A list of the best World War I era period dramas. Movies and TV series set during the First World War era (1914 – 1918), also known as the Great War. British costume period dramas, filmed in England, UK and other countries set in that time period. Television mini-series, PBS, BBC, Masterpiece Theatre productions, historical epics. Wartime romances, family friendly options and stories about people lives at the brink of war, soldiers returning from combat, and the challenges faced by those at home during wartime. More to come!
For the lists of the top period dramas and recommended documentaries in additional eras, wander over to: What To Watch: The Period Films List
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At the height of US involvement in World War I, young men everywhere are succumbing to jingoistic fervor. In a small Texas town, Horace Robedaux feels the pressure to enlist but he doesn’t want to leave his wife Elizabeth and their young child. Elizabeth’s no-good little brother is constantly talking about the war, and Elizabeth’s stern father, who opposed their marriage initially, now has plans to take care of his daughter and the child so that Horace can go off to war.
Set in 1918. Part of Horton Foote’s semi-autobiographical trilogy shown on PBS which includes “On Valentine’s Day,” “Courtship” and “1918.”
Starring William Converse-Roberts, Hallie Foote, Rochelle Oliver, Michael Higgins, Matthew Broderick, Jeanne McCarthy, Bill McGhee, L.T. Felty, Horton Foote Jr., Tom Murrel, Phillip Smith, Norma Allen, Margaret Spaulding, Carol Goodheart, Buffy Carol, Betty Murphy, Frost O. Myers, Peggy Feury, Belinda Jackson, Randy Moore.
Revealing the complex behind-closed-doors story of the final weeks before the outbreak of World War I.
This three-part political thriller follows the catastrophic chain of events leading up to World War I from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June 1914 to Britain's declaration of war on Germany 37 days later. This tense and gripping mini-series set among the corridors of power in Whitehall and Berlin tracks the unfolding crisis through the eyes of leading politicians and civil servants struggling to prevent the world's first global war. 37 Days unlocks the mystery of the war's origins, overturning assumptions about its inevitability, demonstrating that World War One was neither a chance happening nor was it a foregone conclusion.
Set in Georgian era the five weeks between the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo and the outbreak of the First World War.
Starring Ian McDiarmid, Tim Piggott-Smith, Sinead Cusack, Ludger Pistor.
A soldier develops a strong bond with a cub before he is sent to fight in World War I.
The heartwarming family film A BEAR NAMED WINNIE dramatizes the true story that inspired one of the most beloved children's book characters of all time. On the eve of World War I, Canadian soldier Lt. Harry Coleburn (Michael Fassbender) adopts an orphaned bear cub and, after naming her Winnie (for the city of Winnipeg), decides to make her the unofficial mascot of his army regiment. When Harry and his troop are deployed to the trenches of France, Winnie is temporarily housed at the London Zoo, where author A.A. Milne meets the bear and uses her as the inspiration for his children's stories, WINNIE THE POOH.
Starring Michael Fassbender, Gil Bellows, David Suchet, Stephen Fry, Jonathon Young.
Aces High (1976)
Maj. Gresham is a flying ace who oversees a group of English pilots during World War I. His latest recruit is Lt. Croft, who happens to have been only a few years behind Gresham at Eton. Croft idolizes Gresham at first, but the image of his hero is tarnished when he learns of Gresham's private habits, especially his predilection for alcohol. It's only after Croft himself has endured the crucible of war that he comes to fully appreciate his commanding officer.
Starring Malcom Mcdowell, Christopher Plummer, Peter Firth.
Frederic Henry (Gary Cooper), an American driving ambulances for the Italian Army during World War I, falls for British Red Cross nurse Catherine Barkley (Helen Hayes), to the displeasure of jealous commanding officer Major Rinaldi (Adolphe Menjou), who transfers Catherine to a different hospital out of spite.
But after Frederic is injured on the battlefield, he is evacuated to Catherine's new hospital in Milan, and the star-crossed lovers begin their romance anew.
Based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway.
Starring Jack LaRue, Helen Hayes, Gary Cooper, Adolphe Menjou, Mary Philips.
Note: You can stream it for free, legally, on the Willow and Thatch YouTube Period Drama Channel here.
A passionate but star-crossed romance develops between an American soldier and a Red Cross nurse during WWI.
