“Always Entertaining. Always Free.” That’s the tagline for IMDb TV, an easy and totally legal way to stream full-length movies and TV series in the US for free, with ads. Below, we’ve rounded up 100 of the best period dramas that are available to stream for free in 2020 on the no-subscription required service.

Love in Chains, courtesy StarLight Films


To help keep this site running: Willow and Thatch may receive a commission when you click on any of the links on our site and make a purchase after doing so. 

This list includes IMDb TV’s available British costume dramas, romances, historical movies, period comedies, thrillers, adventure movies, and family movies, set into the 1970s, that we think may be worth a try.

The first section contains TV series, the second movies. In a third “You May Also Like” section, we suggest some non-period titles. 

New period dramas are added all the time, but titles also leave, so watch while you can. We’ve added links to make it easy for you to start watching now, or save to your watchlist so you can watch when you are ready. Most everything on these lists has over a 6/10 IMDb rating.

This list was updated July 8, and we had to remove a few titles, but we’ll add more soon. 





Free Period Dramas: TV Series

Detective Anna, courtesy Star Media

The following list contains period drama TV series. Click on the “Watch Now for Free” or “Add to your WATCHLIST” under the description of each title to do just that, and to watch trailers when available. 





The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson (1998)

Richard Thomas (John-Boy Walton, The Waltons) stars in this amazing tale of a family looking for adventure only to find themselves marooned on a deserted island in the 1830s. Having no means of provision or shelter they struggled to survive against pirates, natives, wild animals and Mother Nature. A movie sure to thrill even youngest in the audience. A story about adventure, love, heartbreak, happiness and human drama, “The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson” is a great adventure for the whole family.

Starring Richard Thomas, Gareth Howells, Kieren Hutchison, Junior Chile, Margo Gunn.

Rated 13+

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Bomb Girls (Seasons 1 & 2)

Set during World War II, “Bomb Girls” tells the remarkable stories of women who risked their lives in a munitions factory as they build bombs for the European front. Liberated from social and cultural restrictions, they embrace their newfound freedom – changing their lives and the world around them — forever.

Starring Meg Tilly, Jodi Balfour, Charlotte Hegele, Ali Liebert, Anastasia Phillips.

Rated 13+

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Detective Anna (2016)

Nineteen-year-old Anna, living at the end of the nineteenth century in the town of Zatonsk, unexpectedly discovers that she possesses supernatural powers. The spirits of the dead literally haunt her, begging to help. Aided by her visions, Anna manages to investigate and solve a number of mysterious crimes which have baffled the police. An experienced detective, 37-year-old Yakov Shtolman, who is assigned to the police department and teams up with Anna and becomes her partner in hunting down criminals.

Starring Aleksandra Nikiforova, Dmitriy Frid, Sergey Druzyak, Irina Sidorova.

Rated 13+

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Edward and Mrs. Simpson (1978)

The events leading to the 1936 abdication of King Edward VIII, who gave up his throne to marry the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson. The series portrays both the romance between King and divorcee, and the political maneuvering involved.

Starring Edward Fox, Cynthia Harris, David Waller, Peggy Ashcroft.

Rated 7+

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Ekaterina: The Rise of Catherine the Great (2014)

The life of the Russian Empress Ekaterina II (Catherine the Great), a German born princess who came to Russia as bride for the young Peter III, chosen by his aunt Elisabeth, and who, once she came into power, transformed the Russian empire.

Starring Marina Aleksandrova, Sergey Koltakov, Michael Gor, Isabel Schosnig.

Rated 13+

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The Golden Horde (2018)

At the end of the thirteenth century, the envoy of the Golden Horde – Mengu-Temir, a handsome and connoisseur of female beauty arrives in the capital of Russia. He came to steal thousands of Russian soldiers into the Horde, but he is ready to be content with only a part if Grand Duke Yaroslav returns the princess Ustinia, the wife of his brother Boris. Yaroslav is not ready to violate the laws of Faith and Honor, but Boris himself is taking this step, hoping that this sacrifice will ensure him a princely throne. Ustinya with a caravan goes to a foreign land. Mengu leaves Yaroslav a “gift” from the Great Khan – young Nargiz, who awakens the prince to life and puts him before a fateful choice. On one side of the scales – love and passion, on the other – the throne and the life of Nargiz herself, which neither the people nor the lawful wife of Yaroslav accepts.

Starring Sabina Akhmedova, Karina Andolenko, Evgeniya Dmitrieva, Larisa Domaskina.

