best movie genres The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked  

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

Moviegoers 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 priorities. These differing opinions are why it is difficult to rank the best historical drama movies of all time.

Do you due diligence and vote up your favorite historical dramas. These are the top films in the historical 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. Original trailers for the movies included when available.

Many of these hit 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 upvoting the greatest movies on this list (according to you).  List of historical drama films includes 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

All sorts of directors have taken on Historical drama movies. Examples include Orson Welles, Martin Scorsese, and Robert Redford.

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Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Gladiator Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more

List of Black Movies, Ranked Best to Worst Every Star Wars Movie, Ranked Best to Worst

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Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more

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Ferry73 added Ben-Hur Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic historical drama film, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh ...more

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Ferry73 added Gandhi Daniel Day-Lewis, Ben Kingsley, Martin Sheen Gandhi is a 1982 epic biographical film which dramatises the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India's non-violent, non-cooperative independence movement against the United ...more

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wiabux added Spartacus Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was based on the novel Spartacus by Howard Fast. It was inspired by the life ...more

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The King's Speech Helena Bonham Carter, Colin Firth, Guy Pearce The King's Speech is a 2010 British historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Colin Firth plays King George VI who, to cope with a stammer, sees Lionel Logue, an ...more

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Kingdom of Heaven Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Edward Norton Kingdom of Heaven is a 2005 epic historical drama directed and produced by Ridley Scott and written by William Monahan. It stars Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Brendan ...more

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cynde added Gone with the Wind Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland 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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wiabux added Black Hawk Down Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden based on his series of articles published in ...more

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wiabux added Lincoln Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field Lincoln is a 2012 American epic historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The ...more

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wiabux added The Patriot Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman The Patriot is a 2000 film directed by Roland Emmerich.

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Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Braveheart Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more

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RobLein added Patton George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees Patton is a 1970 American epic biographical war film about U.S. General George S. Patton during World War II. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates and Karl Michael Vogler. It was ...more

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Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added Tombstone Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Charlton Heston Tombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin Jarre and starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, with Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael ...more

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wiabux added Elizabeth: The Golden Age Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Eddie Redmayne Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a 2007 sequel to the 1998 film Elizabeth, directed by Shekhar Kapur and produced by Universal Pictures and Working Title Films. It stars Cate Blanchett in the title ...more

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Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added Casablanca Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's. The film stars ...more

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cynde added Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Charles Rocket Dances with Wolves is a 1990 American epic western film directed, produced by, and starring Kevin Costner. It is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake and tells ...more

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Gangs of New York is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Gangs of New York Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Liam Neeson Gangs of New York is a 2002 American fictionalized historical drama film set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of Lower Manhattan in 1863. The film was directed by Martin ...more

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Seven Samurai Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Eijirō Tōno Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese Jidaigeki adventure film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film takes place in 1587 during the Warring States Period of Japan. It follows ...more

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ElijahKaganer added 300 Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey 300 is a 2006 American fantasy war film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae which took ...more

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The Ten Commandments Omar Sharif, Padma Lakshmi, Dougray Scott The Ten Commandments is a 2006 miniseries that dramatizes the biblical story of Moses. It ran on the ABC TV network.

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The Last Samurai Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall The Last Samurai is a 2003 American epic war film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with John Logan. The film stars Tom Cruise, who also co-produced, as ...more

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wiabux added The Passion of the Christ Monica Bellucci, Jim Caviezel, Claudia Gerini The Passion of the Christ is a 2004 American epic biblical drama film directed by Mel Gibson and starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ. It depicts the Passion of Jesus largely according to the ...more

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The Lion in Winter Anthony Hopkins, Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole The Lion in Winter is a 1968 historical drama film made by Avco Embassy Pictures, based on the Broadway play by James Goldman. It was directed by Anthony Harvey and produced by Joseph E. Levine ...more

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RobLein added Tora! Tora! Tora! Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 American–Japanese war film that dramatizes the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The film was directed by Richard Fleischer and stars an ensemble cast, including ...more

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Glory is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Glory Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick Glory is a 1989 American drama war film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, ...more

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Ferry73 added King Arthur Keira Knightley, Clive Owen, Ray Winstone King Arthur is a 2004 action adventure film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by David Franzoni. It stars Clive Owen as the title character, Ioan Gruffudd as Lancelot, and Keira Knightley as ...more

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cynde added Rob Roy 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

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Elizabeth I Jeremy Irons, Helen Mirren, Ian McDiarmid Elizabeth I is a two-part 2005 British historical drama television miniseries directed by Tom Hooper, written by Nigel Williams, and starring Helen Mirren as Elizabeth I of England. The ...more

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Sergeant York is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added Sergeant York Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie Sergeant York is a 1941 biographical film about the life of Alvin York, one of the most-decorated American soldiers of World War I. It was directed by Howard Hawks and was the highest-grossing ...more

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idowrite added Robin Hood Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong Robin Hood is a 2010 action film written by Brian Helgeland and directed by Ridley Scott. Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett will open the 2010 ...more

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Ferry73 added Agora Rachel Weisz, Oscar Isaac, Max Minghella Agora is a 2009 Spanish English-language historical drama film directed by Alejandro Amenábar and written by Amenábar and Mateo Gil. The biopic stars Rachel Weisz as Hypatia, a ...more

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RobLein added El Cid Sophia Loren, Charlton Heston, Herbert Lom El Cid is a 1961 historical epic film, a romanticized story of the life of the Christian Castilian knight Don Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, called "El Cid", who, in the 11th century, ...more

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Sazonana added The Other Boleyn Girl Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Benedict Cumberbatch The Other Boleyn Girl is a 2008 drama film directed by Justin Chadwick. The screenplay by Peter Morgan was adapted from the 2001 novel of the same name by Philippa Gregory. It is a romanticized ...more

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Jim_In_Texas added Apocalypto Raoul Trujillo, Gerardo Taracena, Israel Contreras Apocalypto is a 2006 American epic adventure film directed and produced by Mel Gibson. It was written by Gibson and Farhad Safinia. Set in pre-Columbian Petén, Guatemala, around the year ...more

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Sazonana added Amistad Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anna Paquin Amistad is a 1997 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the ...more

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Jim_In_Texas added A Bridge Too Far Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford A Bridge Too Far is a 1977 epic war film based on the 1974 book of the same name by Cornelius Ryan, adapted by William Goldman. It was produced by Joseph E. Levine and Richard P. Levine and ...more

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Sazonana added In the Name of the Father Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Tom Wilkinson In the Name of the Father is a 1993 Irish-British-American biographical courtroom drama film co-written and directed by Jim Sheridan. It is based on the true life story of the Guildford Four, ...more

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Jim_In_Texas added Gettysburg Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott Gettysburg is a 1993 epic war film written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, adapted from the novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, about the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil ...more

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The Last King of Scotland Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson, James McAvoy The Last King of Scotland is a 2006 British fiction drama film based on Giles Foden's novel of the same name, adapted by screenwriters Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock, and directed by Kevin ...more

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Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added Inglourious Basterds Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 German-American war black comedy film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Michael ...more

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Jim_In_Texas added The Longest Day Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton The Longest Day is a 1962 war film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about D-Day, the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during World War II. The film was ...more

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There Will Be Blood is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
PhilipB.Plowe added There Will Be Blood Daniel Day-Lewis, Ciarán Hinds, Paul Dano There Will Be Blood is a 2007 American epic drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano. The film was inspired by Upton Sinclair's novel ...more

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Sazonana added The Duchess 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

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Barry Lyndon 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

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Jim_In_Texas added All Quiet on the Western Front Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts All Quiet on the Western Front is a 1930 American epic war film based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name. It was directed by Lewis Milestone, and stars Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, ...more

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Sazonana added The Mask of Zorro Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas The Mask of Zorro is a 1998 American swashbuckler film based on the Zorro character created by Johnston McCulley. It was directed by Martin Campbell and stars Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, ...more

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Jim_In_Texas added The Alamo Emily Deschanel, Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Quaid The Alamo is a 2004 American war film about the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution. The film was directed by Texan John Lee Hancock, produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Mark ...more

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Jim_In_Texas added Heartbreak Ridge Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 American war film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film also co-stars Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason, and Everett McGill. ...more

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Good Night, and Good Luck George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels Good Night, and Good Luck. is a 2005 American drama film directed by George Clooney and starring David Strathairn, Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr., Patricia Clarkson and Jeff Daniels. The movie was ...more