This gripping version of the legendary writer's World War I masterpiece stars Rock Hudson as an ambulance driver and Jennifer Jones as the nurse he falls in love with. Initially strangers, the two find they must suddenly grapple with difficult decisions about their life together until fate steps in and their future becomes uncertain. A poignant portrait of war and survival, beautifully directed by the great Charles Vidor.
Based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway.
Starring Rock Hudson, Jennifer Jones, Vittorio De Sica, Oskar Homolka, Mercedes McCambridge.
Note: There was a BBC mini-series adaptation of A Farewell to Arms (1966) starring Vanessa Redgrave, George Hamilton, Susan Engel, Ann Rye and Erik Chitty. Directed by Rex Tucker, the three episode British TV period drama is believed to be lost.
Wounded Boer War veteran Paul Craddock (Nigel Havers, Chariots of Fire) arrives at Shallowford House in 1902 to establish himself as squire of Sorrell Valley. With the assistance of property manager John Rudd (Glyn Houston, The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Paul learns the ropes and tries his best to balance running a successful estate and being a compassionate landowner.
Paul is immediately captivated by two of the valley's women: Grace Lovell (Fiona Gaunt, War & Peace), a suffragette with a fierce temper, and sensitive Claire Derwent (Prunella Ransome, Far from the Madding Crowd). Following the outbreak of the First World War, Paul has to work even harder to manage Shallowford.
Set in the pastoral landscape of Devon and adapted from the novel by R.F. Delderfield (To Serve Them All My Days), this gripping miniseries pays tribute to the last days of traditional English country life through almost two decades of joyous occasions, devastating losses, and enduring love.
Set in the Edwardian era and during the First World War.
Starring Nigel Havers, Glyn Houston, Fiona Gaunt, Prunella Ransome.
A wealthy, precocious and loving child is raised in India, but sent away to a New York boarding school by her beloved father when he must go off to war. A sumptuous adaptation of the beloved children's classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett which shifts the time period to 1914.
"Movies like "A Little Princess" and "The Secret Garden" contain a sense of wonder, and a message: The world is a vast and challenging place, through which a child can find its way with pluck and intelligence." - Roger Ebert
Starring Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham, Liesel Matthews, Rusty Schwimmer, Arthur Malet.
One of the most influential anti-war films ever made, this drama follows a group of idealistic young men as they join the German Army during World War I and are sent to the Western Front.
The film follows a group of German schoolboys, talked into enlisting at the beginning of World War I by their jingoistic teacher. The story is told entirely through the experiences of the young German recruits and highlights the tragedy of war through the eyes of individuals.
Based on the novel of the same name by German World War One veteran Erich Maria Remarque.
"All Quiet on the Western Front remains an essential piece of social history and a heart-wrenching film. The film is long – more than two and half hours – and despite the technological limitations, the unrelenting realism of battle action remain gripping enough for CGI-attuned contemporary audiences." - Telegraph
Starring Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray.
One of the strangest legends of the First World War is that of the disappearance of the Sandringham Company in action in Gallipoli in 1915. The land agent at Sandringham House - the Norfolk estate of George V - creates a superb fighting force. However, led into battle against the Turks in Gallipoli, they are never to be seen again.
"None of this would work as beautifully as it does if we didn't believe in Maggie Smith as a Queen Mother worth cherishing...besides waste, there is honor in these two hours." - New York Magazine
Originally produced for the BBC and broadcast in the U.S. as part of PBS Masterpiece Theatre.
Starring David Jason, Maggie Smith, Stuart Bunce, William Ash, David Troughton.
An Accidental Soldier tells the story of an Australian soldier who flees the front lines of World War I and finds refuge with a French woman in a remote farmhouse. Together, unexpectedly, they discover a love so strong that each is willing to give their life for it.
Based on the novel Silent Parts by John Charalambous, An Accidental Soldier is about an Australian soldier who flees the carnage of the Western Front and finds refuge with a French woman in a remote farmhouse. Harry Lambert is a shy, thirty five year old Australian soldier, working as a baker behind the lines. He is a gentle man, a reluctant soldier, but a man like many who has been shamed by his local community into joining up. But when he is called into the front line Harry decides to run, finding refuge in a farmhouse owned by Colombe Jacotot, a Frenchwoman in her forties whose husband has abandoned her and whose son has recently been killed. Forced to work in an ammunitions factory, Colombe too is trenchant about the war.