Rated 16+

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The Grand (Seasons 1 & 2)

In this British costume drama set at the end of World War I, the Bannerman family re-opens the Grand Hotel after a lengthy closure and a costly re-furbishing. As the most opulent hotel in Manchester, England during the decadent Roaring ’20s, the Grand is a nexus for schemes, scandals, romance and intrigue among guests and staff members alike. A good choice for fans of the original “Upstairs, Downstairs” and ”The Duchess of Duke Street.”

Starring Paul Warriner, Rebecca Callard, Susan Hampshire, Tim Healy, Mark McGann.

Rated 13+

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Heartbeat (Seasons 2 – 6)

The 1960s lives and adventures of the police constabulary, medical staff, and residents of Ashfordly and Aidensfield.

Starring William Simons, Derek Fowlds, Tricia Penrose, Mark Jordon.

Rated TV-PG

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The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant (2005)

A young woman is transported to the New South Wales penal colony in 1788. Based on the true story of an eighteenth century female convict arrested for petty theft and sentenced to seven years in prison who stages the only successful escape from the Australian penal colony ever recorded.

Starring Romola Garai, Jack Davenport, Alex O’Loughlin, Sam Neill.

Read our REVIEW

Rated R

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The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells (2001)

H.G. Wells foresaw the future in such visionary novels as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds. On a night in London in 1946, newspaper reporter Ellen McGillivray arrives at the home at of legendary literary figure, Herbert George Wells. Expecting to hear of the events and people who formed his prophetic imagination, she is informed of a world in which known scientific boundaries no longer exist. It begins a half-century earlier at London’s Imperial College of Science where Wells meets Jane Robbins, a scientist equally fascinated by unnatural phenomenon, and a woman who immediately captures Wells’ heart.

Starring Tom Ward, Barry Stanton, Raymond Coulthard, Mark Lewis Jones.

Rated 13+

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The Legend of William Tell (1998)

This series follows the legend of Wilhelm Gorkeit of Tellikon (William Tell), who, as the stories say, shot an apple off of his son’s head and lead the rebellion to free Switzerland.

Starring Kieren Hutchison, Andrew Robertt, Nathaniel Lees, Katrina Browne.

Rated ALL

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Life of a Mistress (2018)

She was raised in affluence, but became a servant. After the death of her benefactor, Duke Golovin, Polina learns that she is in fact a serf and will now be auctioned along with other property of the deceased nobleman. A neighbor and worst enemy of Duke Golovin, the cruel and vicious Count Andrei, becomes her new owner.

Starring Tatyana Babenkova, Vadim Dzyuba, Lidiya Kopina, Anastasiya Lebedeva.

Rated 16+

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Little House On the Prairie (Seasons 1 – 9)

The life and adventures of the Ingalls family in the nineteenth century American Midwest. Fall in love again with the classic TV series set on the American frontier in the 1870s that celebrates family, faith, and the human spirit.

Starring Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon, Karen Grassle, Rachel Lindsay Greenbush.

Rated TV-PG

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Love in Chains (Season 1)

Katerina Verbitskaya was raised as a noble lady with her godmother Anna Chervinskaya but for the whole world she was only the property of Peter Chervinsky. She falls in love with the nobleman Alexey Kosach who knows nothing about her origin. On the way to freedom and love, the serf maid will have to overcome a lot of trials.

Rated 13+

Starring Mikhail Gavrilov, Anna Sagaidachnaya, Stanislav Boklan, Mark Drobot.

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The Red Queen (2015)

Set beginning in 1953., this is the story of the rise of a girl from proverbial humble beginnings to top Russian fashion model during Cold War-era USSR, referred to as “Soviet Sophia Loren.” But was she the only the queen of the catwalk or also a KGB agent seducing foreign diplomats, making her the “most beautiful Kremlin weapon”?

Starring David Holt, Anna Vasileva, Kseniya Lukyanchikova.

Rated 13+

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The Rifleman (Seasons 1 – 5)

The action-packed series about a dedicated rancher trying to raise his son in a turbulent, untamed West. Their adventures are filled with rousing, two-fisted action set against sweeping beautiful and authentic locations. A classic hit-series, “The Rifleman” is rich with high production standards, moral values and a superb list of guest stars.

Starring Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford, Paul Fix.

Rated ALL

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Riphagen (2017)

A WWII-crime thriller based on the life of Andries ‘Al Capone’ Riphagen, a Dutch criminal who blackmailed Jews in hiding during World War II and was responsible for hundreds of deaths.

