Romance

The Best Period Romance Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated February 21, 2020 8k votes 1.2k voters 38.1k views 78 items

There's just something swoon-worthy about period pieces. Maybe it's the star-crossed love in these stories that wins over movie-watchers. Or perhaps it's the rules of courtship, keeping the couples – and audiences – on the edge of their seats as the characters patiently woo one another. The best period romantic movies feature memorable figures fighting to stay together despite differences in class and societal norms. This is a list of the top romantic period movies including everything from Pride & Prejudice to The English Patient to Ever After.

What films will you find on this list of the best period romance films? The modern classic Titanic – set against the backdrop of the real-life disaster – finds Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet) falling in love despite their very different stations in life. James Cameron's tear-jerking film took home a whopping 11 Academy Awards.

Gone with the Wind may have been set in the Civil War, but its primary plot was focused on love rather than war. The headstrong Scarlett O'Hara and dashing Rhett Butler fought, kissed, and smoldered their way through this timeless epic. Other good films found on this best period romances list include The New World, First Knight and Sense and Sensibility.

Which romance story makes you swoon? Give the best movies a thumbs up and share some of your favorite scenes in the comments section.

list ordered by
1
Pride & Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
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

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2
Sense and Sensibility is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
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

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3
Titanic is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates

Released: 1997

Directed by: James Cameron

Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A seventeen-year-old aristocrat (Kate Winslet) falls in love with a kind but poor artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) ...more

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4
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Monserrat Biebeer added Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, Claire Danes

Released: 1994

Directed by: Gillian Armstrong

Little Women is a 1994 American drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong. The screenplay by Robin Swicord is based on the Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name. It is the fifth feature film ...more

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5
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
India Rael added Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Mia Wasikowska

Released: 2011

Directed by: Cary Fukunaga

Jane Eyre is a 2011 British romantic drama film directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. The screenplay is written by Moira Buffini based on the 1847 novel ...more

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#2 of 24 Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century #16 of 58 The Best Judi Dench Movies

6
Persuasion is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Monserrat Biebeer added Ciarán Hinds, Fiona Shaw, Simon Russell Beale

Released: 1995

Directed by: Roger Michell

Persuasion is a 1995 period drama film directed by Roger Michell and based on Jane Austen's 1817 novel of the same name. In her theatrical film debut, the British actress Amanda Root stars as ...more

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7
Ever After is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott

Released: 1998

Directed by: Andy Tennant

Ever After is a 1998 American romantic comedy-drama film inspired by the fairy tale Cinderella, directed by Andy Tennant and starring Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, and Dougray Scott. The ...more

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8
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
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

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9
Atonement is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Saoirse Ronan

Released: 2007

Directed by: Joe Wright

Atonement is a 2007 British romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright and based on Ian McEwan's 2001 novel of the same name. The film stars James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Romola ...more

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10
The Young Victoria is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
India Rael added 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

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11
The Light Between Oceans... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Carly Kiel added Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz

Directed by: Derek Cianfrance

The Light Between Oceans is a 2016 romantic period drama film written and directed by Derek Cianfrance and based on the 2012 novel of the same name by M. L. Stedman. The film tells the story of ...more
12
If Beale Street Could Ta... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo

Released: 2018

Directed by: Barry Jenkins

If Beale Street Could Talk is a 2018 American drama film directed by Barry Jenkins, based on the novel by James Baldwin. A woman in Harlem (Kiki Layne) desperately scrambles to prove her ...more

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13
The Red Violin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Oh, Greta Scacchi

Released: 1998

Directed by: François Girard

The Red Violin is a 1998 Canadian drama film directed by François Girard. It spans four centuries and five countries as it tells the story of a mysterious violin and its many owners. The ...more

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14
That Hamilton Woman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Sara Allgood

Released: 1941

Directed by: Alexander Korda

That Hamilton Woman, is a 1941 black-and-white historical film drama, produced and directed by Alexander Korda for his American company during his exile in the United States. Set during the ...more

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15
Doctor Zhivago is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Monserrat Biebeer added Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Alec Guinness

Released: 1965

Directed by: David Lean

Doctor Zhivago is a British-American 1965 epic drama–romance film directed by David Lean, starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. It is set in Russia between the years prior to WWI, and is ...more

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16
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine, Margaret O'Brien

Released: 1944

Directed by: Robert Stevenson

Jane Eyre is an American film adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel of the same name, released by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by William Goetz, ...more
17
Emma is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Anya Taylor-Joy, Josh O'Connor, Johnny Flynn

Released: 2020

Directed by: Autumn de Wilde

EMMA is an upcoming British comedy-drama film directed by Autumn de Wilde and based on the novel of same name by Jane Austen. In this glittering satire of social class and the pain of growing ...more

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18
Cold Comfort Farm is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Kate Beckinsale, Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry

Released: 1995

Directed by: John Schlesinger

Cold Comfort Farm is a 1995 British comedy film directed by John Schlesinger and produced by the BBC and Thames Television, an adaptation of Stella Gibbons' 1932 book of the same name, the film ...more
19
Tess is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth, Lesley Dunlop

Released: 1979

Directed by: Roman Polanski

Tess is a 1979 romance film directed by Roman Polanski, an adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles. It tells the story of a strong-willed, young peasant girl who finds ...more

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20
Far from the Madding Cro... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
India Rael added Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Juno Temple

Released: 2014

Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg

Far from the Madding Crowd is a 2015 drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg based on the novel by Thomas Hardy.
21
A Very Long Engagement ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Jodie Foster, Marion Cotillard, Audrey Tautou

Released: 2004

Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

A Very Long Engagement is a 2004 French romantic film, co-written and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tautou. It is a fictional tale about a young woman's desperate search for ...more

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22
Snow Falling on Cedars ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Ethan Hawke, Max von Sydow, James Cromwell

Released: 1999

Directed by: Scott Hicks

Snow Falling on Cedars is a film directed by Scott Hicks. It is based on David Guterson's award-winning novel of the same title. It was released in 1999 and was nominated for an Academy Award ...more

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23
Orlando is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Tilda Swinton, Billy Zane, Toby Jones

Released: 1992

Directed by: Sally Potter

Orlando is a 1992 drama romance film written by Sally Potter and Virginia Woolf and directed by Sally Potter.

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24
The Age of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Monserrat Biebeer added Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Daniel Day-Lewis

Released: 1993

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Age of Innocence is a 1993 American film adaptation of Edith Wharton's 1920 novel of the same name. The film was released by Columbia Pictures, directed by Martin Scorsese, and stars Daniel ...more

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25
Immortal Beloved is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Gary Oldman, Isabella Rossellini, Valeria Golino

Released: 1994

Directed by: Bernard Rose

Immortal Beloved is a 1994 film about the life of composer Ludwig van Beethoven. The story follows Beethoven's secretary and first biographer Anton Schindler as he attempts to ascertain the true ...more

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