Posted in Historic Figures, Literature, Movie Moments, Recommendations

My Favorite Historical Period Dramas

Back in March, I wrote a piece about my favorite period dramas. Among other requirements, the films on that list had to be fictional. I promised to write a post on my favorite true story based period dramas. Voilà!

Here are my qualifications for this list.

  • The events of the film must take place in a time period before the movie was made.
  • The film must include some sort of love story
  • It must be a clean film. PG-13 is my limit.
  • The film cannot be a musical, western, or primarily a war film.
  • For this list, the story must be about real people. How much literary license is taken with the facts is inconsequential.

Again, please remember that this is a list of films that I have seen and enjoyed. If you have a favorite historical period drama that is not on the list, please leave me a comment.

Amazing Grace  (2006, Ioan Gruffudd) tells the inspiring story of William Wilberforce, the man who gave his life to ending the British slave trade. Global events conspired against him, but he continued fighting, regardless of the opinion of his fellow MPs and his own health. I recommend this film for times when you want to relax in front of the TV, but you don’t want your brain to turn to mush.

A Man Called Peter (1955, Richard Todd and Jean Peters) Ok, I’m stretching the first requirement as this film was made just six years after Peter Marshall’s death. The film covers the major events of Dr. Marshall’s life from his boyhood: his call to the ministry, immigration to the United States, preaching in Atlanta, marriage, ministry at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in D.C., and appointment as chaplain to the U.S. Senate.

Miss Potter (2006, Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, and Peter Rabbit) Everything I know about Beatrix Potter I learned from this movie: her elitist upbringing, her romance with her publisher, and her role as a conservationist. I especially enjoyed her friendship with her animal creations. There are several sweet moments, for example, when a certain gentleman has a conversation with Peter Rabbit and you’re like he’s the one! This movie also made me cry. This is a perfect movie for a girls’ night.

The Young Victoria (2009, Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend) Princess Victoria grew up sheltered and controlled. She confided to Albert that she felt like a chess piece playing in a game against her will. All she wants is freedom, but she doesn’t understand what true independence means. That leads to trouble. Meanwhile, poor Albert is desperately in love, but he can’t do anything about it.

Sergeant York (1941, Gary Cooper) was made at a time when American needed to be reminded of her military heroes. Alvin York, is a hard worker and a terrific shot, but he would rather be out drinking. Until he meets a girl. He assumes that she rejects him because he’s poor and he sets out to prove himself by earning money to buy better land. When he is maliciously thwarted, he returns to the bottle. In a drunken rage, he determines to kill his enemies, but finds faith in God instead. Then the United States enters World War I and York is sent to the front lines–despite being a conscientious objector. For his actions under fire, York was awarded the Medal of Honor.