The 25 Best Period Movies of All Timeby malthetuxen | created - 2 months ago | updated - 13 hours ago | Public
My 25 personal favorite period pieces of all time.
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1. Gone with the Wind (1939)
Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance
A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
Votes: 263,663 | Gross: $198.68M
Time Period: U.S.A. (1860's)
2. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Approved | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.
Votes: 241,281 | Gross: $44.82M
Time Period: Great Britain (World War 1)
3. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
R | 229 min | Crime, Drama
A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.
Votes: 276,368 | Gross: $5.32M
Time Period: U.S.A. (Early 20th Century)
4. Schindler's List (1993)
R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.
Votes: 1,084,560 | Gross: $96.07M
Time Period: Germany (World War 2)
5. Barry Lyndon (1975)
PG | 185 min | Adventure, Drama, History
An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.
Time Period: Great Britain (18th Century)
6. La Grande Illusion (1937)
Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War
During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
Votes: 30,992 | Gross: $0.17M
Time Period: France (World War 1)
7. Amadeus (1984)
R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History
The life, success and troubles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as told by Antonio Salieri, the contemporaneous composer who was insanely jealous of Mozart's talent and claimed to have murdered him.
Votes: 335,694 | Gross: $51.97M
Time Period: Austria (18th Century)
8. There Will Be Blood (2007)
R | 158 min | Drama
A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.
Votes: 462,331 | Gross: $40.22M
Time Period: U.S.A. (Late 18th & Early 19th Centuries)
9. Ugetsu (1953)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, War
A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.
Votes: 17,887 | Gross: $0.01M
Time Period: Japan (16th Century)
10. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Votes: 48,088 | Gross: $0.05M
Time Period: Russia (1900's)
11. The Sound of Music (1965)
G | 172 min | Biography, Drama, Family
A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.
Votes: 182,361 | Gross: $163.21M
Time Period: Austria (Late 1930's)
12. The Prestige (2006)
PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
After a tragic accident, two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion while sacrificing everything they have to outwit each other.
Votes: 1,061,723 | Gross: $53.09M
Time Period: Great Britain (1890's)
13. True Grit (2010)
PG-13 | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
A stubborn teenager enlists the help of a tough U.S. Marshal to track down her father's murderer.
Votes: 283,485 | Gross: $171.24M
Time Period: U.S.A. (1870's)
14. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Passed | 129 min | Drama, History
A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.
Votes: 80,718 | Gross: $0.06M
Time Period: U.S.A. (1930's)
15. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War
In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.
Votes: 570,906 | Gross: $37.63M
Time Period: Italy (World War 2)
16. Day of Wrath (1943)
Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, History
The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th century Denmark.
Time Period: Denmark (16th Century)
R | 160 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.
Votes: 156,767 | Gross: $3.90M
Time Period: U.S.A. (1880's)
18. Revolutionary Road (2008)
R | 119 min | Drama, Romance
A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children.
Votes: 178,013 | Gross: $22.91M
Time Period: U.S.A. (1950's)
19. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.
Time Period: Inca Empire (1560's)
20. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
R | 111 min | Action, Biography, Crime
Bonnie Parker, a bored waitress falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, stealing cars and robbing banks.
Time Period: U.S.A. (The Great Depression)
21. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History
In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.
Votes: 40,575 | Gross: $0.02M
Time Period: France (1430's)
22. The King's Speech (2010)
R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History
The story of King George VI, his impromptu ascension to the throne of the British Empire in 1936, and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch overcome his stammer.
Votes: 592,437 | Gross: $138.80M
Time Period: Great Britain (1940's)
23. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
R | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History
In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.
Votes: 575,635 | Gross: $56.67M
Time Period: U.S.A. (1850's)
24. Gandhi (1982)
PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History
Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.
Votes: 206,928 | Gross: $52.77M
Time Period: India (Late 19th & Early 20th Century)
25. Titanic (1997)
PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.
Votes: 953,714 | Gross: $659.33M
Time Period: U.S.A. (1912)