Underrated historical/period piecesby Mixalidis | created - 12 Feb 2018 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
Just a list of movies I find above average but they're not well known because they're either obscure or were not well-received by critics and audience...
Criteria: Under 20 000 votes and/or rated under 7 on imdb. Pre-WWII
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1. Jefferson in Paris (1995)
PG-13 | 139 min | Biography, Drama, History
One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,661 | Gross: $2.47M
2. Mountains of the Moon (1990)
R | 136 min | Adventure, Drama, History
The legendary true-story of Capt. Richard Francis Burton and Lt. John Hanning Speke's tumultuous expedition to find the source of the Nile river.
Votes: 3,148 | Gross: $4.01M
3. Farewell, My Queen (2012)
R | 100 min | Drama, History, Romance
A look at the platonic relationship between Marie Antoinette and one of her female readers during the first days of the French Revolution.
Votes: 7,533 | Gross: $0.07M
4. The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond (2008)
PG-13 | 102 min | Drama, Romance
Tells the story of Fisher Willow, the disliked 1920s Memphis débutante daughter of a plantation owner with a distaste for narrow-minded people and a penchant for shocking and insulting ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,203 | Gross: $0.12M
6. Marguerite (2015)
R | 129 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
Paris, 1920s. Marguerite Dumont is a wealthy woman, lover of the music and the opera. She loves to sing for her friends, although she's not a good singer. Both her friends and her husband ... See full summary »
Votes: 4,453 | Gross: $0.50M
The original Florence Foster Jenkins. The leading actress gives a marvellous tour-de-france performance.
7. Theeb (2014)
Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
In the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy experiences a greatly hastened coming-of-age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination.
Votes: 8,888 | Gross: $0.28M
Set in a rarely depicted time and place, Theeb feels 100% authentic and successfully mixes few genres.
8. The Winslow Boy (1999)
G | 104 min | Drama, Romance
Following the theft of a postal-order, a fourteen-year old cadet is expelled from Naval College. To save the honour of the boy and his family, the pre-eminent barrister of the day is engaged to take on the might the Admiralty.
Votes: 6,929 | Gross: $3.96M
Low key with great dialogues like most Mamet movies.
9. In Secret (2013)
R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Thérèse grows up with her aunt and cousin. Around 1860 the aunt decides they move to Paris and that her son and Thérèse get married. The joy- and loveless life changes when her husband brings a friend home. The affair turns ugly for all.
Votes: 7,028 | Gross: $0.42M
10. The House of Mirth (2000)
PG | 135 min | Romance, Drama
A woman risks losing her chance of happiness with the only man she has ever loved.
Votes: 6,829 | Gross: $3.04M
Slow and low key, The House of Mirth (like many other Terence Davies' movies) is not for everyone.
11. The Claim (2000)
R | 120 min | Drama, Romance, Western
A prospector who sold his wife and infant daughter in exchange for a mining claim, tries desperately to win them back as he helps to build the Pacific Railroad with a group of pioneer friends.
Votes: 5,727 | Gross: $0.67M
I'd never expect such a good movie with such mediocre cast.
12. Enigma (2001)
R | 119 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
A young genius frantically races against time to crack an enemy code and solve the mystery surrounding the woman he loves.
Votes: 19,238 | Gross: $4.30M
13. Piccolo mondo antico (1941)
Not Rated | 106 min | Drama
Franco, a young man of noble descent, decides to marry Luisa, daughter of a humble clerk, against his grandmother's will. But a terrible tragedy upsets the life of the newly married couple:... See full summary »
A largely forgotten film was a success back in its time. If you somehow get a hold of it, don't miss it.
14. Cousin Bette (1998)
R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Cousin Bette is a poor and lonely seamstress, who, after the death of her prominent and wealthy sister, tries to ingratiate herself into lives of her brother-in-law, Baron Hulot, and her ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,393 | Gross: $1.20M
15. The Duellists (1977)
PG | 100 min | Drama, War
A small feud between two Napoleonic officers evolves into a decades-long series of duels.
A Ridley Scott movie with less than 20k votes? Looks like it's possible. You shouldn't miss it.
16. On Guard (1997)
TV-14 | 128 min | Drama, Adventure
The Comte de Gonzague schemes against his cousin, the Duc de Nevers, even though he is the Duke's heir and will inherit his estates. The Count has kept secret the existence of the Duke's ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,072 | Gross: $0.10M
17. The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)
R | 124 min | Drama, Romance
A film is being made of a story, set in 19th century England, about Charles, a biologist who's engaged to be married, but who falls in love with outcast Sarah, whose melancholy makes her ... See full summary »
Votes: 10,889 | Gross: $22.60M
18. Unconscious (2004)
R | 100 min | Comedy, Mystery, Romance
A Freudian comedy set in Barcelona, 1913, that playfully questions sexual taboos through a Sherlock Holmes-style investigation.,
Votes: 1,958 | Gross: $0.07M
A wickedly funny and original movie!
19. Tous les matins du monde (1991)
Not Rated | 115 min | Biography, Drama, History
It's late 17th century. The viola da gamba player Monsieur de Sainte Colombe comes home to find that his wife died while he was away. In his grief he builds a small house in his garden into... See full summary »
Votes: 5,928 | Gross: $3.09M
I found it better than Amadeus. Is that enough of a recommendation?
