Best Movie Genres The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked  

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45.8k votes 3.3k voters 168.2k views 123 items

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.

list ordered by

1
1,123 339
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added 1993
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

2
1,259 355
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
2000
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

3
859 224
Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added 2001
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

4
950 316
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added 1995
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

5
694 210
Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added 1993
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

6
589 392
Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added 2012
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

7
712 313
300 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
ElijahKaganer added 2006
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

8
694 229
Dances with Wolves is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added 1990
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

9
619 279
Gangs of New York is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
2002
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

10
820 323
The Patriot is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added 2000
The Patriot is a 2000 American epic historical fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich. Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is driven to lead the his own group of men during the ...more

11
566 250
Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added 2009
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

12
567 294
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added 1939
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

13
653 375
The King's Speech is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
2010
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

14
457 303
Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added 1942
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

15
493 233
Patton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added 1970
Patton is a 1970 American epic biographical film about U.S. General George S. Patton during WWII. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by ...more

16
450 120
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
LisaMcCaffrey added 1992
The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 and produced by Morgan Creek Pictures. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same ...more

17
547 176
Glory is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added 1989
Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, based on ...more

18
501 159
Troy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Roland Keszeg added 2004
Troy is a 2004 American epic film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is loosely based on Homer's Iliad. Achilles leads his Myrmidons along with the rest of the Greek ...more

19
522 292
Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Ferry73 added 1959
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

20
583 341
Kingdom of Heaven is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
2005
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

21
473 269
Robin Hood is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
idowrite added 2010
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

22
462 291
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added 1960
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

23
481 305
The Passion of the Christ is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added 2004
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

24
343 207
Tora! Tora! Tora! is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added 1970
Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 American–Japanese film directed by Richard Fleischer and stars an ensemble cast, including Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, Sō Yamamura, E. G. Marshall, James Whitmore ...more

25
390 331
Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Ferry73 added 1982
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