Through her Harry will learn true courage. Through him Colombe will learn beauty. Together they will discover a love so strong that each is willing to give their life for it. An accidental soldier is a tender, at times gripping love story between two people who find passion, in all its joy and hurt, at an age when they thought love has passed them by. It is a story of unexpected bravery of countless men and women who would not give up their lives for abstracts like glory, or country. Those who wanted to live for love and life.
Starring Marie Bunel, Dan Spielman, Julia Zemiro, Bryan Brown.
As World War I rages in Europe, the citizens of Avonlea prepare for their annual Christmas festivities. Hetty King, always ready and willing to do her part for king and country, is planning a Christmas concert with the schoolchildren to raise funds for the war effort. Janet King however, whose son Felix King is away fighting in the trenches, would prefer to forget about the war altogether.
Starring Jackie Burroughs, Mag Ruffman, Zachary Bennett, Gema Zamprogna, Lally Cadeau.
Now in her twenties, Anne returns to Avonlea for the first time since Marilla Cuthbert’s death. Gilbert has been offered a position in a hospital in New York, and he persuades Anne to come with him. He arranges a position for her at a large publishing house. However, big city life isn’t what they expected, especially when Anne’s manuscript is stolen by a dashing American writer, Jack Garrison. After many unsuccessful months, Anne and Gilbert move back to Avonlea and into the middle of wartime society. Gilbert feels pressure to join the army as a medical officer, and is soon listed as missing in action. The indomitable Anne then sets off to the battlefields of Europe in search of Gilbert, and helps a young French woman and her son who are in the line of danger along the way.
Starring Jonathan Crombie, Schuyler Grant, Janet-Laine Green, Cameron Daddo, Megan Follows.
Arriving in Egypt to serve in World War I, a group of idealistic young Australian and New Zealand nurses are full of romantic notions. All too soon, however, they are faced with convoys of the dead and wounded from the doomed Gallipoli campaign. Realizing that war is not quite the "splendid adventure" they thought it would be, they rise to meet the challenge, finding love, heartbreak, and lasting friendship along the way.
Based on the book by Peter Rees and drawing on the real nurses' letters, original journals, and historical records, this acclaimed Australian miniseries follows five unsung heroines through the traumatic war years. A "beautifully shot, multilayered drama" (The Sunday Telegraph, Australia), it "brings these little-known stories vividly to life" (The Daily Telegraph, Australia).
6 episode television mini-series.
Starring Georgia Flood, Caroline Craig, Anna McGahan, Antonia Prebble, Laura Brent.
This 5-part Australian television mini-series set during World War I follows the lives of a group of young Australian men who enlist in the 8th Battalion (Australia) of the First Australian Imperial Force.
The historical drama begins in 1914, with the fighting first at Gallipoli in 1915, and then on the Western Front for the remainder of the war.
Starring Andrew Clarke, Tony Bonner, Shane Briant, Jim Holt, Vincent Ball, Bill Kerr, Paul Hogan, Megan Williams, Mark Hembrow, Jon Blake.
Germany, 1912. Friedrich (Richard Madden, Cinderella), a graduate of humble origins, takes up a clerical post in a steel factory, soon becoming the elderly owner Karl s (Alan Rickman, Harry Potter) private secretary and boarder. There he meets Lotte (Rebecca Hall, Iron Man 3), Karl's reserved and beautiful young wife. Starting an illicit romance, the two young lovers dreams are dashed when Karl announces he s sending his secretary to oversee his mines in Mexico. But Lotte makes a promise to Friedrich: when he returns in two years, she will be his no matter what. With the later outbreak of World War I prohibiting his return to Germany, Friedrich must wait eight long years before returning to Europe and finding out if the woman he pines for has kept her promise during that brutal passage of time. With lush period detail, director Patrice Leconte s A PROMISE is a sumptuous testament to the enduring power of love.
Some nice visuals, including the early-1900s accouterments supplied by costume designer Pascaline Chavanne.
Set in the Edwardian era and during World War I.
Starring Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman and Richard Madden.
Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) is told that her fiancé (Gaspard Ulliel) has been killed in World War I. She refuses to believe this, however, and begins trying to find out what actually happened on the battlefield the night he was supposedly killed, enlisting the help of a private investigator.
