20 Most Romantic Period Films Of All Time

Romantic period films have a unique way of showing how love has persisted through the ages. They are one of the most popular film sub genres of film, and it is almost never a bad time for a romantic period film. Here are 20 of the greatest romantic period films.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Photo Credit: Focus Features.

Pride and Prejudice, in my opinion, is one of the greatest romantic period films ever. It follows four sisters and their mother, who relentlessly tries to marry them to rich bachelors. When a wealthy bachelor eventually settles near the sisters, the romantic tension that develops between him and the protagonist is captivating.

Titanic (1997)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Titanic is perhaps the most popular romantic period film ever made. Set aboard the Titanic RMS that sank in 1912, this film tells the story of two passengers, Rose and Jack, showing just how powerful love can be. It has made over $2 billion at the box office.

Jane Eyre (2011)

Photo Credit: Focus Features.

Jane Eyre, after suffering significant abuse in her childhood, finds love with Rochester, the landlord of an estate she works on as a governess. However, this love story is not all roses, as she leaves Rochester after discovering a dark and terrible secret about him.

Emma (2020)

Photo Credit: Focus Features.

Portrayed by Anya Taylor Joy, Emma Woodhouse, the titular protagonist, is extremely confident in her matchmaking abilities. As you would probably guess, her matchmaking is really not that great and even causes pain for her and some of her friends. However, she ends up finding true love.

Atonement (2007)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

When a younger sister sees her older sister making love to the son of their housekeeper, she wrongly assumes he is raping her. The younger sister’s testimony leads to his imprisonment. This film tells a moving story of the younger sister’s search for atonement and love during World War I.

The Age of Innocence (1993)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Set in the 1870s, a gentleman lawyer unwittingly falls in love with his fiancée’s cousin, a countess. Not wanting to be unfaithful to his betrothed, he goes ahead with the marriage and encourages the countess to return to her marriage. As the years pass, their paths continue to cross.

Little Women (2019)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

What do you get when you combine a star-studded cast with impeccable directing? An Academy-nominated Best Picture and a truly moving performance. I think Little Women should have won, but I’m not the Academy. Here, the March sisters navigate their transition into womanhood and the responsibilities that come with it.

Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Gabriel Cloak loses his farm and eventually has to work for Bathsheba, a beautiful woman whom he had previously proposed to but was rejected. Bathsheba is committed to maintaining her independence but has to deal with marriage proposals and attention from three men, Gabriel included.

Wuthering Heights (2011)

Photo Credit: Oscilloscope Pictures.

A farmer adopts an orphan – Heathcliff, to work on his farm. Heathcliff falls in love with the farmer’s daughter. Luckily, she also falls for him, but once the farmer discovers this, he is punished, and she is married off. He runs away and returns years later to pursue his love.

Ever After (1998)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Reimagining the Cinderella story without the Fairy Godmother’s magic, Ever After tells the tale of Danielle, who is forced to become a servant in her home after her father dies. After encountering Prince Henry multiple times, a masquerade ball, and jeweled slippers, the story ends as you might expect.

Casanova (2005)

Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures.

Loosely based on the life of legendary Italian lover Giacomo Casanova, Cassanova shows a womanizer who falls in love with a woman that despises him. To spend time with her, he pretends to be someone else. It is a thrilling story of true love finding a way amidst false identities.

The Piano (1993)

Photo Credit: Jan Chapman Productions.

After Ada is sold into a marriage with Alisdair by her father, she has to move to New Zealand. She is eventually stranded on a New Zealand beach with her daughter and belongings, most notably a piano. Bent on rejecting Alisdair’s advances, his neighbour tries to woo Ada.

The Painted Veil (2006)

Photo Credit: Warner Independent Pictures.

Walter and Kitty get married after a brief encounter. However, as they face married life together, they discover that they are not at all alike. Kitty cheats on Walter. When he discovers this, he threatens to publicly divorce her unless she follows him to treat a cholera outbreak.

La Vie en Rose (2007)

Photo Credit: Canal+.

There might be a slight debate as to whether this can be classified as a romantic period film, but I believe it is. A biographical musical drama that shows the life of Edit Piaf, Marion Cotillard’s performance as Edith in this film has been widely applauded.

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Set in 18th-century England, Sense and Sensibility is also based on a Jane Austen novel. When three gentlemen come into the lives of three sisters, the different temperaments of the sisters significantly affect the course of their relationships. Although the novel has its criticisms, the film is great.

Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Photo Credit: MGM.

Yuri and Lara first meet on the battlefield when Lara enlists as a nurse to search for her husband. They fall in love, but Yuri remains faithful to his wife. Over the coming years, the circumstances of war will cause their paths to cross frequently.

The Duchess (2008)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

The Duchess is based on the life of 18th-century English aristocrat Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. When Georgiana discovers that her husband only married her for childbearing and is having an affair with her friend, she decides to also have an affair.

Anna Karenina (2012)

Photo Credit: Focus Features.

When Anna goes to plead with her sister-in-law to take her brother back, she meets Vronsky, whom she eventually enters into an affair with despite still being married to her husband. Wanting her newfound love to prevail, and with some persuasion from Vronsky, she leaves her husband.

The English Patient (1996)

Photo Credit: Miramax.

Another Academy Award Best Picture winner, The English Patient, is a hugely successful movie. When an English patient who is burned beyond recognition and has lost his memory comes into the care of a nurse, he begins to recollect and recount some parts of his life.

Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Christian falls in love with the charismatic cabaret performer Satine at the Moulin Rouge in 19th-century Paris after traveling there to join the Bohemian revolution. Their passionate affair faces obstacles but somehow thrives. I think the performances of Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor are what really make this film special.