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.

list ordered by

1
547 193
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
650 212
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
378 142
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
271 184
Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
217 76
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
333 181
The King's Speech is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
283 119
Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
233 89
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
189 110
Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
231 118
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
350 179
The Patriot is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
247 121
Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
312 171
Kingdom of Heaven is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
184 85
Patton is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
256 169
300 is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
185 58
Glory is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
225 150
Gangs of New York is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
238 135
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
215 149
Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
205 119
Elizabeth: The Golden Age is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added 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

21
148 97
Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
136 42
Troy is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
130 69
Tora! Tora! Tora! is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
218 151
The Passion of the Christ is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
80 13
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 25 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

26
225 120
The Last Samurai is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
2003 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

27
121 41
Gettysburg is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added 1993 Gettysburg is a 1993 epic film written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, adapted from the novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, about the Battle of Gettysburg. The film starred Tom ...more

28
144 117
Seven Samurai is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
1954 Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese Jidaigeki adventure film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. It follows the story of a village of farmers that hire seven ronin to combat bandits ...more

29
176 92
Ranker Video
2018 On the Basis of Sex is a 2018 American biographical drama film directed by Mimi Leder. Young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) teams with her husband Marty (Armie Hammer) to bring a ...more

30
97 31
Master and Commander: The Far ... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
mauricemain added 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

31
178 94
Vice is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
2018 Vice is a 2018 biographical comedy-drama film directed by Adam McKay. The story of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), the most powerful Vice President in history, and how his policies changed the ...more

32
175 92
Cold War is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
2018 Cold War is a 2018 Polish drama film directed by Paweł Pawlikowski. A passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatefully mismatched, set ...more

33
175 135
Robin Hood is listed (or ranked) 33 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

34
95 36
Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Lucy Hall added 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. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the ...more

35
180 112
The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
2006 The Ten Commandments is a 2006 miniseries that dramatizes the biblical story of Moses. It ran on the ABC TV network.

36
89 58
Rob Roy is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added 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

37
142 114
King Arthur is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Ferry73 added 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

38
128 101
The Lion in Winter is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
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

39
93 38
A Bridge Too Far is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added 1977 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

40
79 33
Mary Queen of Scots is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
2018 Mary Queen of Scots is a 2018 British-American historical drama film directed by Josie Rourke, based on John Guy's biography My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots. After failing to ...more

41
118 69
Apocalypto is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added 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

42
88 72
The Other Boleyn Girl is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sazonana added 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

43
77 60
Sergeant York is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added 1941 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
81 39
The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added 1962 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

45
97 88
The Last King of Scotland is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
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

46
79 66
There Will Be Blood is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
PhilipB.Plowe added 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

47
71 59
The Mask of Zorro is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sazonana added 1998 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

48
73 62
Amistad is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sazonana added 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 taken and managed ...more

49
63 54
El Cid is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added 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

50
109 81
Elizabeth I is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
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