During her search, she stumbles across evidence of the inhumane and morally bankrupt system used by the French to deal with deserters, and hears from other men who were sentenced to extreme punishment.
Set during the Great War and the Interwar era.
"This story is told in a film so visually delightful that only the horrors of war keep it from floating up on clouds of joy." - Roger Ebert
Starring Audrey Tautou, Gaspard Ulliel, Jodie Foster.
In 1916, the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company is tunneling beneath German fortifications and bunkers to detonate massive explosive charges.
The extraordinary true story of Oliver Woodward. It's 1916 and Woodward must tear himself from his new young love to go to the mud and carnage of the Western Front. Deep beneath the German lines. Woodward and his secret platoon of Australian tunnelers fight to defend a leaking, labyrinthine tunnel system packed with enough high explosives to change the course of the War.
Starring Brendan Cowell, Harrison Gilbertson, Steve Le Marquand/
Set before and during the great war, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. His life goes through a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family with whom he lives, to the unprecedented experiences of the war itself.
Based on Sebastian Faulks' 1993 bestseller Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War. Readers who are entranced by the sweeping Anglo sagas of Masterpiece Theatre will devour Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks's historical drama. This intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present.
2 episode mini-series.
Starring Eddie Redmayne, Clémence Poésy, Matthew Goode.
Not rated. This program contains mature content, including sexual situations, and graphic imagery of war that may not be appropriate for more sensitive viewers.
With its fourth and final chapter the chronicles of the comedy series, "Blackadder Goes Forth" brings us into the twentieth century and into a much darker period of history.
The Western Front 1917: There's disorder in the ranks when that numb-headed ninny, Captain Edmund Blackadder, stumbles onto the battlefields of WWI and discovers that people are trying to kill him.
Waiting in fear of the dreaded order to go 'over the top' from the patently insane General Melchett, Blackadder devises serial attempts to escape the trenches such as joining the Royal Flying Corps or becoming army entertainers, always with the offer of one of Baldrick's cunning plans.
There can barely have been a less likely setting for comedy than the trenches of the First World War.
Writers Richard Curtis and Ben Elton deserve special plaudits, then, for maintaining their hilarious standards and making this series more pointed than its predecessors; mixing the lighter jokes with a gallows humour in the face of a tragic and harrowing story.
Edmund Blackadder was now a more noble and sympathetic character than his ancestors, and his efforts to evade his inevitable fate provided not only countless laughs but also a real sense of the futility of war.
Starring Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie.
Carrington is the true story of the tragic relationship between the English painter, Dora Carrington and writer, Lytton Strachey. Between the First World War and the early 1930's, they experimented with a way of life beyond the conventional standards of their time, a life which broke all the taboos of society of their desire to live as freely and honestly as they could. They acknowledged openly what most of us are aware of but still reluctant to discuss: that a great many differences can exist between spiritual love and physical desire.
Set between 1915 and 1932.
Starring Emma Thompson, Jonathan Pryce, Steven Waddington, Samuel Weset, Rufus Sewell.
Juliet Stevenson heads the cast in this prestigious film adaptation of Laurie Lee's classic novel Cider With Rosie. Set in 1918 in the heart of the Gloucestershire countryside, Cider With Rosie conjures up a world of earthy warmth and beauty as it follows Laurie Lee's renowned tale from childhood to adolescence and the awakening of manhood. Cider with Rosie is not only a classic tale of childhood, but also an elegy to a passing era. Faithful to the book.
The film features narration by Laurie Lee himself taken from an unabridged recording of the book. Set in the years immediately after World War I, Cider with Rosie captures a vanished era. "I belonged to that generation which saw, by chance, the end of a thousand years' life," wrote Lee of his upbringing with eight siblings and a single mother in a semi-feudal world of candlelight, horse carts, and profound solitude.
"With a script by the talented John Mortimer ("Rumpole of the Bailey"), a superbly chosen cast and Charles Beeson's supple, sensitive direction, this 90-minute evocation of vanished pastoralism makes for compelling -- albeit unapologetically sentimental -- television." - Variety
Shown on PBS Masterpiece.
Starring Juliet Stevenson, Dashiell Reece, Joe Roberts, David Troughton, Emily Mortimer.
A semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story set in the Cotswolds during and immediately after the First World War. A poetic journey through the idyll of his early years and into the intensity of adolescent experiences, Cider With Rosie is the quintessential coming-of-age story. Based on the novel by Laurie Lee.
"A lyrical, languid and poetic adaptation... a worthy and gently intoxicating addition." - Telegraph
Starring Archie Cox, June Whitfield, Ruby Ashbourne Serkis, Timothy Spall, Samantha Morton, Georgie Smith.
Note: The BBC also produced the 94 minute long Cider with Rosie (1971) starring Rosemary Leach, Stephen Grendon, Philip Hawkes.
In industrial Tyneside during World War I, life for the McQueen family is turned upside down when daughter Bridget comes home with a black husband.
Bridget Paterson seriously offends her Geordie family's Irish Catholic sensibilities by marrying an African sailor, whom she is also pregnant by. After being accused of murder, her husband is eventually forced to leave town with half of Newcastle out to get him. As their daughter grows up, she must learn to cope with the racism which surrounds her.
Set beginning in 1915, and moving into the Interwar era.
The 3 episode TV mini-series is based on Catherine Cookson's Colour Blind. One of England�s most widely read authors, Dame Catherine Cookson penned more than ninety historical novels during her celebrated career.
Starring Joe Caffrey, Dearbhla Molloy, Ian Embleton, Walter McMonagle, Niamh Cusack, Tony Armatrading.
In the bitter chill of winter, over snow-covered mountains and against all odds, one fearless young girl will risk everything to guide her friends to safety. Fifteen-year-old Heidi (Caton) leaves her beloved grandfather (Jan Rubes), her childhood sweetheart (Sheen) and her cherished Swiss mountains to attend an Italian boarding school run by a kind headmistress (Caron).
But when World War I breaks out, Heidi and her classmates are torn from their serene surroundings. Fearing for their lives, they escape on foot through the countryside...and embark on a daring trek across the treacherous, frozen Alps towards the safety of Heidi's girlhood home.
Starring Juliette Caton, Charlie Sheen, Joanna Clarke, Nicola Stapleton, Jade Magri.
One-of-a-kind filmmaker-philosopher Terrence Malick has created some of the most visually arresting films of the twentieth century, and his glorious period tragedy Days of Heaven, featuring Oscar-winning cinematography by Nestor Almendros, stands out among them. In 1916, a Chicago steelworker accidentally kills his supervisor, and he, his girlfriend, and his little sister flee to the Texas panhandle, where they find work harvesting wheat in the fields of a stoic farmer. A love triangle, a swarm of locusts, a hellish fire—Malick captures it all with dreamlike authenticity, creating a timeless American idyll that is also a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor.
"Perhaps the most typical example of a '70s American art film -- daring, romantic, rebellious but also filled with longing for the beauty of the past." - Chicago Tribune
Starring Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz.
Note: Some accounts say the film is set in 1910, but a 1916 newspaper and a scene of soldiers headed to war are evident in the film.
While studying to be a doctor in Moscow, Yuri Zhivago meets the beautiful Lara, setting in train a fateful romance that spans the early years of the Russian Revolution, during which Zhivago and Lara's lives are turned upside down. This epic, sweeping romance, told in flashback, captures the lushness of Moscow before the war and the violent social upheaval that followed.
Winner of five Academy Awards (and nominated for ten, including "Best Picture") David Lean's Doctor Zhivago is an exploration of the Russian Revolution as seen from the point of view of the intellectual, introspective title character (Omar Sharif).
Based on Boris Pasternak's 1957 largely autobiographical Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
Set between the years prior to World War I and the Russian Civil War of 1917–1922.
Starring Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, Alec Guinness, Tom Courtenay.
A a young Russian doctor named Yury falls deeply in love with Lara, a nurse who cares for him after he is wounded in World War I. But the outbreak of the Russian Revolution forces them to part. Yury returns home to his wife, Tonya, and Lara, convinced that her own husband, Pasha, has been killed, returns to her daughter.
Scottish actor Hans Matheson (Mists of Avalon) stars as the dreamy poet-physician Yury Zhivago, with Keira Knightley (Pride and Prejudice) as the love of his life, Lara Antipova and Sam Neill (The Piano) as Victor Komarovsky, Lara's seducer and stalker -- a political chameleon who comes out on top no matter who is in power.