Starring Jeroen van Koningsbrugge, Kay Greidanus , Lisa Zweerman.

Rated 13+

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The Royal (Seasons 1 – 8)

Set in the 1960s, this British medical drama follows the staff and patients of St Aidan’s Royal Free Hospital. The saga of the seaside cottage hospital is chronicled in this spinoff of “Heartbeat,” the long-running ITV drama about a city medical center.

Starring Robert Daws, Linda Armstrong, Amy Robbins, Denis Lill, Wendy Craig.

Rated TV-PG

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Sara Dane (1982)

The passionate story of a beautiful convict girl, Sara Dane who is transported from England to Australia for a crime she did not commit. She struggle for freedom and independence against almost impossible odds.

Starring Juliet Jordan, Harold Hopkins, Brenton Whittle, Barry Quin.

Rated 13+

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Story of Yanxi Palace (2018)

During the 6th year of the Qian Long’s reign, Wei Ying Luo finds her way to the Forbidden City as a palace maid to investigate the truth behind her older sister’s death. Based on the novel Yan Xi Gong Lüe by Zhou Mo, the drama won Best Television Series at the 5th Hengdian Film & TV Festival.

Starring Jinyan Wu, Yuan Nie, Enshang Liu, Charmaine Sheh.

Rated 13+

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See all the available TV series here





Free Period Dramas: Movies

The following list contains period drama movies. Click on the “Watch Now for Free” or “Add to your WATCHLIST” under the description of each title to do just that, and to watch trailers when available. 





A Midnight Clear (1992)

This WWII psychological drama plays out at Christmas. US GIs hold an isolated cabin in the Ardennes against a handful of Germans cut off from their main force. Combat-weary and short of rations, both sides are determined to survive.

Starring Peter Berg, Kevin Dillon, Arye Gross, Ethan Hawke.

Rated R

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A Summer Story (1988)

England, 1904. A young lawyer from London, Mr. Ashton and his best friend are hiking across Dartmoor. As he twisted his ankle, Ashton is forced to seek help at a nearby farmhouse and stay there for a few days. Innocent beauty Megan David catches the attention of Ashton.

Starring Imogen Stubbs, James Wilby, Susannah York, Kenneth Colley.

Rated PG-13

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A Tale Of Two Cities (1980)

The classic Dickens tale of honour and sacrifice involving the cruel Marquis St Evremonde, his nephew Charles Darnay, who gives up his inheritance to protest the inhumanity of his family, and Sydney Carton, who gives up his life to save his friend. An ex-aristocrat from France and an alcoholic English lawyer find themselves crossing paths and in love with the same woman during the French Revolution.

Starring Chris Sarandon, Peter Cushing, Kenneth More, Barry Morse.

Rated 13+

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An Angel for May (2002)

One day, Tom finds a stray dog that leads him to a run-down farm. Suddenly, he is transported back to World War II-era Yorkshire, England. There, he meets Sam, his daughter Alison, and May, a young orphan traumatized by a German bombing raid. May and Tom become friends, as he works to discover a passage back to his own time. But, when Tom learns May is in danger, he races to find a way to save her. A movie for the whole family, based on the novel by Melvin Burgess.

Starring Matthew Beard, Tom Wilkinson, Charlotte Wakefield, Angeline Ball, Hugo Speer, Julie Cox.

Rated 7+

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All Quiet On The Western Front (1979)

In this remake of the classic film, Richard Thomas (John-Boy Walton, The Waltons) stars as a young soldier facing profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

Starring Richard Thomas, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Ian Holm.

Rated 13+

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The Ambassador to Bern (2014)

What really happened at Bern’s Hungarian Embassy in 1958? The grim attack after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution was only the visible part of the iceberg. The events behind closed doors are fictionalized with a breathtaking story based on a true story.

Starring János Kulka, Tamás Szabó Kimmel, József Kádas, Rozi Lovas.

Rated 13+

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April 9th (2015)

In the early morning of April 9th 1940 the Danish army is placed on high alert. The Germans have crossed the border and Denmark is at war against Europe’s strongest army. In Southern Jutland, Danish bicycle and motorcycle companies are ordered to go against all odds and hold back the forces until the Danish reinforcements can be mobilized. This is their story and based on real events.

Starring Pilou Asbæk, Lars Mikkelsen, Elliott Crosset Hove, Simon Sears.

