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

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

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Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added Lincoln 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

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Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added Casablanca 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

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Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Braveheart 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

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The King's Speech is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
The King's Speech 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

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Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added Gone with the Wind 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

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Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Ferry73 added Ben-Hur 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

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Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Ferry73 added Gandhi 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

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Dances with Wolves is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added Dances with Wolves 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

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Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added Spartacus 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

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Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added Tombstone 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

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Kingdom of Heaven is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Kingdom of Heaven 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

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Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added Black Hawk Down 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

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The Patriot is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added The Patriot 2000 The Patriot is a 2000 American epic historical fiction war film directed by Roland Emmerich. Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the ...more

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Patton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added Patton 1970 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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Elizabeth: The Golden Age is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added Elizabeth: The Golden Age 2007 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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300 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
ElijahKaganer added 300 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

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Seven Samurai is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Seven Samurai 1954 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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Glory is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Glory 1989 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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Gangs of New York is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Gangs of New York 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

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The Lion in Winter is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Lion in Winter 1968 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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The Passion of the Christ is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added The Passion of the Christ 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

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Tora! Tora! Tora! is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added Tora! Tora! Tora! 1970 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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Troy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Roland Keszeg added Troy 2004 Troy is a 2004 American epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is loosely based on Homer's Iliad, which narrates the story of the 10 year Trojan War. ...more

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The Last Samurai is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Last Samurai 2003 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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Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added Inglourious Basterds 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

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The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Ten Commandments 2006 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 Other Boleyn Girl is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sazonana added The Other Boleyn Girl 2008 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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The Duchess is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sazonana added The Duchess 2008 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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Agora is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Ferry73 added Agora 2009 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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Gettysburg is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Gettysburg 1993 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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King Arthur is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Ferry73 added King Arthur 2004 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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Rob Roy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added Rob Roy 1995 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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Robin Hood is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
idowrite added Robin Hood 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

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A Bridge Too Far is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added A Bridge Too Far 1977 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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Sergeant York is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added Sergeant York 1941 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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Amistad is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sazonana added Amistad 1997 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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Elizabeth I is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Elizabeth I 2005 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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There Will Be Blood is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
PhilipB.Plowe added There Will Be Blood 2007 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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Apocalypto is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Apocalypto 2006 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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El Cid is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added El Cid 1961 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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The Last King of Scotland is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Last King of Scotland 2006 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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Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Lucy Hall added Lawrence of Arabia 1962 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 through his British company, Horizon ...more

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The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added The Longest Day 1962 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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In the Name of the Father is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sazonana added In the Name of the Father 1993 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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Barry Lyndon is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Barry Lyndon 1975 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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Andrei Rublev is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Andrei Rublev 1966 Andrei Rublev, also known as The Passion According to Andrei, is a 1966 Russian film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky from a screenplay written by him and Andrei Konchalovsky. The film is loosely ...more

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All Quiet on the Western Front is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added All Quiet on the Western Front 1930 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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Master and Commander: The Far ... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
mauricemain added Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World 2003 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