Romance

The Best Period Romance Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated February 21, 2020 8.1k votes 1.2k voters 38.2k 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

More Pride & Prejudice 

#80 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #161 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #56 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

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

More Sense and Sensibility 

#534 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #114 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

More Titanic 

#39 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies Weird But True Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Set Of 'Titanic'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

More Little Women 

#447 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #66 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made How Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ Handled Important Moments Compared To The 1994 Film And The Novel

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

More Jane Eyre 

#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

More Persuasion 

#702 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #155 of 172 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time

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

More Ever After 

#190 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #114 of 258 The Best Teen Romance Movies

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

More Gone with the Wind 

#163 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies The Most Memorable 'Gone with the Wind' Quoteslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

More Atonement 

#401 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #117 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

More The Young Victoria 

#507 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #60 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

More If Beale Street Could Talk 

#332 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Doctor Zhivago is listed (or ranked) 13 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

More Doctor Zhivago 

#58 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #1,081 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
Far from the Madding Cro... is listed (or ranked) 14 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.
15
The Age of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 15 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

More The Age of Innocence 

#241 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #20 of 37 The Best Martin Scorsese Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
Bright Star is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Monserrat Biebeer added Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Released: 2009

Directed by: Jane Campion

Bright Star is a 2009 film based on the last three years of the life of poet John Keats and his romantic relationship. A British/Australian co-production, it was directed by Jane Campion, who ...more

More Bright Star 

#65 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movies #136 of 140 The Very Best Biopics About Real People

17
Edward Scissorhands is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Vincent Price

Released: 1990

Directed by: Tim Burton

Edward Scissorhands is a 1990 American romantic dark fantasy film directed by Tim Burton. An artificial man (Johnny Depp), who was incompletely constructed and has scissors for hands, leads a ...more

More Edward Scissorhands 

#57 of 3,827 The Best Movie Characters of All Time #34 of 258 The Best Teen Romance Movies Crazy Facts About Edward Scissorhands You've Never Heard

18
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Leonardo DiCaprio, Isla Fisher, Carey Mulligan

Released: 2013

Directed by: Baz Luhrmann

The Great Gatsby is a 2013 Australian-American 3D drama film based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name. The film was co-written and directed by Baz Luhrmann, and stars Leonardo ...more

More The Great Gatsby 

#118 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #23 of 99 The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
Moulin Rouge! is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Nicole Kidman, Ozzy Osbourne, Kylie Minogue

Released: 2001

Directed by: Baz Luhrmann

Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 Australian–American pastiche-jukebox musical film directed, produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann. It tells the story of a young English poet/writer, Christian, who ...more

More Moulin Rouge! 

#27 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #30 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

20
Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz, Richard Sammel

Released: 1997

Directed by: Roberto Benigni

Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian tragicomedy comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian book shop owner, who must employ his ...more

More Life Is Beautiful 

#70 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #18 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

21
Somewhere in Time is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer, William H. Macy

Released: 1980

Directed by: Jeannot Szwarc

Somewhere in Time is a 1980 romantic fantasy film directed by Jeannot Szwarc. It is a film adaptation of the 1975 novel Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson, who also wrote the screenplay. The ...more
22
The Illusionist is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Jessica Biel, Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti

Released: 2006

Directed by: Neil Burger

The Illusionist is a 2006 American period drama film written and directed by Neil Burger and starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, and Jessica Biel. It is based loosely on Steven Millhauser's ...more

More The Illusionist 

#1,020 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #506 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #346 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

23
Bram Stoker's Dracula is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder

Released: 1992

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Bram Stoker's Dracula is a 1992 American horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the 1897 Gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker. Count Dracula (Gary Oldman), a ...more

More Bram Stoker's Dracula 

#53 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books The 11 Weirdest Things About Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
Crouching Tiger, Hidden ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-Fat

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ang Lee

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of Han actors, ...more

More Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 

#341 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #58 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
Much Ado About Nothing ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Kate Beckinsale, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves

Released: 1993

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh

Much Ado About Nothing is a 1993 British/American romantic comedy film based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. It was adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh who ...more