Rated 13+

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Arthur & Merlin (2015)

Inspired by the same Celtic myths that J.R.R. Tolkien read as a young man, Arthur and Merlin is the epic fantasy adventure of good versus evil and tells the story of the two iconic characters as you’ve never seen them before. In Dark Ages Britain, a time of myth and magic, a Saxon force from the East attacks the Celtic people. But the vicious Saxons are not the only threat the Celts face. Arthur, a banished warrior, and Merlin, a hermit wizard, embark on a heroic quest to save their people before the Celts are gone forever, lost to mere myth themselves.

Starring Kirk Barker, Stefan Butler, Nigel Cooke.

Not rated.

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Ashes in the Snow (2018)

In 1941, a 16-year-old aspiring artist and her family are deported to Siberia amidst Stalin’s brutal dismantling of the Baltic region. One girl’s passion for art and her never-ending hope will break the silence of history.

Starring Bel Powley, Sophie Cookson, Timothy Innes, Jonah Hauer-King.

Rated 18+

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Becket (1964)

King Henry II of England comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant Thomas Becket, who finds his true honor by observing God’s divine will rather than the King’s. Peter O’Toole delivers an electrifying performance as the mischievous Henry II, who surprises England by naming his fellow rogue and trusted valet Thomas Becket as Chancellor.

Starring Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, John Gielgud, Gino Cervi.

Rated PG-13

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Bertie and Elizabeth (2002)

A feature-length portrayal of the life of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, focuses on her courtship by the shy, future George VI (known as Bertie), the love story that followed, and the birth of their daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret.

Starring James Wilby, Juliet Aubrey, Alan Bates, Eileen Atkins, Dolly Wells.

Rated TV-PG

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Black Butterflies (2001)

In Apartheid-torn South Africa, poet Ingrid Jonker struggles tragically in search of love and a sense of home. Regarded as South Africa’s Sylvia Plath, she finds her freedom in the height of 1960’s Apartheid by scripting verse amidst a series of stormy love affairs.

Starring Carice van Houten, Liam Cunningham, Rutger Hauer, Graham Clarke.

Rated 16+

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Black Fox (1995)

The story of two “blood” brothers, Alan and Britt Johnson – one a former plantation owner, the other his childhood friend whom he freed from slavery. The former slave affects peace between Native American tribes and homesteaders in 1860s western Texas.

Starring Christopher Reeve, Raoul Mac Trukillo, Tony Todd.

Rated 13+

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The Book and the Rose (2011)

A timeless love story about divergent paths, choices, and a meeting of hearts and ideals. Based on the short story by Max Lucado.

Starring Chris Kennedy, Carey Lessard.

Rated 7+

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The Bounty (1984)

Fed up with their Captain’s harsh discipline, a sailing ship’s crew decides to take action. Based on the novel, Captain Bligh and Mr. Christian, this is the story of a 1789 mutiny aboard the H.M.S. Bounty in which an idyllic voyage to Tahiti turns a crew against it’s Captain when they find tropical paradise, but the Captain decides to leave and take his crew on a perilous voyage around Cape Horn.

Starring Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Edward Fox.

Rated PG

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The Canterville Ghost (1996)

In this Emmy Award-winning adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s charming, witty tale, Professor Hiram Otis gets a research grant to study in England. His family is thrilled to learn they will live in a castle called Canterville Hall. Soon, 16-year-old Virginia Otis and her two brothers meet the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville, who has haunted the castle for 400 years. Virginia could be the key in fulfilling a prophecy and finally set the house’s ghost free.

Starring Patrick Stewart, Neve Campbell, Joan Sims.

Rated PG

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Charms for the Easy Life (2002)

The story of three women who live in a North Carolina town and defy the traditional roles set forth for them by society. In the 1940s, Southern midwife Charlie Kate Birch is given a lucky charm after healing a brutalized black man. In no time at all, her husband skips town, leaving her happily in charge of the family. Charlie’s daughter dreams of finding a steadfast man – but her prospects are bleak. Meanwhile, Charlie’s granddaughter must compete with their contrasting influences.

Starring Gena Rowlands, Mimi Rogers, Susan May Pratt.

Rated 13+

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Child Bride of Short Creek (1981)

Partially based on the true events surrounding a rural religious cult in the American Midwest, and how the members’ children suffered for their parents’ fanaticism. Short Creek is a polygamist community in Arizona where 400 Mormon loyalists, 263 of those children, live their own, unique, secular lifestyle. When a Korean War veteran returns, his experiences outside make living in Latter Day Saints (LDS) lifestyle unbearable. He rebels against his own father who has plans to add another wife to his household – a 15 year old girl who the vet loves dearly.

