Best period dramas: films & series

by Jingleling | created - 03 Jun 2013 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

In progress.. (no North and South is not on the list..reason: I didn't like it.)

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1. Bleak House (2005)

TV-PG | 510 min | Drama

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A suspenseful tale about the injustices of the 19th Century English legal system.

Stars: Anna Maxwell Martin, Denis Lawson, Carey Mulligan, Finn Morrell

Votes: 7,340

2. Oliver Twist (2007– )

176 min | Drama

7.5
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The adventures of the orphaned Oliver Twist in Victorian London.

Stars: William Miller, Adam Arnold, Ryan Barr, Connor Catchpole

Votes: 2,124

3. Great Expectations (2011– )

60 min | Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The orphan Pip becomes a gentleman when his life is transformed by a mystery benefactor.

Stars: Douglas Booth, Jack Roth, Ray Winstone, David Suchet

Votes: 6,284

4. Mildred Pierce (2011)

TV-MA | 336 min | Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Divorced single mom Mildred Pierce decides to open a restaurant business, which tears at the already-strained relationship with her ambitious elder daughter, Veda.

Stars: Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood, Brían F. O'Byrne

Votes: 15,799

5. Horatio Hornblower: The Duel (1998 TV Movie)

93 min | Adventure, Drama, War

8.2
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Horatio Hornblower begins his naval career, but a deadly feud with a despicable mate is causing complications.

Director: Andrew Grieve | Stars: Ioan Gruffudd, Robert Lindsay, Dorian Healy, Michael Byrne

Votes: 4,542

6. Jane Eyre (2006– )

TV-PG | 230 min | Drama, Romance

8.4
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A young governess falls in love with her brooding and complex master. However, his dark past may destroy their relationship forever.

Stars: Ruth Wilson, Toby Stephens, Lorraine Ashbourne, Aidan McArdle

Votes: 16,691

7. Berkeley Square (1998– )

50 min | Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Three young women from very different backgrounds meet, become friends and share experiences when they all gain positions as nannies in the wealthy households of London's exclusive Berkeley Square.

Stars: Victoria Smurfit, Clare Wilkie, Tabitha Wady, Hermione Norris

Votes: 905

8. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.4
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81 Metascore

During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D'Arcy

Votes: 180,423 | Gross: $93.93M

9. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

PG | 129 min | Drama, Romance

7.8
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82 Metascore

Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland

Votes: 213,128 | Gross: $38.41M

10. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

PG | 136 min | Drama, Romance

7.7
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84 Metascore

Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, James Fleet, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 85,684 | Gross: $43.18M

11. Anonymous (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Thriller

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
50 Metascore

The theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who penned Shakespeare's plays. Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I and the Essex rebellion against her.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, David Thewlis, Sebastian Armesto

Votes: 36,454 | Gross: $4.46M

12. The Painted Veil (2006)

PG-13 | 125 min | Drama, Romance

7.5
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69 Metascore

A British medical doctor fights a cholera epidemic in a small Chinese village, while being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife.

Director: John Curran | Stars: Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Catherine An

Votes: 82,478 | Gross: $8.06M

13. Howards End (1992)

PG | 142 min | Drama, Romance

7.5
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89 Metascore

A businessman thwarts his wife's bequest of an estate to another woman.

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter

Votes: 23,474 | Gross: $25.97M

14. The Remains of the Day (1993)

PG | 134 min | Drama, Romance

7.9
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84 Metascore

A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years leading up to World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty was to his lordly employer.

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, John Haycraft, Christopher Reeve

Votes: 50,915 | Gross: $22.95M

15. Screen Two (1985–2002)
Episode: Persuasion (1995)

PG | 107 min | Drama

7.7
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Eight years earlier, Anne Elliot, the daughter of a financially troubled aristocratic family, was persuaded to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a young seaman, who, though ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Michell | Stars: Amanda Root, Ciarán Hinds, Susan Fleetwood, Corin Redgrave

Votes: 9,208 | Gross: $5.46M

16. The Duchess of Duke Street (1976–1977)

TV-PG | 50 min | Drama

8.4
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Louisa is an ordinary girl living in Victorian London. She is looking for a job and ends up talking her way into the kitchen of a Lords townhouse. The Lord has a rather snooty French Chef, ... See full summary »

Stars: Gemma Jones, Victoria Plucknett, John Welsh, John Cater

Votes: 846

17. Wuthering Heights (2009– )

TV-PG | 142 min | Drama, Romance

7.7
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Foundling Heathcliff is raised by the wealthy Earnshaws in Yorkshire but in later life launches a vendetta against the family.

Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlotte Riley, Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Lancashire

Votes: 6,905

18. The Winslow Boy (1999)

G | 104 min | Drama, Romance

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
79 Metascore

Early 20th century England: while toasting his daughter Catherine's engagement, Arthur Winslow learns the royal naval academy expelled his 14-year-old son, Ronnie, for stealing five ... See full summary »

Director: David Mamet | Stars: Rebecca Pidgeon, Jeremy Northam, Nigel Hawthorne, Matthew Pidgeon

Votes: 6,712 | Gross: $3.96M

19. Little Dorrit (2008– )

30 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The series tells the story of Amy Dorrit, who spends her days earning money for the family and looking after her proud father, who is a long term inmate of Marshalsea debtors' prison in ... See full summary »

Stars: Claire Foy, Matthew Macfadyen, Tom Courtenay, Emma Pierson

Votes: 6,930

20. Parade's End (2012)

287 min | Action, Drama, Romance

7.7
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Revolves around a love triangle between a conservative English aristocrat, his mean socialite wife and a young suffragette.

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Roger Allam, Adelaide Clemens

Votes: 8,157

21. Gosford Park (2001)

R | 131 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

7.3
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90 Metascore

The lives of upstairs guests and downstairs servants at a party in 1932 in a country house in England as they investigate a murder involving one of them.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Maggie Smith, Ryan Phillippe, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 69,445 | Gross: $41.31M

22. Ripper Street (2012– )

TV-MA | 59 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.1
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The streets of Whitechapel are the haunt of Detective Inspector Edmund Reid and his team of officers, who aim to maintain law and order in a place once terrorized by Jack the Ripper.

Stars: Matthew Macfadyen, Adam Rothenberg, MyAnna Buring, Jerome Flynn

Votes: 16,335

23. Cranford (2007– )

TV-PG | 469 min | Drama

8.3
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In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip; and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town.

Stars: Judi Dench, Julia McKenzie, Imelda Staunton, Lisa Dillon

Votes: 7,294

24. The Crimson Field (2014– )

Drama, War

7.9
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One of the untold stories of World War 1. Kitty Trevelyan tries to put the past troubles behind her as she joins two other girls to volunteer at one of the busy war hospitals in northern France.

Stars: Hermione Norris, Oona Chaplin, Richard Rankin, Marianne Oldham

Votes: 2,123

25. Poldark (2015– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, History, Romance

8.4
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Ross Poldark returns home after American Revolutionary War and rebuilds his life with a new business venture, making new enemies and finding a new love where he least expects it.

Stars: Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, Jack Farthing, Heida Reed

Votes: 16,043

26. War & Peace (2016)

TV-14 | 379 min | Drama, History, Romance

8.2
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As the Russian conflict with Napoleon reaches its peak, five aristocratic families face the possibility of their lives being changed forever.

Stars: Paul Dano, James Norton, Lily James, Adrian Edmondson

Votes: 14,575

27. Marco Polo (2014–2016)

TV-MA | 60 min | Adventure, Drama, History

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a world replete with greed, betrayal, sexual intrigue and rivalry, "Marco Polo" is based on the famed explorer's adventures in Kublai Khan's court in 13th century Mongolia.

Stars: Lorenzo Richelmy, Benedict Wong, Joan Chen, Remy Hii

Votes: 50,125

28. Wolf Hall (2015– )

360 min | Drama, History

8.1
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After the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey, his secretary, Thomas Cromwell, finds himself amongst the treachery and intrigue of King Henry VIII's court and soon becomes a close advisor to the King, a role fraught with danger.

Stars: Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Votes: 7,208

29. Anne with an E (2017– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Drama

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The adventures of a young orphan girl living in the late 19th century. Follow Anne as she learns to navigate her new life on Prince Edward Island, in this new take on L.M. Montgomery's classic novels.

Stars: Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James, R.H. Thomson, Aymeric Jett Montaz

Votes: 7,627

30. Howards End (2017– )

240 min | Drama, Romance

7.1
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The social and class divisions in early 20th century England through the intersection of three families - the wealthy Wilcoxes, the gentle and idealistic Schlegels and the lower-middle class Basts.

Stars: Matthew Macfadyen, Hayley Atwell, Philippa Coulthard, Alex Lawther

Votes: 757