Weird History The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century  

Ranker Film
3.5k votes 516 voters 14.5k views 22 items

The 18th century was a time of great change around the globe. The Enlightenment expanded peoples' minds and encouraged new forms of government, while the Industrial Revolution brought about technological innovations that impacted everyday life. It's no wonder that this century continues to inspire filmmakers. The best 18th century period movies capture the sense of possibility that permeated this era, from romantic love stories to thrilling class struggles. This is a list of the top 1700s period movies including everything from Sense and Sensibility to The Last of the Mohicans to The Duchess.

What films will you find on this list of the best films set in the 18th century? The works of Jane Austen continue to make readers and moviegoers swoon. In the 2005 adaptation of her perennial favorite Pride & Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Fitzwilliam Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) spar while falling in love against all odds. Amadeus is another good film set in the 18th century. Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette examined the notorious historic figure with a unique and modern touch. Other movies featured on this list include Dangerous Liaisons and Barry Lyndon.

Which movie set in the 1700s do you think is the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any good 18th century period films that are missing.

list ordered by

1
241 24
Poldark is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Denise Schult added Poldark Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, Heida Reed

2
116 165
Pride & Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Judi Dench Pride & Prejudice is a 2005 British romance film directed by Joe Wright and based on Jane Austen's novel of the same name, published in 1813. The film depicts five sisters from an English ...more

3
82 157
Sense and Sensibility is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Kate Winslet, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility is a 1995 British–American period drama film directed by Ang Lee and based on Jane Austen's 1811 novel of the same name. Actress Emma Thompson wrote the script and stars as ...more

4
70 150
The Duchess is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Hayley Atwell The Duchess is a 2008 British-American drama film directed by Saul Dibb. It is based on Amanda Foreman's biography of the 18th-century English aristocrat Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of ...more

5
55 149
Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Ebersole Amadeus - Directors Cut is a 1984 biography drama film written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Milos Forman.

6
46 140
Dangerous Liaisons is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves Dangerous Liaisons is a 1988 historical drama film based upon Christopher Hampton's play Les liaisons dangereuses, which in turn was a theatrical adaptation of the 18th-century French novel Les ...more

7
44 136
Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Dimos Dicoudis added Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 American fantasy horror adventure film directed by Tim Burton. It is a film adaptation loosely inspired by the 1820 short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington ...more

8
46 144
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 and produced by Morgan Creek Pictures. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same ...more

9
43 140
Becoming Jane is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Anne Hathaway, Maggie Smith, James McAvoy Becoming Jane is a 2007 British-Irish historical biographical film directed by Julian Jarrold. It depicts the early life of the English author Jane Austen and her perpetual love and regret with ...more

10
3 4
Anna Karenina is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
MelissaColon added Anna Karenina is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger. Tolstoy clashed with editor Mikhail Katkov ...more

11
50 165
Marie Antoinette is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Kirsten Dunst, Tom Hardy, Rose Byrne Marie Antoinette is a 2006 historical drama film, written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It is based on the life of the Queen in the years leading up to the French Revolution. It won the Academy ...more

12
41 136
Emma is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Toni Collette Emma is a 1996 period film based on the novel of the same name by Jane Austen. Directed by Douglas McGrath, the film stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Alan Cumming, Toni Collette, Ewan McGregor, and Jeremy ...more

13
0 2
Lizzie Borden Took an Ax is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
MelissaColon added Lizzie Borden Took an Ax Christina Ricci, Clea DuVall, Billy Campbell Lizzie Borden Took an Ax is a 2014 American television biopic about the true story of Lizzie Borden, a young American woman tried and acquitted of the murders of her father and stepmother in ...more

14
24 127
Quills is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Kate Winslet, Michael Caine, Geoffrey Rush Quills is a 2000 period film directed by Philip Kaufman and adapted from the Obie award-winning play by Doug Wright, who also wrote the original screenplay. Inspired by the life and work of the ...more

15
24 128
Barry Lyndon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Ryan O'Neal, Leonard Rossiter, Hardy Krüger Barry Lyndon is a 1975 British-American period drama film written, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the 1844 novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray. It ...more

16
23 129
Casanova is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Sienna Miller, Heath Ledger, Natalie Dormer Casanova is a 2005 American romantic film directed by Lasse Hallström starring Heath Ledger and loosely based on the life of Giacomo Casanova.

17
20 119
Rob Roy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, John Hurt Rob Roy is a 1995 adventure film directed by Michael Caton-Jones. Liam Neeson stars as Rob Roy MacGregor, an 18th-century Scottish clan chief who battles with an unscrupulous nobleman in the ...more

18
18 121
Farewell, My Queen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Diane Kruger, Léa Seydoux, Virginie Ledoyen Farewell, My Queen is a 2012 French drama film directed by Benoît Jacquot and based on the novel of the same name by Chantal Thomas, who won the Prix Femina in 2002. It gives a fictional ...more

19
11 116
The Affair of the Necklace is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Hayden Panettiere, Christopher Walken, Hilary Swank The Affair of the Necklace is a 2001 American historical drama film directed by Charles Shyer. The screenplay by John Sweet is based on what became known as the Affair of the Diamond Necklace, ...more

20
8 117
Goya in Bordeaux is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Dafne Fernández, Maribel Verdú, Francisco Rabal Goya en Burdeos is a 1999 Spanish historical drama film written and directed by Carlos Saura about the life of Francisco de Goya, the influential 19th Century Spanish painter.

21
6 110
The Lady and the Duke is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Rosette, Marie Rivière The Lady and the Duke is a 2001 feature film by French director Éric Rohmer. The film was inspired by Ma vie sous la révolution, the colourful memoirs of Grace Elliott, an ...more

22
5 111
A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century
Dirk Bogarde, Cecil Parker, Ian Bannen A Tale of Two Cities is a 1958 British period drama based on parts of Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities, directed by Ralph Thomas and starring Dirk Bogarde and Dorothy Tutin.