Starring Christopher Atkins, Diane Lane, Conrad Bain, Kiel Martin.

Rated 13+

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Civil Love (2012)

Rachel is a widow during the Civil War who holds the South responsible for her husband’s death. When a wounded enemy soldier takes refuge in her barn, Rachel reluctantly helps him. As she gets to know him more, she realizes she must protect him from the dangerous men pursuing him, and discovers a courage she didn’t know she had – the courage to love again.

Starring Elise Groves, DeMoyne Hunt, Matthew Bellows.

Rated G

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Eadweard (2017)

A psychological drama centered around world-famous turn-of-the-century photographer who became the godfather of cinema, murdered his wife’s lover, and was the last American to receive the justifiable homicide verdict.

Starring Michael Eklund, Sara Canning, Christopher Heyerdahl, Charlie Carrick, Jodi Balfour.

Rated TV-MA

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The Edge of Love (2009)

Two feisty, free-spirited women are connected by the brilliant, charismatic poet who loves them both.
In the bohemian underground of World War II London, a stirring love story ignites among legendary poet Dylan Thomas and the two extraordinary women who inspire him.

Starring Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Matthew Rhys, Simon Armstrong.

Rated R

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Enemies: A Love Story (1989)

A ghostwriter finds himself romantically involved with his current wife, a married woman and his long-vanished wife. Comedy / drama / romance!

Starring Ron Silver, Anjelica Huston, Lena Olin, Malgorzata Zajaczkowska.

Rated R

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Fortress of War (2010)

A war drama set during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, in which Soviet troops held on to a border stronghold for nine days. This WWII war drama portrays the defense of the Brest Fortress, which took the first major blow from the Nazis on June 22, 1941. Following the troops as they held a border stronghold for 9 days of battle, led by the regiment commanders Peter Gavrilov, Commissioner Efim Fomin and the head of the 9th frontier Andrei Kizhevatov.

Starring Aleksey Kopashov, Andrey Merzlikin, Pavel Derevyanko, Aleksandr Korshunov.

Rated 16+

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Gandhi (1982)

The life of the lawyer who became the famed leader of the Indian revolts against the British rule through his philosophy of nonviolent protest. Sir Ben Kingsley stars as Mohandas Gandhi in Lord Richard Attenborough’s riveting biography of the man who rose from simple lawyer to worldwide symbol of peace and understanding. A critical masterpiece, the historical drama is an intriguing story about activism, politics, religious tolerance and freedom. But at the center of it all is an extraordinary man who fought for a nonviolent, peaceful existence.

Starring Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth.

Rated PG

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Gideon’s Trumpet (1980)

In the early 1960s, Clarence Earl Gideon fights for the right to have publicly funded legal counsel for the needy. Henry Fonda gives one of the finest (and final) performances of his distinguished career as Gideon, the destitute prisoner whose handwritten plea for the right to counsel changed the course of American legal history.

Starring Henry Fonda, Dean Jagger, José Ferrer, John Houseman, Fay Wray.

Rated 13+

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Haven (2001)

An American journalist takes on the dangerous responsibility of rescuing nearly a thousand refugees from a Nazi concentration camp in this made-for-TV movie based on a true story. In the early days of America’s involvement in World War II, Ruth Gruber is a reporter who has been giving particular attention to a recent story: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in violation of United States policies of the day, has announced he will grant asylum in America to 982 European refugees from Nazi labor camps. But someone needs to escort the prisoners to the U.S.; Gruber, of European ancestry and Jewish faith, volunteers for the assignment over the objections of her parents and bravely battles against both bureaucracy and prejudice to win both dignity and fair treatment for the new settlers.

Starring Natasha Richardson, Hal Holbrook, Martin Landau, Colm Feore, Henry Czerny, Sheila McCarthy.

Rated PG-13

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The Hound of the Baskervilles (2000)

The mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville is blamed on a longstanding curse that has followed the Baskerville family for two hundred years. In this adaptation of one of Conan Doyle’s greatest novels, enigmatic sleuth Sherlock Holmes is on the case to uncover the truth about a monstrous, supernatural hound who roams the moors, waiting to attack the latest heir to the Baskerville estate.

Starring Matt Frewer, Kenneth Welsh, Jason London, Emma Campbell.

Rated TV-14

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The Illusionist (2006)

Set in early 20th-century Vienna, a stage magician uses his magic to win back the great love of his life from a brutal enemy, her fiancee who is also the powerful crowned prince of Austria.

