gross: $50.08M

45. Lorna Doone (2000 TV Movie)

180 min | Drama, Romance

Against a backdrop of political and religious upheaval, a farmer falls in love with the "queen" of the notorious Doone clan --a family that he has sworn vengeance on.

Director: Mike Barker | Stars: Neil Finnighan, Jack Baverstock, Trevor Cooper, Aidan Gillen

Votes: 1,681

46. Lorna Doone (1990 TV Movie)

PG | 87 min | Drama, Romance