20. Centurion (2010)
R | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A splinter group of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is devastated in a guerrilla attack.
Votes: 73,935 | Gross: $0.12M
It has far more than 20k votes and a solid 6.4 here, but I'm adding it on this list purely because I found it very, very entertaining despite the occasional silliness.
22. Beatrice (1987)
R | 130 min | Drama
Somewhere in France during the Middle Ages. Béatrice is impatient to see her father return from English captivity. She doesn't expect however that the father whom she loves from distance ... See full summary »
Votes: 566 | Gross: $0.21M
Rarely can you find a Medieval movie that feel this authentic. Cruel, dark and raw. I remember being confused by the characters' actions and behaviour, but that kind of added to the whole experience.
24. An Unforgettable Summer (1994)
82 min | Drama, Romance, War
Romania in the 1920's. Marie-Thérèse Von Debretsy refuses the advances of her husband's commanding officer. As a result, the cosmopolitan family is reassigned to a dark and dangerous ... See full summary »
Votes: 809 | Gross: $0.07M
25. Virgina (1991)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama
"Virgina" tells a tale from the end of the 19th century. It took place in a isolated village near the Adriatic Sea. Because of the extreme patriarchal culture there is a superstition that ... See full summary »
27. The Barber of Siberia (1998)
180 min | Comedy, Drama, History
At the edge of the 19th and 20th centuries, the career of young Russian cadet is crashing because of his love to American adventuress. But she falls in love too, and her life changes forever as well.
28. The Emperor and the Assassin (1998)
R | 162 min | Drama, History, Romance
In pre-unified China, the King of Qin sends his concubine to a rival kingdom to produce an assassin for a political plot, but as the king's cruelty mounts she finds her loyalty faltering.
Votes: 5,652 | Gross: $1.33M
29. Shanghai Triad (1995)
R | 108 min | Crime, Drama, History
A provincial boy related to a Shanghai crime family is recruited by his uncle into cosmopolitan Shanghai in the 1930s to be a servant to a ganglord's mistress.
Votes: 4,791 | Gross: $2.30M
Back from the days when Zhang Yimou and Gong Li made magic.
30. Mad Love (2001)
R | 115 min | Biography, Drama, History
The love story that transformed Juana, Queen of Spain, into Juana "the Mad". A story of passions, lies and jealousy with a political motive behind.
Votes: 3,445 | Gross: $0.28M
31. Molière (2007)
PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Comedy
Imprisoned for debt, playwright Molière is rescued by an aristocrat who needs his help in order to seduce a young marquise.
Votes: 5,658 | Gross: $0.63M
Bittersweet with a perfect dose of comedy and drama.
32. The Children of the Century (1999)
135 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
A story of doomed passion between two genius writers of 19th century - novelist George Sand and poet Alfred de Musset.
Votes: 1,545 | Gross: $0.05M
33. Titus (1999)
R | 162 min | Drama, History, Thriller
Titus (Sir Anthony Hopkins) returns victorious from war, only to plant the seeds of future turmoil for himself and his family.
Votes: 18,848 | Gross: $1.92M
34. An Ideal Husband (I) (1999)
PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Romance
London 1895: Cabinet minister, Sir Chiltern, and bachelor, Lord Goring, are victims of scheming women.
Votes: 14,393 | Gross: $18.54M
Oscar Wilde. A comedy. A dozen of great actors. What are you waiting for?
35. The Promise (2005)
PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy
Empowered by the love of a slave (Jang), a royal concubine (Cheung) is given the chance to make an extraordinary decision.
Votes: 8,704 | Gross: $8.19M
Silly, superficial, yet somehow I liked the special effects and the story. And I think it has a happy ending, which is a rarity with Asian epic movies.
36. Iron Jawed Angels (2004 TV Movie)
123 min | Biography, Drama, History
Defiant young activists take the women's suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote.
37. De-Lovely (2004)
PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Inspecting a magical biographical stage musical, composer Cole Porter reviews his life and career with his wife, Linda.
Votes: 10,405 | Gross: $13.34M
38. Surviving Picasso (1996)
R | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
The passionate Merchant Ivory drama tells the story of Françoise Gilot (Natascha McElhone), the only lover of Pablo Picasso (Sir Anthony Hopkins) who was strong enough to withstand his ferocious cruelty, and move on with her life.
Votes: 6,501 | Gross: $2.00M
40. Ride with the Devil (I) (1999)
R | 138 min | Drama, Romance, War
During the American Civil War, two friends join the Bushwhackers, a militant group loyal to the Confederacy.
Votes: 12,213 | Gross: $0.63M
This Ang Lee movie deserves more attention.
41. Jude (1996)
R | 123 min | Drama, Romance
A stonemason steadfastly pursues a cousin he loves. However their love is troubled as he is married to a woman who tricked him into marriage and she is married to a man she does not love.
Votes: 9,464 | Gross: $0.41M
42. Return of the Hero (2018)
90 min | Comedy, History
1809, France. Captain Neuville is called to the front, leaving his future bride heartbroken. Her sister decides to write letters on his behalf to cheer her up. But it all goes south when Neuville reappears.
Votes: 2,155 | Gross: $0.04M
43. Serena (I) (2014)
R | 109 min | Drama, History, Romance
In Depression-era North Carolina, the future of George Pemberton's timber empire becomes complicated when he marries Serena.
Votes: 24,205 | Gross: $0.18M