Starring Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell.

Rated PG-13

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The Immigrant (2014)

1921. An innocent immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.

Starring Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner, Dagmara Dominczyk.

Rated R

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The Inheritance (1997)

A 19th-century woman, companion to a blue-blooded New England girl, falls for an aristocrat. Their forbidden love sparks jealousy and deceit in the family that took her in as a child.

Starring Meredith Baxter, Cari Shayne, Brigitta Dau, Paul Anthony Stewart, Brigid Brannagh.

Rated 13+

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Jewel (2001)

Set in the 1940s, the movie tells the story a 40-year-old woman living in rural Mississippi, Jewel, who gives birth to a girl with Down Syndrome and raises her amidst immense social stigma and financial hardships.

Starring Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Bergin, Cicely Tyson, Ashley Wolfe.

Rated 13+

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Kon-Tiki (2013)

Legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal’s epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947, in an effort to prove that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.

Starring Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Gustaf Skarsgård, Odd-Magnus Williamson.

Rated PG-13

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Ichabod Crane, a Yankee wanderer, arrives in Sleepy Hollow and becomes the new schoolmaster. He meets Katrina Van Tassel, and blissfully fantasizes about how can marry her, ultimately, inherit her father’s rich estate. Her suitor Brom Bones, the blacksmith, wants to scare him away and dresses up as the legendary Headless Horseman. During the prank, the real ghost appears and drives Ichabod off.

Starring Brent Carver, Rachelle Lefevre, Vlasta Vrana, Kathleen Fee.

Rated 13+

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The Legend of Zorro (2005)

Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California’s pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Don Alejandro de la Vega and his wife, Elena, to take action.

Starring Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, Alberto Reyes.

Rated PG

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Leonie (2010)

The life and relationships of the early 20th century American educator, editor, and journalist Leonie Gilmour, the mother of the acclaimed artist and architect Isamu Noguchi.

Starring Emily Mortimer, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Shidô Nakamura, Christina Hendricks.

Rated 13+

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The Lightkeepers (2010)

Set in the year 1912 on Cape Cod, a lighthouse keeper who has disavowed any association with females, must deal with the appearance of two attractive women who move into a nearby cottage for the summer.

Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Bruce Dern, Blythe Danner, Mamie Gummer.

Rated PG

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Little Women (1994)

The March sisters live and grow in post-Civil War America. Winona Ryder (in an Oscar nominated role) and Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon star in this family favorite. With her husband off at war, Marmee is left alone to raise their four daughters. There is the spirited Jo; conservative Meg; fragile Beth; and romantic Amy. As the years pass, the sisters share some of the most cherished and painful memories of self-discovery, as Marmee and Aunt March guide them through issues of independence, romance and virtue.

Starring Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes.

Rated PG

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Lost in the Barrens (1990)

In the 1930s, an orphaned white teen and a Cree Indian boy must put their differences aside to survive when they get lost together in the Canadian wilderness. Based on Farley Mowat’s 1956 bestselling tale of danger, survival, and companionship in the far North.

Starring Nicholas Shields, Evan Adams, Lee J. Campbell, Graham Greene.

Rated 7+

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Mrs. Dalloway (1997)

In 1923 London, socialite Clarissa Dalloway’s (Vanessa Redgrave’s) well-planned party is overshadowed by the return of an old suitor she had known thirty-three years earlier.

Starring Vanessa Redgrave, Natascha McElhone, Michael Kitchen, Alan Cox.

Rated PG-13

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Mr. and Mrs. Loving (1996)

In the American South, a black woman and the white man she loves are hounded by racist police and inflexible family members. Mildred “Bean” Jeter and Richard Loving have fallen in love, but an antiquated statute still in effect in the 1960s says that their relationship is against the law. Their fight to forge a life together puts their freedom at risk as they wage a legal battle that takes their case to the Supreme Court.

Starring Lela Rochon, Timothy Hutton, Ruby Dee, Bill Nunn.

Rated PG-13

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My Louisiana Sky (2001)

Juliette Lewis and Michael Cera feature in this adaptation of Kimberly Willis Holt’s emotional story about a twelve-year-old girl living in the Deep South in the 1950s, who reevaluates her relationship with her developmentally challenged parents when a woman takes her under her wing, giving her the chance to seize the opportunities life has to offer.

Starring Juliette Lewis, Michael Cera, Kelsey Keel, Shirley Knight, Amelia Campbell.

