Watchworthy
1.5k voters

The Best Period Romance Movies

Updated February 21, 2020 11.3k votes 1.5k voters 50.5k views78 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.

Photo:
...more
  • Pride & Prejudice1
    820
    253

    Pride & Prejudice

    Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan

    Released2005

    Directed byJoe Wright

    Pride & Prejudice is a 2005 British romance film directed by Joe Wright and based on Jane... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Persuasion2
    151
    55

    Persuasion

    Ciarán Hinds, Fiona Shaw

    Released1995

    Directed byRoger Michell

    Persuasion is a 1995 period drama film directed by Roger Michell and based on Jane Austen's... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Persuasion 

    #6 of 34 Best Movies and Shows Based on Jane Austen Books#64 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movies

  • Little Women3
    181
    83

    Little Women

    Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale

    Released1994

    Directed byGillian Armstrong

    Little Women is a 1994 American drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong. The screenplay by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Sense and Sensibility4
    363
    221

    Sense and Sensibility

    Kate Winslet, Hugh Laurie

    Released1995

    Directed byAng Lee

    Sense and Sensibility is a 1995 British–American period drama film directed by Ang Lee and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Emma.5
    92
    25

    Emma.

    Anya Taylor-Joy, Josh O'Connor

    Released2020

    Directed byAutumn de Wilde

    Emma. is a 2020 British comedy-drama film directed by Autumn de Wilde, based on the 1815 novel... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Jane Eyre6
    310
    208

    Jane Eyre

    Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench

    Released2011

    Directed byCary Fukunaga

    Jane Eyre is a 2011 British romantic drama film directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Mia... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Titanic7
    371
    285

    Titanic

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

    Released1997

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Titanic 

    Weird But True Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Set Of 'Titanic'#3 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

  • Atonement8
    273
    226

    Atonement

    Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch

    Released2007

    Directed byJoe Wright

    Atonement is a 2007 British romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright and based on Ian... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Ever After9
    279
    235

    Ever After

    Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston

    Released1998

    Directed byAndy Tennant

    Ever After is a 1998 American romantic comedy-drama film inspired by the fairy tale... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Gone with the Wind10
    250
    213

    Gone with the Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh

    Released1939

    Directed bySam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Gone with the Wind 

    #3 of 28 Civil War Movies List#76 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • The Young Victoria11
    196
    163

    The Young Victoria

    Emily Blunt, Mark Strong

    Released2009

    Directed byJean-Marc Vallée

    The Young Victoria is a 2009 British-American period drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Far from the Madding Crowd12
    197
    168

    Far from the Madding Crowd

    Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen

    Released2014

    Directed byThomas Vinterberg

    Far from the Madding Crowd is a 2015 drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg based on the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Illusionist13
    34
    5

    The Illusionist

    Jessica Biel, Edward Norton

    Released2006

    Directed byNeil Burger

    The Illusionist is a 2006 American period drama film written and directed by Neil Burger and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Life Is Beautiful14
    37
    11

    Life Is Beautiful

    Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz

    Released1997

    Directed byRoberto Benigni

    Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian tragicomedy comedy-drama film directed by and starring... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Life Is Beautiful 

    #18 of 163 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#280 of 372 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • The Painted Veil15
    34
    8

    The Painted Veil

    Naomi Watts, Edward Norton

    Released2006

    Directed byJohn Curran

    The Painted Veil is a 2006 American drama film directed by John Curran. The screenplay by Ron... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More The Painted Veil 

    #90 of 105 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks#432 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • The Count of Monte Cristo16
    32
    8

    The Count of Monte Cristo

    Henry Cavill, Jim Caviezel

    Released2002

    Directed byKevin Reynolds

    The Count of Monte Cristo is a 2002 adventure film directed by Kevin Reynolds. The film is an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More The Count of Monte Cristo 

    #52 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books#561 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • The Great Gatsby17
    45
    22

    The Great Gatsby

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire

    Released2013

    Directed byBaz Luhrmann

    The Great Gatsby is a 2013 romantic drama film directed by Baz Luhrmann, based on the 1925... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Edward Scissorhands18
    38
    15

    Edward Scissorhands

    Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder

    Released1990

    Directed byTim Burton

    Edward Scissorhands is a 1990 American romantic dark fantasy film directed by Tim Burton. An... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Edward Scissorhands 

    Fascinating Stories From The Making Of 'Edward Scissorhands'Crazy Facts About Edward Scissorhands You've Never Heard

  • Somewhere in Time19
    30
    7

    Somewhere in Time

    Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer

    Released1980

    Directed byJeannot Szwarc

    Somewhere in Time is a 1980 romantic fantasy film directed by Jeannot Szwarc. It is a film... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Somewhere in Time 

    #383 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#314 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

  • The Light Between Oceans20
    60
    43

    The Light Between Oceans

    Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander

    Directed byDerek Cianfrance

    The Light Between Oceans is a 2016 romantic period drama film written and directed by Derek... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Moulin Rouge!21
    42
    24

    Moulin Rouge!

    Nicole Kidman, Ozzy Osbourne

    Released2001

    Directed byBaz Luhrmann

    Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 Australian–American pastiche-jukebox musical film directed, produced,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Doctor Zhivago22
    56
    39

    Doctor Zhivago

    Omar Sharif, Julie Christie

    Released1965

    Directed byDavid Lean

    Doctor Zhivago is a British-American 1965 epic drama–romance film directed by David Lean,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Romeo and Juliet23
    27
    8

    Romeo and Juliet

    Laurence Olivier, Michael York

    Released1968

    Directed byFranco Zeffirelli

    Romeo and Juliet is a 1968 British-Italian romance film based on the tragic play of the same... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Remains of the Day24
    25
    7

    The Remains of the Day

    Lena Headey, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1993

    Directed byJames Ivory

    The Remains of the Day is a 1993 Merchant Ivory film adapted by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala from the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More The Remains of the Day 

    #41 of 50 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '90s#167 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

  • If Beale Street Could Talk25
    74
    68

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    Kiki Layne, Stephan James

    Released2018

    Directed byBarry Jenkins

    If Beale Street Could Talk is a 2018 American drama film directed by Barry Jenkins, based on... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button