The story begins in Tsarist Russia in the early 1900s and is set primarily against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent Russian Civil War of 1918–1921.
The 2 episode mini-series was adapted by Andrew Davies and is based on the 1957 novel of the same title by Boris Pasternak.
Shown on PBS Masterpiece Theatre.
Starring Sam Neill, Kiera Knightley, Alexandra Maria Lara, Hans Matheson.
Written and created by Academy Award-winner Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey has garnered a plethora of praise from critics and fans worldwide. The acclaimed ensemble cast brings to life all the drama and intrigue of the inhabitants of Downton Abbey, the lavish English country manor, home to the Earls of Grantham since 1772. A Golden Globe and multi-Emmy Award-winning series, following the Crawley family and their servants from pre-war England through the storms of World War I, and into the social upheaval of England in the Roaring 1920s as the lives of its inhabitants are shaped by romance, heartbreak, scandals, rumors, blackmail, and betrayal.
"Compulsively watchable from the get-go." - Variety
"An instant classic." - The New York Times
Starring Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith and Maggie Smith Michelle Dockery.
Set between 1912 and 1925, Downton Abbey spans the Edwardian Era, World War I, and the Interwar era.
Shown on PBS Masterpiece Theatre.
Note: The first series of seven episodes explores the lives of the fictional Crawley family and their servants beginning the day after the historic sinking of the RMS Titanic, April 1912. The second series comprised eight episodes and ran from the Battle of the Somme in 1916 to the 1918 flu pandemic. Series Three of Downton Abbey is composed of eight episodes in addition to a Christmas special. It spans through the year 1920, and ends in 1921. Series four continued the story of the Crawley family and their servants and covers February 1922 into the spring/summer of 1923. Series five covers the months from February to December 1924. Series six picks up six months after the end of Series 5, in 1925. The final episode ends on New Year's Eve, 1925.
Highclere Castle in north Hampshire is used for exterior shots of Downton Abbey and most of the interior filming. Outdoor scenes are filmed in the village of Bampton in Oxfordshire. First World War trench warfare scenes in France were filmed in a specially constructed replica battlefield for period war scenes near the village of Akenham in rural Suffolk. Alnwick Castle, in Northumberland, was the filming location used for Brancaster Castle in the 2014 Christmas special, which included filming in Alnwick Castle's State Rooms, as well as on the castle's grounds, and at the nearby semi-ruined Hulne Abbey on the Duke of Northumberland's parklands in Alnwick.
Do you believe? Young Frances and Elsie do. They say they've encountered the supernatural. They've met fairies. The photos the girls take of the winged beings put them at the center of a real-life controversy that sweeps England during World War I. Everyone is caught up in the excitement, including two of the era's most renowned men: Sherlock Holmes' author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Peter O'Toole) and master illusionist Harry Houdini (Harvey Keitel). Are the girls' photos real or a clever hoax? One thing is for sure: with enchantment, a sense of wonder and glorious special effects, FairyTale: A True Story is superb family entertainment.
Starring Paul McGann, Florence Hoath, Elizabeth Earl, Harvey Keitel, Jason Salkey.
Parents need to know that wounded soldiers fill the train station where young Francis meets her relatives. There is some intense material (e.g. Francis's father is missing in World War I, but she clings to the belief he will return). Kids will absorb a bit of 1917 England, and meet historical figures Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini. - Common Sense Media
Can a spirited young orphan find love and fulfillment in an unhappy, decaying mansion? Perky heroine Christina transforms life at Flambards in this series, based on the popular trilogy of novels by K. M. Peyton. Her arrival throws off the class-conscious pattern of life in her uncle's male-dominated household, and nothing will ever be quite the same again, for any of them. Set in England in the early 1900s. 660 minutes
Shown on PBS.
This pre-post WW1 period piece follows development of aviation, wartime trials and tribulations of landed gentry and post war social changes in charming, exciting, and occasionally sad history of young British with lovely musical score throughout. Outstanding social commentaries of German POWs in England during the war and changes of social structure during and following the conflict. Dashing young aviators, wonderful flying scenes, romances, tragedies and generational progression.
Set in the Edwardian era, and during and after the First World War.
Starring Christine McKenna, Rosalie Williams, Steven Grives.
