Historical Entertainment

The Best Period Romance Movies  

Ranker Film
7.9k votes 1.2k voters 37.2k views 77 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
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
Persuasion is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Monserrat Biebeer added Ciarán Hinds, Fiona Shaw, Simon Russell Beale
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
3
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Monserrat Biebeer added Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, Claire Danes
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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4
The Illusionist is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Jessica Biel, Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti
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

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5
Much Ado About Nothing ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Kate Beckinsale, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves
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

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6
Somewhere in Time is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer, William H. Macy
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

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7
Crouching Tiger, Hidden ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-Fat
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

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8
The Count of Monte Crist... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Henry Cavill, Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce
The Count of Monte Cristo is a 2002 adventure film directed by Kevin Reynolds. The film is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Alexandre Dumas, père and stars Jim Caviezel, Guy ...more

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9
Cold Comfort Farm is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Kate Beckinsale, Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry
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

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10
The Remains of the Day ... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Lena Headey, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson
The Remains of the Day is a 1993 Merchant Ivory film adapted by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. It was directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant, Mike ...more

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11
Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz, Richard Sammel
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

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12
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine, Margaret O'Brien
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

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13
That Hamilton Woman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Sara Allgood
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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14
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Anna Paquin, Elle Macpherson, William Hurt
Jane Eyre is a 1996 American, British, French and Italian romantic epic and dramatic feature film adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel of the same name. This Hollywood version, ...more
15
Moonrise Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton
Moonrise Kingdom is a 2012 American film directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola. Described as an "eccentric pubescent love story", it features newcomers Jared ...more

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16
The Reader is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Lena Olin
The Reader is a 2008 German-American romantic drama film based on the 1995 German novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink. The film was written by David Hare and directed by Stephen Daldry. ...more

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17
The Painted Veil is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber
The Painted Veil is a 2006 American drama film directed by John Curran. The screenplay by Ron Nyswaner is based on the 1925 novel of the same title by W. Somerset Maugham. Edward Norton, Naomi ...more

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18
The Horseman on the Roof... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Juliette Binoche, Gérard Depardieu, Olivier Martinez
The Horseman on the Roof is a 1995 French film directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau and starring Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez. Based on the 1951 French novel Le hussard sur le toit by Jean ...more

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19
Shadowlands is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, James Frain
Shadowlands is a 1993 British biographical film about the love-relationship between Oxford academic C. S. Lewis and American poet Joy Davidman, her death from cancer, and how this challenged ...more

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20
Their Eyes Were Watching... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Halle Berry, Terrence Howard, Michael Ealy
Their Eyes Were Watching God is an American Broadcasting Company television movie aired on March 6, 2005 at 9 p.m. EDT based upon Zora Neale Hurston's 1937 novel of the same name. The film was ...more

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21
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Alec Guinness, Jean Simmons, John Mills
Great Expectations is a 1946 British film directed by David Lean, based on the novel by Charles Dickens and starring John Mills, Bernard Miles, Finlay Currie, Jean Simmons, Martita Hunt, Alec ...more

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22
Immortal Beloved is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Gary Oldman, Isabella Rossellini, Valeria Golino
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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23
Dangerous Liaisons is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Siersha 2 added Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves
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

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24
Tess is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
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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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25
The Red Violin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
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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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