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Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century

Updated February 21, 2020 1.4k votes 379 voters 32.2k views24 items

List RulesVote 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.

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  • 1
    Gone With The Wind is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Gone With The Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh

    Released1939

    Directed bySam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Jane Eyre

    Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench

    Released2011

    Directed byCary Fukunaga

    Jane Eyre is a 2011 British romantic drama film directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Mia... more on Wikipedia

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    #5 of 78 The Best Period Romance Movies#9 of 29 The Best British Romance Movies

  • 3
    Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Wuthering Heights

    Laurence Olivier, David Niven

    Released1939

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    Wuthering Heights is a 1939 American black-and-white film directed by William Wyler and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Bram Stoker's Dracula is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Bram Stoker's Dracula

    Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves

    Released1992

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Bram Stoker's Dracula is a 1992 American horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Phantom Of The Opera is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Phantom Of The Opera

    Claude Rains, Hume Cronyn

    Released1943

    Directed byArthur Lubin

    David and Jade, a young couple, are consumed by their feelings for each other.  With the toll... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    How Green Was My Valley is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    How Green Was My Valley

    Maureen O'Hara, Roddy McDowall

    Released1941

    Directed byJohn Ford

    How Green Was My Valley is a 1941 drama film directed by John Ford. The film, based on the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Anna Karenina is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Anna Karenina

    Keira Knightley, Jude Law

    Released2012

    Directed byJoe Wright

    Anna Karenina is a 2012 British epic romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright. Adapted by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Mrs. Brown is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Mrs. Brown

    Judi Dench, Billy Connolly
  • 9
    Madame Bovary is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    20

    Madame Bovary

    Paul Giamatti, Mia Wasikowska

    Released2014

    Directed bySophie Barthes

    Madame Bovary is a 2014 drama film directed by Sophie Barthes and starring Mia Wasikowska,... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach

    Released1966

    Directed bySergio Leone

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by... more on Wikipedia

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    #8 of 28 Civil War Movies List#56 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • 11
    The Portrait Of A Lady is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    The Portrait Of A Lady

    Nicole Kidman, Christian Bale

    Released1996

    Directed byJane Campion

    The Portrait of a Lady is a 1996 film adaptation of Henry James's novel The Portrait of a Lady... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    The Age Of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    The Age Of Innocence

    Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder

    Released1993

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    The Age of Innocence is a 1993 American film adaptation of Edith Wharton's 1920 novel of the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    The Piano is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    The Piano

    Anna Paquin, Holly Hunter

    Released1993

    Directed byJane Campion

    The Piano is a 1993 romantic drama film about a mute female piano player and her daughter. Set... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Lust For Life is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Lust For Life

    Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn

    Released1956

    Directed byVincente Minnelli, George Cukor

    Lust for Life is a MGM biographical film about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh,... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Hello, Dolly! is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Hello, Dolly!

    Barbra Streisand, Louis Armstrong

    Released1969

    Directed byGene Kelly

    Hello, Dolly! is a 1969 romantic comedy musical film based on the Broadway production of the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    The Importance Of Being Earnes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    The Importance Of Being Earnest

    Michael Redgrave, Margaret Rutherford

    Released1952

    Directed byAnthony Asquith

    The Importance of Being Earnest is a British film adaptation of the play by Oscar Wilde. It... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Babette's Feast is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Babette's Feast

    Bibi Andersson, Stéphane Audran

    Released1987

    Directed byGabriel Axel

    Babette's Feast is a 1987 Danish drama film directed by Gabriel Axel. The film's screenplay... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Tess is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Tess

    Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth

    Released1979

    Directed byRoman Polanski

    Tess is a 1979 romance film directed by Roman Polanski, an adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1891... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Emma is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
    8
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    Emma

    Anya Taylor-Joy, Josh O'Connor

    Released2020

    Directed byAutumn de Wilde

    EMMA is a 2020 British comedy-drama film directed by Autumn de Wilde and based on the novel of... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Nicholas Nickleby is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Nicholas Nickleby

    Anne Hathaway, Charlie Hunnam

    Released2002

    Directed byDouglas McGrath

    Nicholas Nickleby is a 2002 drama film written and directed by Douglas McGrath. The screenplay... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Black 47 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Black 47

    Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville

    Released2018

    Directed byLance Daly

    Black 47 is a 2018 drama directed by Lance Daly, based on the Irish short film An Ranger.... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    An Ideal Husband is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    An Ideal Husband

    Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore

    Released1999

    Directed byOliver Parker

    An Ideal Husband is a 1999 film based on the play An Ideal Husband of the same name written by... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Ethan Frome is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Ethan Frome

    Liam Neeson, Patricia Arquette

    Released1993

    Directed byJohn Madden

    Ethan Frome is a 1993 drama film directed by John Madden.
  • 24
    Posse is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century
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    Posse

    Pam Grier, Big Daddy Kane

    Released1993

    Directed byMario Van Peebles

    Posse is a 1993 American Western film directed by and starring Mario Van Peebles. Featuring a... more on Wikipedia
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