Inspired by the true story of the legendary Lafayette Escadrille, this action-packed epic tells the tale of America's first fighter pilots. These courageous young men distinguish themselves in a manner that none before them had dared, becoming true heroes who experience triumph, tragedy, love, and loss amid the chaos of World War I.
"There's a familiar cliché to match every thrilling scene of aerial combat, but director Tony Bill manages to keep it all interesting, from the romance between a young American maverick (James Franco) and a pretty French girl (newcomer Jennifer Decker) to the exciting action in the air, which includes a stock variety of heroes (many of them composites of real-life WWI pilots) and an intimidating villain known only as "The Black Falcon," whose Fokker Dr-1 triplane (one of many in the film) recalls the exploits of German "ace of aces" Manfred von Richtofen, the dreaded "Red Baron" of legend. With impeccable production values that will impress even the most nit-picking aviation buffs, Flyboys (has) beautiful images that meet or exceed the visual nuance of film. Flyboys also benefits from painstaking attention to physical detail, making it easier to forgive its shortcomings as a generic and formulaic slice of romanticized history... it's safe to say that Flyboys will be thrilling its target audience for many years to come." - Jeff Shannon
Starring James Franco, Jean Reno.
In Western Australia in 1915 two young men join up to fight in the First World War. Archy Hamilton (Mark Lee) is the patriotic son of a grazier. Frank Dunne (Mel Gibson) is a drifter with no great desire to fight for the British Empire. They meet as runners in an outback footrace and become best mates. After training in Egypt, they land at Gallipoli, just as the great allied assaults of August 1915 are to begin.
"The film remains one of the most loved of all Australian films, partly because of its intense nationalism. Its mixture of innocence and sacrifice, youthful high spirits and brutal, industrialised murder, helped to redefine how Australians thought about the First World War. In dramatic terms, it’s one of Weir’s most nakedly emotional films and one of his most poetic, especially during the elegiac finale." -Paul Byrnes
Starring Mark Lee, Mel Gibson, Diane Chamberlain, Saltbush Baldock, Ronny Graham.
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, GANDHI 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, and set an entire nation free.
Sir Richard Attenborough's 1982 multiple-Oscar winner (including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Ben Kingsley) is an engrossing, reverential look at the life of Mohandas K. Gandhi, who introduced the doctrine of nonviolent resistance to the colonized people of India and who ultimately gained the nation its independence. Kingsley is magnificent as Gandhi as he changes over the course of the three-hour film from an insignificant lawyer to an international leader and symbol. Strong on history (the historic division between India and Pakistan, still a huge problem today, can be seen in its formative stages here) as well as character and ideas, this is a fine film. --Tom Keogh
Set beginning in the 1890s in the Victorian era, and spanning the Edwardian, First World War, Interwar, Second World War and Postwar eras until 1948.
Starring Edward Fox, Trevor Howard, Candice Bergen, Ben Kingsley, John Mills.
Goodbye Christopher Robin gives a rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children's author A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh. Along with his mother Daphne, and his nanny Olive, Christopher Robin and his family are swept up in the international success of the books; the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War. But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family?
"Bring your hankies to this honey-sweet glimpse into the inspirations behind and fallout from author A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh series." - Variety
Set in the First World War, Interwar, and Second World War eras.
Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Will TIlston, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald.
He went from teacher to legend in one lifetime.
Arthur Chipping, the Latin master at an English boys’ boarding school, is as awkward as he is stubborn. The eccentric schoolmaster lives a full, rich life within the cloistered school, defined by his role as the intellectual shepherd of generations of young students. Then, everything changes.
When Mr. Chipping travels through the countryside on summer holiday, he unexpectedly falls in love with the unconventional Kathie (Victoria Hamilton, Mansfield Park). The love and devotion of his new wife ignites his passion and brings him out of his shell, revealing the sensitivity lying beneath his gruff exterior. But after tragedy strikes, Chips’ true character is put to the test in the most difficult examination of his life. Ultimately, it is a lesson that will last a lifetime.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a tender, heartwarming story that spans over 50 years in one passionate life. Portraying the storied Arthur Chipping in James Hilton’s classic tale of love and transformation, Martin Clunes (Shakespeare in Love) turns in a bravura performance in a film filled with countless noteworthy turns.
