Watchworthy

The Best Costume Drama Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated June 22, 2020 3k votes 228 voters 23.3k views 161 items

List Rules Vote for your personal favorite Costume drama films, regardless of how popular or successful they were at the box office.

A list of the best costume drama movies ever made, ranked by film fans' votes -- many of which are streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime. This list is ordered by popularity, so only the greatest movies about costume drama are at the top of the list. This list contains all the top costume dramas, like Joan of Arc or Madame Bovary, but if there are any great films you think we missed, please feel free to add them yourself. 

The films on this list are the most famous costume drama movies of all time, so use it to find some movies that you haven't seen already if you're a fan of the genre.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best costume drama movies?" and "What is the greatest costume drama movie of all time?" and contains items like Cleopatra, The Bastard.

Various bits of information are included with these popular costume movies, such as who directed them, when they were released and who starred in the films. So from the latest, to the greatest costume drama movies, here is the full costume drama movies list, ordered from best to worst.

Costume drama movies have been directed by some pretty famous names, including Kevin Costner and Orson Welles.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland

Released: 1939

Directed by: Sam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

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

More Gone with the Wind 

The Most Memorable 'Gone with the Wind' Quotes #68 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Civil War Movies List

2
Ranker Video
Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Ebersole

Released: 1984

Directed by: Miloš Forman

Amadeus - Directors Cut is a 1984 biography drama film written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Milos Forman.

More Amadeus 

#233 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #177 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Ranker Video
Kate Winslet, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson

Released: 1995

Directed by: Ang Lee

Sense and Sensibility is a 1995 British–American period drama film directed by Ang Lee and based on Jane Austen's 1811 novel of the same name. Actress Emma Thompson wrote the script and stars as ...more

More Sense and Sensibility 

#725 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #107 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Ranker Video
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Tyrone Power, Norma Shearer, John Barrymore

Released: 1938

Directed by: W. S. Van Dyke, Julien Duvivier

Marie Antoinette is a 1938 film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed by W. S. Van Dyke and starred Norma Shearer as Marie Antoinette. Based upon the 1932 biography of the ill-fated ...more
5
Ranker Video
Laurence Olivier, Greer Garson, Maureen O'Sullivan

Released: 1940

Directed by: Robert Z. Leonard

Pride and Prejudice is a 1940 American film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice, directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier. The screenplay ...more

More Pride and Prejudice 

#185 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #785 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Ranker Video
Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves

Released: 1988

Directed by: Stephen Frears

Dangerous Liaisons is a 1988 historical drama film based upon Christopher Hampton's play Les liaisons dangereuses, which in turn was a theatrical adaptation of the 18th-century French novel Les ...more

More Dangerous Liaisons 

#413 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #97 of 172 The Greatest Date Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Ranker Video
Cate Blanchett, Daniel Craig, Lily Allen

Released: 1998

Directed by: Shekhar Kapur

Elizabeth is a 1998 biographical film written by Michael Hirst, directed by Shekhar Kapur, and starring Cate Blanchett in the title role of Queen Elizabeth I of England, alongside Geoffrey Rush, ...more

More Elizabeth 

#357 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #54 of 235 The Best Movies Based On True Storieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Ranker Video
Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Jeremy Brett

Released: 1964

Directed by: George Cukor

My Fair Lady is a 1964 American musical film adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical of the same name based on the 1938 film adaptation of the original 1913 stage play Pygmalion by ...more

More My Fair Lady 

Every Song in My Fair Lady, Ranked by Singability #371 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Ranker Video
Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Judi Dench

Released: 2005

Directed by: Joe Wright

Pride & Prejudice is a 2005 British romance film directed by Joe Wright and based on Jane Austen's novel of the same name, published in 1813. The film depicts five sisters from an English ...more

More Pride & Prejudice 

#829 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #142 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #21 of 65 Every Movie Coming To Netflix In July 2020

10
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Costume Drama Movies
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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

More Gladiator 

Gladiator Might Be One of The Most Historically Inaccurate Movies Ever #17 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
Kingdom of Heaven is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Costume Drama Movies
Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Edward Norton

Released: 2005

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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

More Kingdom of Heaven 

#92 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #105 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #336 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

12
The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Costume Drama Movies
Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Yul Brynner

Released: 1956

Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille

The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American religious epic film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shot in VistaVision, and released by Paramount Pictures. It dramatizes the biblical story ...more

More The Ten Commandments 

#273 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #59 of 235 The Best Movies Based On True Storieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Costume Drama Movies
Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

Released: 1995

Directed by: Mel Gibson

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

More Braveheart 

#23 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #88 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
Ranker Video
Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Hayley Atwell

Released: 2008

Directed by: Saul Dibb

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

More The Duchess 

#5 of 22 The Best Period Movies Set in the 18th Century #61 of 78 The Best Period Romance Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Ranker Video
Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness

Released: 1962

Directed by: David Lean

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

More Lawrence of Arabia 

#10 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #1,113 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
Ranker Video
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone, Linda Darnell

Released: 1940

Directed by: Rouben Mamoulian

The Mark of Zorro is a 1940 American adventure film directed by Rouben Mamoulian and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck for 20th Century Fox. The action movie stars Tyrone Power as Don Diego Vega, ...more
17
Ranker Video
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Gene Tierney, Tyrone Power, George Sanders

Released: 1942

Directed by: John Cromwell

Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake is a 1942 adventure film directed by John Cromwell, starring Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney. The film was adapted from Edison Marshall's 1941 historical ...more
18
Ranker Video
Ryan O'Neal, Leonard Rossiter, Hardy Krüger

Released: 1975

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

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

More Barry Lyndon 

#370 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #104 of 591 The Best '70s Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
The Mississippi Gambler ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Costume Drama Movies
PietraChandlerRadcliff added The Mississippi Gambler Anita Ekberg, Tyrone Power

Released: 1953

Directed by: Rudolph Maté

The Mississippi Gambler is a 1953 American adventure film directed by Rudolph Maté. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Sound Recording.
20
Captain from Castile is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Costume Drama Movies
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Cesar Romero, Tyrone Power, Lee J. Cobb

Released: 1947

Directed by: Henry King

Captain from Castile is a historical adventure film released by 20th Century Fox in 1947. Directed by Henry King, the Technicolor film starred Tyrone Power, Jean Peters, and Cesar Romero. Shot ...more
21
Ranker Video
Lucy Hall added Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith

Released: 1959

Directed by: William Wyler

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

More Ben-Hur 

#647 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #69 of 368 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
The Rains Came is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Costume Drama Movies
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, Joseph Schildkraut

Released: 1939

Directed by: Clarence Brown

The Rains Came is a 1939 20th Century Fox film based on an American novel by Louis Bromfield. A remake of the film was released in 1955 under the name The Rains of Ranchipur. The film was ...more

More The Rains Came 

#336 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #42 of 75 The Greatest Classic Romance Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
Ranker Video
Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

Released: 1992

Directed by: Michael Mann

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

More The Last of the Mohicans 

#34 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #29 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
Ranker Video
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Tyrone Power, Loretta Young, Annabella

Released: 1938

Directed by: Allan Dwan

Suez is an American film released on October 28, 1938 by 20th Century Fox, with Darryl F. Zanuck in charge of production, directed by Allan Dwan and starring Tyrone Power, Loretta Young and ...more
25
Ranker Video
Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno

Released: 1956

Directed by: Walter Lang

The King and I is a 1956 musical film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang and produced by Charles Brackett and Darryl F. Zanuck. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is based on the ...more

More The King and I 

#1,019 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #10 of 378 The Best Musical Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever