Entertainment

Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century  

Ranker Film
996 votes 328 voters 27.4k views 23 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite period films set in the 1800s and the Victorian era.

The 19th century often seems like the distant past, but the classic stories found in 1800s period films prove to be timeless. The top 1800s movies feature passionate love stories, epic war sagas, and intriguing mysteries. This is a list of the best 19th century period movies, including everything from How Green Was My Valley to The Age of Innocence to The Piano.

What films will you find on this list of the best Victorian era movies? Gone with the Wind follows Scarlett O'Hara, a spoiled Southern belle who finds her life upended by the Civil War. The 1939 epic took home eight Academy Awards, including the trophies for Best Picture and Best Director. Wuthering Heights is another great film set in the 1800s. Mia Wasikowska played the title character in the 2011 drama Jane Eyre. Other good movies featured on this list include The Portrait of a Lady and Anna Karenina.

Which film set in the Victorian era is your favorite? Give the best movies a thumbs up and please add any good films that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland

Released: 1939

Directed by: Sam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more

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2
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Mia Wasikowska

Released: 2011

Directed by: Cary Fukunaga

Jane Eyre is a 2011 British romantic drama film directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. The screenplay is written by Moira Buffini based on the 1847 novel ...more

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#152 of 170 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time #47 of 77 The Best Period Romance Movies #16 of 58 The Best Judi Dench Movies

3
Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Claude Rains, Hume Cronyn, Nelson Eddy

Released: 1943

Directed by: Arthur Lubin

David and Jade, a young couple, are consumed by their feelings for each other.  With the toll its taking on her schoolwork, Jade's father eventually bans David from seeing her.  This ...more

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4
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Laurence Olivier, David Niven, Merle Oberon

Released: 1939

Directed by: William Wyler

Wuthering Heights is a 1939 American black-and-white film directed by William Wyler and produced by Samuel Goldwyn. It is based on the novel, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The film ...more

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5
Bram Stoker's Dracula is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Dimos Dicoudis added
Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder

Released: 1992

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Bram Stoker's Dracula is a 1992 American horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the 1897 Gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker. Count Dracula (Gary Oldman), a ...more

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6
Madame Bovary is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Madame Bovary
Paul Giamatti, Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans

Released: 2014

Directed by: Sophie Barthes

Madame Bovary is a 2014 drama film directed by Sophie Barthes and starring Mia Wasikowska, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Paul Giamatti, and Ezra Miller. The film is based on the novel of the same name by ...more
7
How Green Was My Valley ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Maureen O'Hara, Roddy McDowall, Walter Pidgeon

Released: 1941

Directed by: John Ford

How Green Was My Valley is a 1941 drama film directed by John Ford. The film, based on the 1939 Richard Llewellyn novel, was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and scripted by Philip Dunne. The film ...more

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8
The Portrait of a Lady ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Nicole Kidman, Christian Bale, Viggo Mortensen

Released: 1996

Directed by: Jane Campion

The Portrait of a Lady is a 1996 film adaptation of Henry James's novel The Portrait of a Lady directed by Jane Campion. The film stars Nicole Kidman, Barbara Hershey, John Malkovich, ...more
9
Anna Karenina is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Cara Delevingne

Released: 2012

Directed by: Joe Wright

Anna Karenina is a 2012 British epic romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright. Adapted by Tom Stoppard from Leo Tolstoy's 1877 novel of the same name, the film depicts the tragedy of Russian ...more

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#63 of 77 The Best Period Romance Movies #16 of 17 The Best Saoirse Ronan Movies #86 of 88 The Best Movies About Marriage

10
Mrs. Brown is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Mrs. Brown
Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Antony Sher
11
The Good, the Bad and th... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
BaruchLalaev added
Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

Released: 1966

Directed by: Sergio Leone

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. The screenplay was written by Age ...more

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12
The Age of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Daniel Day-Lewis

Released: 1993

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Age of Innocence is a 1993 American film adaptation of Edith Wharton's 1920 novel of the same name. The film was released by Columbia Pictures, directed by Martin Scorsese, and stars Daniel ...more

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13
The Piano is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Anna Paquin, Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel

Released: 1993

Directed by: Jane Campion

The Piano is a 1993 romantic drama film about a mute female piano player and her daughter. Set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater on the west coast of New Zealand, ...more

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14
Hello, Dolly! is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Barbra Streisand, Louis Armstrong, Walter Matthau

Released: 1969

Directed by: Gene Kelly

Hello, Dolly! is a 1969 romantic comedy musical film based on the Broadway production of the same name. The film follows the story of Dolly Levi, as she travels to Yonkers, New York, to find a ...more

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15
The Importance of Being ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Michael Redgrave, Margaret Rutherford, Joan Greenwood

Released: 1952

Directed by: Anthony Asquith

The Importance of Being Earnest is a British film adaptation of the play by Oscar Wilde. It was directed by Anthony Asquith, who also adapted the screenplay, and was produced by Teddy Baird.
16
Tess is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth, Lesley Dunlop

Released: 1979

Directed by: Roman Polanski

Tess is a 1979 romance film directed by Roman Polanski, an adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles. It tells the story of a strong-willed, young peasant girl who finds ...more

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17
An Ideal Husband is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Minnie Driver

Released: 1999

Directed by: Oliver Parker

An Ideal Husband is a 1999 film based on the play An Ideal Husband of the same name written by Oscar Wilde. The film stars Jeremy Northam, Rupert Everett, Julianne Moore, Minnie Driver and Oscar ...more
18
Lust for Life is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Marion Ross

Released: 1956

Directed by: Vincente Minnelli, George Cukor

Lust for Life is a MGM biographical film about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, based on the 1934 novel by Irving Stone and adapted by Norman Corwin. It was directed by Vincente ...more
19
Black 47 is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Jim Broadbent

Released: 2018

Directed by: Lance Daly

Black 47 is a 2018 drama directed by Lance Daly, based on the Irish short film An Ranger. During the Great Famine in Ireland, an Irish Ranger (James Frecheville) who has been fighting for the ...more
20
Babette's Feast is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Bibi Andersson, St├ęphane Audran, Jarl Kulle

Released: 1987

Directed by: Gabriel Axel

Babette's Feast is a 1987 Danish drama film directed by Gabriel Axel. The film's screenplay was written by Axel based on the story by Isak Dinesen. Produced by Just Betzer, Bo Christensen, and ...more

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21
Nicholas Nickleby is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Anne Hathaway, Charlie Hunnam, Christopher Plummer

Released: 2002

Directed by: Douglas McGrath

Nicholas Nickleby is a 2002 drama film written and directed by Douglas McGrath. The screenplay is based on The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, which originally was ...more
22
Posse is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Pam Grier, Big Daddy Kane, Isaac Hayes

Released: 1993

Directed by: Mario Van Peebles

Posse is a 1993 American Western film directed by and starring Mario Van Peebles. Featuring a large ensemble cast, the film tells the story of a posse of African-American soldiers and one ...more

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23
Ethan Frome is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
Liam Neeson, Patricia Arquette, Joan Allen

Released: 1993

Directed by: John Madden

Ethan Frome is a 1993 drama film directed by John Madden.