In the annals of English boarding schools, few can match the renown of Brookfield, "a good school of the second rank," with its unforgettable Latin master Mr. Chipping, known to all as "Mr. Chips." Masterpiece Theatre's heartwarming new adaptation of James Hilton's beloved novella stars Martin Clunes as the amiable educator who arrives at Brookfield as a young teacher in the 1870s, and finds himself a venerated old timer in the 1920s with vivid memories of his thousands of children -- "all boys." Also appearing are Victoria Hamilton as Kathie, the fetching young feminist who most improbably becomes Mrs. Chipping; Conleth Hill as fellow teacher and friend Max Staefel; John Wood as headmaster Wetherby and Patrick Malahide as Ralston, the reforming headmaster who is determined to put the vintage Chips out to pasture.
Shown on PBS Masterpiece Theatre.
The film begins in the Victorian era, moves into the Edwardian era, and concludes in the 1920s.
Note: There is also Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), a six-time Oscar-nominated romantic classic starring Robert Donat, Greer Garson and Paul Henreid, and the Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) musical version starring Peter O'toole, Petula Clark, and Michael Redgrave.
This docu-drama based on letters and journals, many of which have never been published before, tells the story of 1914-18 solely through the eyes of those who lived through it.
Bringing together 25 broadcasters from around the world, this is television's global event for the centennial of World War I.In 1914, most people's knowledge of war comes from schoolbooks and newspapers. But when the heir to the Austrian throne is killed in Sarajevo, the system of alliances runs its inevitable course. Featuring the stories of a Scottish auxiliary nurse who accompanies the British army to Belgium as a matter of national Honor, a young Cossack girl who follows her father into battle, a German mother who endures the untimely death of her only son, a French schoolboy who witnesses his country under occupation, a German schoolgirl who is forbidden to use French words in class, and an English journalist whose age is held against him.
Their diaries focus on what archive and historical analysis cannot reveal: personal tragedy, love, happiness, pain and grief. Through glorious dramatic reconstruction viewers experience the greatest war mankind had ever seen, not from the perspective of what it was, but of what it was like from within. Great War Diaries reveals the simple human experience of 1914-18, unsullied by historical interpretation.
Starring Celia Bannerman, Naomi Sheldon, David Acton, Megan Gay, Jacopo Menicagli.
Hedd Wyn (1992)
The stirring story of poet Ellis Evans-Hedd Wyn, the Welsh poet posthumously awarded the Eisteddfod chair at Birkenhead in 1917 after failing to return from 1st World War trenches.
Poetry was Ellis Evans' passion- his life's ambition to be chaired at a National Eisteddfod. He achieved this at the Birkenhead Eisteddfod of 1917. Unfortunately, he never knew of his success as he was fighting the Germans in the trenches of Ypres, where he died during his first day on the Western Front.
The stirring biopic of the tragic hero features Huw Garmon in the title role. Written by Alan Llwyd and directed by Paul Turner, it was also the first Welsh-language film to be nominated for an Oscar.
Starring Huw Garmon, Catrin Fychan, Ceri Cunnington, Llio Silyn, Grey Evans.
Note: If you live inside the UK you can stream the movie for free here.
Indescribable is a feature-length film based on the historical events surrounding the writing of the hymn, “The Love of God”.
Amidst financial pressures and the uncertainties of WWI, Pastor Frederick Lehman begins to write a song about the love of God. When he gets stuck on the third verse, ten-year-old Blynn comes to the rescue by calling a sibling council and laying out a strategy to help Papa write the song. Along the way they waste a lot of paper, explore an old asylum, meet a real Jewish Rabbi, and learn about events that took place more than eight centuries earlier. Faced with failure and grief, Blynn is left grappling with a desire to love God. Can Papa help Blynn discover the truth about God's love?
Starring Rich Swingle, Seth Pruski, JC Scott, Garry Nation.
Not rated but Dove Family Approved for All Ages.
In 1918, 18-year-old Ernest Hemingway (Chris O'Donnell) signs up for service in World War I. After a bomb goes off on the front line, filling his leg with shrapnel, Hemingway is transported to a hospital, where he begs Dr. Domenico Caracciolo (Emilio Bonucci) not to amputate. Under the care of 26-year-old Austrian nurse Agnes von Kuroswky (Sandra Bullock), Hemingway slowly recovers. The two begin an affair, but Agnes is torn between the immature young man and the more stable Caracciolo.
Starring Sandra Bullock, Chris O'Donnell.