Rated ALL

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Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy (1998)

In this romantic comedy set in the rugged wilderness of Northern British Columbia in 1940, three very spirited, very different young adults struggle to carve out their independence and the world’s largest cattle ranch.

Starring Chad Willett, Ted Atherton, Falconer Abraham.

Rated 16+

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Papa Hemingway in Cuba (2015)

In 1959, a young journalist ventures to Havana, Cuba to meet his idol, the legendary Ernest Hemingway who helped him find his literary voice, while the Cuban Revolution comes to a boil around them.

Starring Giovanni Ribisi, Joely Richardson, Adrian Sparks, Minka Kelly.

Rated R

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The Red Baron (2008)

German biopic loosely based on the World War I fighter ace Manfred Von Richthofen, nicknamed the Red Baron by friend and foe alike. Set in 1916, the pilot becomes an idol for millions of his countrymen, a symbol of hope and pride. But the German high command increasingly misuses him for propaganda purposes – until the young pilot falls in love with Käte, a beautiful and resolute nurse who opens his eyes to the fact that there is more to war than dogfights won and adversaries downed.

Starring Matthias Schweighöfer, Lena Headey, Til Schweiger, Joseph Fiennes.

Rated PG-13

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Return to Treasure Island (1996)

While being hunted by a corrupt sea captian, adult Jim Hawkins has a second encounter with the island and Long John Silver.

Starring Stig Eldred, Dean O’Gorman, Jed Brophy, Will Clannachan, Richard Condon, Yacouba Coulibaly.

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Riphagen (2017)

At the end of the Second World War in Holland, Andries Riphagen is using his position for gaining wealth by betraying Jews. Two longtime foes of Adolf Hitler; propagandist, Sefton Delmer and Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in very different ways helped bring about the fall of Hitler’s regime. The stories of these heroic men and their companions intertwine as they work to end the war. Based on real events.

Starring Jeroen van Koningsbrugge, Kay Greidanus, Lisa Zweerman, Sigrid ten Napel.

Rated 13+

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Scents and Sensibility (2011)

Period-inspired. In this contemporary spin on the Jane Austen classic, two sisters find that they have to make their own way in the world after their father is jailed. Elinor is a cleaner in a spa. Marianne works for a marketing company but she also makes scented lotions, which turn out to be a real winner.

Starring Ashley Williams, Marla Sokoloff, Nick Zano, Brad Johnson.

Rated PG

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The Secret Path (1999)

A drama about a young, neglected white girl in the rural South who, with the help of an unlikely couple, finds the solace and nurturing needed to transform her downtrodden life. Also known as ”Chasing Secrets.”

Starring Della Reese, Crystal Bernard, Madeline Zima, Yvonne Zima

Rated 16+

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Shadrach (1996)

In 1935, ninety-nine-year-old former slave Shadrach asks to be buried on the soil where he was born to slavery, and that land is owned by the large Dabney family, consisting of Vernon, Trixie, and their seven children. But to bury a black man on that land is a violation of strict Virginia law.

Starring Martin Sheen, John Franklin Sawyer, Scott Terra, Ginnie Randall.

Rated PG-13

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The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella (1976)

In the tiny kingdom of Euphrania, the King and his court are most anxious to get Prince Edward wed. But Edward wants to marry for love. Meanwhile, young Cinderella finds life drastically altered with her father’s death, as she’s forced to be a servant in her own house. But a cheery Fairy Godmother helps her with her impossible tasks, and even gets her to take an evening out at the King’s bride-finding ball. But when the magic wears off, and the prince with shoe-in-hand searches for Cinderella and finds her, what is going to happen to Euphrania without the needed marriage alliance to prevent war?

Starring Richard Chamberlain, Gemma Craven, Annette Crosbie, Edith Evans.

Rated G

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Summer in February (2013)

A true tale of love, liberty and scandal amongst the Edwardian artists’ colony in Cornwall. Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) and Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia) star as friends and rivals caught up in a tumultuous love triangle in this sweeping period romance, played out against the timeless beauty of the English coast.

Starring Dominic Cooper, Emily Browning, Dan Stevens, Jane Cussons.

Rated 16+

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Swallows and Amazons Forever!: The Big Six (1984)

The Big Six and its companion story, Coot Club, are based on the celebrated Swallows & Amazons series of children’s books written by Arthur Ransome. Set in the 1930s, both stories take place on the lakes and waterways of England, and feature the same cast of lively characters, led by six children, who become firm friends, sharing a love of wildlife and all things nautical. The fun and adventure of a life afloat sparkle off the screen. These movies were produced on location in England by the BBC.

