Entertainment

The Best Period Romance Movies  

Ranker Film
7.2k votes 1k voters 30.7k views 35 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
2
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
Persuasion is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
The Light Between Oceans is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Carly Kiel added Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz
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
5
Sense and Sensibility is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Kate Winslet, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson
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
6
If Beale Street Could Talk is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo
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
7
Doctor Zhivago is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Monserrat Biebeer added Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Alec Guinness
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
8
Titanic is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates
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
9
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
India Rael added Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Mia Wasikowska
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
10
Bright Star is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Monserrat Biebeer added Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
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
11
Ever After is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott
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
12
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland
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
13
The Age of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Monserrat Biebeer added Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Daniel Day-Lewis
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
14
The Young Victoria is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
India Rael added Emily Blunt, Mark Strong, Paul Bettany
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
15
Atonement is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Saoirse Ronan
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
16
Far from the Madding Crowd is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
India Rael added Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Juno Temple
Far from the Madding Crowd is a 2015 drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg based on the novel by Thomas Hardy.
17
Becoming Jane is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Anne Hathaway, Maggie Smith, James McAvoy
Becoming Jane is a 2007 British-Irish historical biographical film directed by Julian Jarrold. It depicts the early life of the English author Jane Austen and her perpetual love and regret with ...more
18
A Knight's Tale is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany, Shannyn Sossamon
A Knight's Tale is a 2001 medieval adventure comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by Brian Helgeland. The film stars Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, Mark Addy, Alan Tudyk, Rufus ...more
19
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Allyson Mitchell added Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite
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
20
Anna Karenina is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Cara Delevingne
Anna Karenina is a 2012 British epic romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright. Adapted by Tom Stoppard from Leo Tolstoy's 1877 novel of the same name, the film depicts the tragedy of Russian ...more
21
The Duchess is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Hayley Atwell
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
22
The Wings of the Dove is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Kari Castanza added Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Charlotte Rampling
The Wings of the Dove is a 1997 U.S.-British drama film directed by Iain Softley and starring Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, and Alison Elliott. The screenplay by Hossein Amini is based on ...more
23
Washington Square is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Monserrat Biebeer added Jennifer Garner, Maggie Smith, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Washington Square is a 1997 American drama film directed by Agnieszka Holland. The screenplay by Carol Doyle is based on the 1880 novel of the same name by Henry James, which was filmed as The ...more
24
The Other Boleyn Girl is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Benedict Cumberbatch
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
25
Cold Mountain is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Period Romance Movies
Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law
Cold Mountain is a 2003 epic drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella. The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Charles Frazier. It stars Jude Law, Nicole ...more