Entertainment

The Best Period Romance Movies

Updated March 5, 2021 0 votes 1.6k voters 52.3k views81 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.

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  • Pride & Prejudice1
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    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
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  • Persuasion2
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    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
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  • Emma.3
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    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
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  • Little Women4
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    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
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  • Sense and Sensibility5
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    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
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  • Jane Eyre6
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    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
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  • Titanic7
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    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
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  • Atonement8
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    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
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  • Gone with the Wind9
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    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
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  • The Painted Veil10
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    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
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  • Ever After11
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    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
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  • The Illusionist12
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    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
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  • Far from the Madding Crowd13
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    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
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  • The Young Victoria14
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    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
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  • Life Is Beautiful15
    38
    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
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  • The Count of Monte Cristo16
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    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
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  • Somewhere in Time17
    32
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    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
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  • The Great Gatsby18
    47
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    The Great Gatsby

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire

    Released2013

    Directed byBaz Luhrmann

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  • Romeo and Juliet19
    29
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    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
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  • The Remains of the Day20
    28
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    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
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  • Moulin Rouge!21
    43
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    Moulin Rouge!

    Nicole Kidman, Ozzy Osbourne

    Released2001

    Directed byBaz Luhrmann

    Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 Australian–American pastiche-jukebox musical film directed, produced,...  more
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  • Edward Scissorhands22
    38
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    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
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  • The Light Between Oceans23
    58
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    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
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  • Doctor Zhivago24
    53
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    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
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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire25
    24
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    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel

    Released2019

    Directed byCéline Sciamma

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire (a.k.a. Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) is a 2019 French...  more
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