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Great Movies About Real Female Rulers 

Ranker Film
Updated November 5, 2019 2.1k votes 440 voters 14.5k views 23 items

List Rules Vote up the best movies about female rulers, whether they're monarchs or politicians.

Girls rule - especially in these acclaimed movies about real women who took the throne. The top movies about real female rulers feature strong queens and powerful politicians trying to do what's best for their citizens. This is a list of the greatest movies about powerful women, including everything from Cleopatra to The Lion in Winter to Evita.

What films will you find on this list of the best movies about real queens? Helen Mirren took on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen. The movie follows the royal family after the death of Princess Diana. The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep, is another great biopic about a real female world leader. Sofia Coppola incorporated modern music and fashion into her historical film Maria Antoinette. Other good movies featured on this list include The Young Victoria, The Other Boleyn Girl, and The Duchess.

Which movie about a female leader is the best? Vote your favorites up to the number-one spot on the list, and please add any great features that are missing.

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list ordered by
1
Elizabeth is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Cate Blanchett, Daniel Craig, Lily Allen

Released: 1998

Directed by: Shekhar Kapur

And check out our list of movies about royalty.

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
2
The Young Victoria is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Emily Blunt, Mark Strong, Paul Bettany

Released: 2009

Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée

The Young Victoria is a 2009 British-American period drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Julian Fellowes, based on the early life and reign of Queen Victoria, and her ...more
3
Elizabeth: The Golden Ag... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Eddie Redmayne

Released: 2007

Directed by: Shekhar Kapur

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
4
Marie Antoinette is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Kirsten Dunst, Tom Hardy, Rose Byrne

Released: 2006

Directed by: Sofia Coppola

Marie Antoinette is a 2006 historical drama film, written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It is based on the life of the Queen in the years leading up to the French Revolution. It won the Academy ...more
5
The Other Boleyn Girl is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Benedict Cumberbatch

Released: 2008

Directed by: Justin Chadwick

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
6
The Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell

Released: 2006

Directed by: Stephen Frears

The Queen is a 2006 British historical drama film depicting the British Royal Family's response to Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997. The film was directed by Stephen Frears, written by ...more
7
The Duchess is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
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
8
Anne of the Thousand Day... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, Anthony Quayle

Released: 1969

Directed by: Charles Jarrott

Anne of the Thousand Days is a 1969 British costume drama made by Hal Wallis Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Charles Jarrott and produced by Hal B. Wallis. ...more
9
Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Martin Landau

Released: 1963

Directed by: Darryl F. Zanuck, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Rouben Mamoulian

Cleopatra is a 1963 epic historical drama film chronicling the struggles of Cleopatra VII, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome. It was directed by Joseph L. ...more
10
Lady Jane is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Helena Bonham Carter, Patrick Stewart, Cary Elwes

Released: 1986

Directed by: Trevor Nunn

Lady Jane is a 1986 British costume drama romance film directed by Trevor Nunn, written by David Edgar, and starring Helena Bonham Carter as the titular character. It tells the story of Lady ...more
11
Mary, Queen of Scots is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Vanessa Redgrave, Timothy Dalton, Ian Holm

Released: 1971

Directed by: Charles Jarrott

Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–1587) was queen regnant of Scotland and queen consort of France. Mary, Queen of Scots may also refer to:
12
The Lion in Winter is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Anthony Hopkins, Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole

Released: 1968

Directed by: Anthony Harvey

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
13
The Iron Lady is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Iain Glen

Released: 2011

Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd

The Iron Lady is a 2011 drama and biography film written by Abi Morgan and directed by Phyllida Lloyd.
14
Mrs Brown is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Gerard Butler, Judi Dench, Billy Connolly

Released: 1997

Directed by: John Madden

Mrs Brown, also theatrically released as Her Majesty, Mrs Brown, is a 1997 British drama film starring Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer, Antony Sher and Gerard Butler. It was written ...more
15
Princess Kaiulani is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Princess Kaiulani Q'orianka Kilcher, Barry Pepper, Shaun Evans
16
The Virgin Queen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Bette Davis, Joan Collins, Rod Taylor

Released: 1955

Directed by: Henry Koster

The Virgin Queen is a 1955 DeLuxe Color historical drama film in CinemaScope starring Bette Davis, Richard Todd and Joan Collins. It focuses on the relationship between Elizabeth I of England ...more
17
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Michelle Dockery

Released: 2019

Directed by: Michael Engler

Downton Abbey is a 2019 British historical period drama film directed by Michael Engler, and a continuation of the TV series.
18
Mary of Scotland is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Katharine Hepburn, Fredric March, John Carradine

Released: 1936

Directed by: Leslie Goodwins, John Ford

Mary of Scotland is a 1936 RKO film starring Katharine Hepburn as the 16th century ruler, Mary, Queen of Scots. Directed by John Ford, it is an adaptation of the 1933 Maxwell Anderson play. The ...more
19
Evita is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Madonna, Antonio Banderas, Billie Piper

Released: 1996

Directed by: Alan Parker

Evita is a 1996 American musical drama film based on Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical of the same name about Eva Perón. Directed by Alan Parker and written by Parker and Oliver ...more
20
Young Bess is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Deborah Kerr, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton

Released: 1953

Directed by: George Sidney

Young Bess is a 1953 Technicolor biographical film made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer about the early life of Elizabeth I, from her turbulent childhood to the eve of her accession to the throne of ...more
21
Bertie and Elizabeth is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Alan Bates, Eileen Atkins, James Wilby

Released: 2002

Directed by: Giles Foster

Bertie & Elizabeth is a 2002 television film produced by Carlton Television. The film explores the relationship between King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother from ...more
22
Catherine the Great is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Kyra Zapf added Catherine Zeta-Jones, Omar Sharif, Paul McGann

Released: 1995

Directed by: Marvin J. Chomsky, John Goldsmith

Catherine the Great is a 1995 television movie based on the life of Catherine II of Russia. It stars Catherine Zeta-Jones as Catherine, Jeanne Moreau as Empress Elizabeth and Omar Sharif as ...more
23
Queen Margot is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Real Female Rulers
Jeanne Moreau, Louis de Funès, Daniel Ceccaldi

Released: 1954

Directed by: Jean Dréville

La Reine Margot is a 1954 French drama film directed by Jean Dréville, scripted by Abel Gance from the novel of the same name by Alexandre Dumas. It stars Jeanne Moreau and Louis de ...more