Entertainment

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 be priorities. 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. 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 voting up 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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26
The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton
The Longest Day is a 1962 film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about D-Day, the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during WWII. The film was produced by Darryl ...more
27
Robin Hood is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
idowrite added 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
28
Kingdom of Heaven is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
29
Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Lucy Hall added Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British epic adventure drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the ...more
30
The Passion of the Christ is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added 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
31
The Mask of Zorro is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sazonana added 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
32
Apocalypto is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added 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
33
Master and Commander: The Far ... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
mauricemain added Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Joseph Morgan
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a 2003 epic historical drama film co-written and directed by Peter Weir, starring Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey, with Paul Bettany as Stephen ...more
34
Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Ferry73 added 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
35
All Quiet on the Western Front is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts
All Quiet on the Western Front is a 1930 American epic film based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name. It was directed by Lewis Milestone, and stars Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John ...more
36
The Last Samurai is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall
The Last Samurai is a 2003 American epic 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 well ...more
37
Elizabeth: The Golden Age is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added 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
38
The Alamo is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Emily Deschanel, Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Quaid
The Alamo is a 2004 American 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
39
The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
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.
40
King Arthur is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Ferry73 added 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
41
Amistad is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sazonana added 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 taken and managed ...more
42
All Quiet on the Western Front is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Ernest Borgnine, Ian Holm, Donald Pleasence
All Quiet on the Western Front is a television film produced by ITC Entertainment, released on November 14, 1979, starring actors Richard Thomas of The Waltons fame as Paul Baumer, and Ernest ...more
43
Sergeant York is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added 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 WWI. It was directed by Howard Hawks and was the highest-grossing film of ...more
44
There Will Be Blood is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
PhilipB.Plowe added 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
45
Doctor Zhivago is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Lucy Hall added Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Alec Guinness
Doctor Zhivago is a British-American 1965 epic drama–romance film directed by David Lean, starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. It is set in Russia between the years prior to WWI, and is ...more
46
Zulu is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
T.B. added Michael Caine, Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins
Zulu is a 1964 epic film depicting the Battle of Rorke's Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January 1879. It depicts 150 British soldiers who successfully held off a force of 4,000 ...more
47
A Bridge Too Far is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford
A Bridge Too Far is a 1977 epic 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 directed ...more
48
Alexander is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Ferry73 added Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Colin Farrell
Alexander is a 2004 action adventure biography film written by Oliver Stone, Christopher Kyle and Laeta Kalogridis and directed by Oliver Stone.
49
Rob Roy is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added 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
50
Elizabeth I is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
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