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7.3k voters

The Best Historical Drama Movies Of All Time

Updated March 27, 2021 118.6k votes 7.3k voters 276.9k views207 items

List RulesYour favorite historical drama films, regardless of box office gross or popularity.

Here is a list where movie fans, like you, get to rank the best historical drama movies and period pieces of all time below. So what makes a good historical drama movie? Some would say period-accuracy is most important while others may assert plot and emotion should be priorities. Sometimes a great performance can overcome a flawed historical drama. These differing opinions are why it is difficult to rank the best historical drama movies of all time. 

Do your due diligence and vote up your favorite historical dramas and historical action movies. These are the top films in the historical fiction, drama genre, meaning that each and every one of these is either tells a story from history or is a period piece. We have included details such as cast, year, director, and more. This list of historical drama films also contains plot summaries and miscellaneous information. Once you look below, you'll find that this is much more than just a top 100 period piece movies list.  But which of these are the best historical fiction movies to watch?

Many of these top historical drama movies are available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  Don't agree with this list? Feel free to rerank it to your heart's desire. You can either copy the historical drama films or add your own. This list, though, contains the best historical drama movies of all time, as voted on by fans of the films. Make sure to rock the vote by voting up the greatest dramatic history movies on this list (according to you). Historical drama movie titles that can be clicked on for more information about the film. After you've voted for your favorites, share the list on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networks. Aside from this list of the best historical drama movies, you can also take a look at the Best Family Drama Movies, The Best R-Rated Drama Movies, and the Best PG-13 Rated Drama Movies

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  • 1
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    780

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 2
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    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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    #3 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked#23 of 43 The Best Movies Coming to Netflix in April 2021

  • 3
    2,919
    1,098

    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

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    Gladiator Might Be One of The Most Historically Inaccurate Movies Ever#53 of 246 The Best Rainy Day Movies

  • 4
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    518

    Glory

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington

    Released1989

    Directed byEdward Zwick

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  • 5
    2,026
    699

    Tombstone

    Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell

    Released1993

    Directed byKevin Jarre, George P. Cosmatos

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  • 6
    2,189
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    Black Hawk Down

    Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy

    Released2001

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • 7
    2,013
    774

    Dances with Wolves

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell

    Released1990

    Directed byKevin Costner

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  • 8
    2,584
    1,015

    Braveheart

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau

    Released1995

    Directed byMel Gibson

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    #61 of 372 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#50 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 9
    2,257
    930

    The Patriot

    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger

    Released2000

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

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  • 10
    2,018
    482

    The Last of the Mohicans

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe

    Released1992

    Directed byMichael Mann

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    #30 of 400 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#56 of 73 The Greatest Movies To Watch Outside

  • 11
    1,365
    603

    Patton

    George C. Scott, Karl Malden

    Released1970

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

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  • 12
    1,231
    495

    Gettysburg

    Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger

    Released1993

    Directed byRonald F. Maxwell

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  • 13
    795
    363

    The Longest Day

    Sean Connery, John Wayne

    Released1962

    Directed byDarryl F. Zanuck, Ken Annakin, Bernhard Wicki, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald

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    #43 of 276 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#27 of 175 The Best Movies Of The '60s

  • 14
    1,640
    888

    Gone with the Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh

    Released1939

    Directed bySam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

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    #2 of 75 The Greatest Classic Romance Movies#10 of 81 The Best Period Romance Movies

  • 15
    1,289
    690

    Ben-Hur

    Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins

    Released1959

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

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    #47 of 370 The Best Movies Based On Books#27 of 196 The Best Adventure Movies

  • 16
    1,535
    715

    Troy

    Brad Pitt, Eric Bana

    Released2004

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

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  • 17
    1,741
    875

    Gangs of New York

    Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released2002

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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  • 18
    815
    425

    Heartbreak Ridge

    Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles

    Released1986

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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    #165 of 305 The Funniest '80s Movies#29 of 451 The Best Movies For Guys

  • 19
    228
    41

    Apollo 13

    Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard

    Released1995

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • 20
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    Tora! Tora! Tora!

    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam

    Released1970

    Directed byRichard Fleischer, Toshio Masuda, Kinji Fukasaku

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    #691 of 1,184 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#21 of 375 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • 21
    881
    420

    Lawrence of Arabia

    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole

    Released1962

    Directed byDavid Lean

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  • 22
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    983

    Lincoln

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis

    Released2012

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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    #8 of 13 True Stories That Were Too Ridiculous For Historical Movies To Include#3 of 13 13 Daniel Day-Lewis Performances That Prove The Mad Genius Of His Notorious Method

  • 23
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    815

    The King's Speech

    Helena Bonham Carter, Colin Firth

    Released2010

    Directed byTom Hooper

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    #1 of 14 Pretty Good Movies About Historical Royals#115 of 340 The Best Political Films Ever Made

  • 24
    1,247
    829

    Casablanca

    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

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    #88 of 155 The Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time#38 of 126 The Greatest Date Movies Of All Time

  • 25
    656
    332

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres

    Released1930

    Directed byLewis Milestone

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    #16 of 46 Every Single Movie On Rotten Tomatoes With 100% Approval, Ranked#39 of 45 The Most Controversial Movies of All Time