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The Best Historical Drama Movies Of All Time

Updated November 25, 2020 126.3k votes 7.1k voters 270.6k views197 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
    Schindler's List
    3,000
    832

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 2
    Saving Private Ryan
    830
    89

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 3
    Gladiator
    3,139
    1,159

    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • 4
    Glory
    1,847
    544

    Glory

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington

    Released1989

    Directed byEdward Zwick

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  • 5
    Tombstone
    2,195
    743

    Tombstone

    Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell

    Released1993

    Directed byKevin Jarre, George P. Cosmatos

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  • 6
    Black Hawk Down
    2,388
    816

    Black Hawk Down

    Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy

    Released2001

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • 7
    Dances with Wolves
    2,165
    824

    Dances with Wolves

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell

    Released1990

    Directed byKevin Costner

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  • 8
    Braveheart
    2,770
    1,079

    Braveheart

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau

    Released1995

    Directed byMel Gibson

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  • 9
    The Patriot
    2,415
    985

    The Patriot

    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger

    Released2000

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

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  • 10
    The Last of the Mohicans
    2,129
    513

    The Last of the Mohicans

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe

    Released1992

    Directed byMichael Mann

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  • 11
    Patton
    1,470
    654

    Patton

    George C. Scott, Karl Malden

    Released1970

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

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  • 12
    Gettysburg
    1,315
    526

    Gettysburg

    Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger

    Released1993

    Directed byRonald F. Maxwell

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  • 13
    The Longest Day
    848
    389

    The Longest Day

    Sean Connery, John Wayne

    Released1962

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

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  • 14
    Gone with the Wind
    1,756
    952

    Gone with the Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh

    Released1939

    Directed bySam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

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  • 15
    Heartbreak Ridge
    881
    438

    Heartbreak Ridge

    Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles

    Released1986

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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  • 16
    Ben-Hur
    1,383
    743

    Ben-Hur

    Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins

    Released1959

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

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  • 17
    Gangs of New York
    1,871
    925

    Gangs of New York

    Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released2002

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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  • 18
    Troy
    1,652
    750

    Troy

    Brad Pitt, Eric Bana

    Released2004

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

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  • 19
    Apollo 13
    221
    32

    Apollo 13

    Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard

    Released1995

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • 20
    Tora! Tora! Tora!
    1,040
    569

    Tora! Tora! Tora!

    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam

    Released1970

    Directed byRichard Fleischer, Toshio Masuda, Kinji Fukasaku

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  • 21
    Lincoln
    1,651
    1,064

    Lincoln

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis

    Released2012

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 22
    Lawrence of Arabia
    935
    460

    Lawrence of Arabia

    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole

    Released1962

    Directed byDavid Lean

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  • 23
    The King's Speech
    1,733
    885

    The King's Speech

    Helena Bonham Carter, Colin Firth

    Released2010

    Directed byTom Hooper

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  • 24
    All Quiet on the Western Front
    695
    361

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres

    Released1930

    Directed byLewis Milestone

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    #210 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#59 of 224 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

  • 25
    Casablanca
    1,338
    901

    Casablanca

    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

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