Starring Simon Hawes, Colin Baker, Andrew Burt, Jake Coppard.

Rated ALL

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That’s What I Am (2011)

Set in California in the mid-sixties, “That’s What I Am” is a coming-of-age story that follows Andy Nichol, a bright student who will do anything to avoid conflict for fear of suffering overwhelming ridicule and punishment from his junior high school peers. Everyone’s favorite teacher, Mr. Simon, pairs Andy with the school’s biggest outcast and social pariah on a critical school project.

Starring Ed Harris, Chase Ellison, Molly Parker, Daniel Roebuck.

Rated PG

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Therese (2013)

An unhappily married woman struggles to break free from social pressures. Audrey Tautou stars as a provincial housewife in 1920s France, whose marriage to a boorish landowner inspires her to make a fatal bid for freedom, in Claude Miller’s adaptation of the novel by François Mauriac.

Starring Audrey Tautou, Gilles Lellouche, Anaïs Demoustier, Catherine Arditi.

Rated 18+

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The Tolstoy Defense (2018)

Based on a heartbreaking and tragic true story, an innocent soldier is accused of a crime and is in danger of military tribunal and execution. Kolokoltsev turns to count Leo Tolstoy for help and makes the decision to defend the innocent soldier.

Starring Alexey Smirnov, Evegeny Kharitonov.

Rated 16+

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When Nietzsche Wept (2007)

Viennese doctor Josef Breuer meets with philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to help him deal with his despair.

Starring Ben Cross, Armand Assante, Joanna Pacula, Michal Yannai.

Rated PG-13

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Where the Red Fern Grows (2003)

Where the Red Fern Grows is the heartwarming and adventurous tale for all ages about a young boy and his quest for his own red-bone hound hunting dogs.

Starring Joseph Ashton, Dave Matthews, Renee Faia, Mac Davis.

Rated PG

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The Women Of Brewster Place (1989)

A gripping drama about a group of strong-willed women living in the rundown housing project of Brewster Place, a street overflowing with tales of courage and anguish. They struggle against racism, poverty and troublesome men through three decades. Based upon the critically acclaimed 1982 novel of the same name by Gloria Naylor, the film was later developed into a weekly television drama.

Starring Oprah Winfrey, Jackee Harry, Robin Givens, Cicely Tyson.

Rated 13+

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Young Guns (1988)

A group of young gunmen, led by Billy the Kid, become deputies to avenge the murder of the rancher who became their benefactor. But when Billy takes their authority too far, they become the hunted.

Starring Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen.

Rated R

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10 Days In A Madhouse (2015)

In 1887, at age 23, reporter Nellie Bly, working for Joseph Pulitzer, feigns mental illness to go undercover in notorious Blackwell’s Island a woman’s insane asylum to expose corruption, abuse and murder.

Starring Caroline Barry, Christopher Lambert, Kelly LeBrock, Julia Chantrey.

Rated R

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You May Also Like

Escape to the Country, courtesy BBC

The following movies and series are not period dramas, but we think you’ll like them just the same. Click on the title to start watching or add to your watchlist. 





If you are in the mood for something Royal, try England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life And Death of Lady Jane Gray, The Romanovs, and Inside the Crown: Secrets of the Royals.

Time travel sound like fun? There’s Regresa, about a woman who wakes from hypnosis thinking she’s a Basque princess from the 15th century, and In His Father’s Shoes, the family movie that time travels back to the 1950s. For kids there’s also Revelations, that follows a 16-year-old boy, Jess’ journey through life and time itself. Each episode contains a story from a different time and place in world history. And for a different type of going back in time, see The Adventures of the Wilderness Family.

For a trip to Britain, watch Britain’s Best Bakery, Classic Mary Berry, Escape to the Country, On the Yorkshire Buses, and Restoration Home.

Fans of cooking and history will like A Taste of History

For contemporary British mystery, there’s Midsomer Murders, and Wycliffe. 5 seasons of Murder, She Wrote are also available. 

Feeling classic? Go back in time with the 1945 movies And Then There Were None, or The Southerner.

From your favorite actors, look for The Railway Man starring Colin Firth, Philomena starring Judi Dench, Lily in Love starring Maggie Smith, and BBC’s Miranda starring Miranda Hart.

And for a beautiful timeless film, dive into Whale Rider.

See all the available movies and TV series here


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If you enjoyed this post, wander over to The Period Films List