Welcome to the Willow and Thatch Period Drama DVD Giveaway, where one person wins 5 of their choices from the following list each time we hold the giveaway.
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.
Please read the following carefully, and then see the next section on how to enter.
This page is a living document, so new titles will be added, and others will be removed when they have been won. The first few times you enter, you’ll want to spend some time reading through all of the available movies and TV series. At the start of a new giveaway, we will highlight any just-added titles (in the How to Enter area), which will also be inserted in the list.
At the end of each short description of a title you’ll see “Read more / watch the trailer.” Click on those words to see ratings, cast information, more plot description and to watch the trailer if it’s available.
There are two sections with the available DVDs. In the first section, period dramas are listed alphabetically. The second section contains period drama collections. While some of these are new in wrap, the majority are previously viewed and from our private collection, and all are for North American players unless noted.
One person will win 5 CHOICES each giveaway. Some titles count as one choice, others count as multiple choices. You must include your choices in your comment to be entered into the giveaway. If a title counts as more than one choice, this information follows the title. Please include that in your comment if you select a title that counts as more than one choice.
The best way to know when the giveaway is happening is to follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter. Please do not enter until you see “The Giveaway is now OPEN” at the top of the How to Enter section and have checked the entry period that follows these words. Also look for the “giveaway bird” on the righthand sidebar of our website, when you are reading on Desktop or Tablet.
You will be able to enter right here by commenting with your 5 choices, and before the start of a new giveaway round, all previous comments will be deleted to make it easier for us to keep track of who is entering the current giveaway.
Winners will be announced here, so check back. To make that easy, BOOKMARK THIS PAGE. Winners will also be contacted by email. You must reply within 2 weeks or forfeit your win. A list of winners is at the end of the page. Most giveaways will run Sunday – Sunday, and will only be open to US and Canada. We believe that the DVDs are in good, playable condition, but no replacements will be made for DVDs that are defective, are undeliverable, or lost in the mail.
How to Enter
New DVDs added this round are: When Calls the Heart (The Christmas Wishing Tree), An Education, All Passion Spent, Far From the Madding Crowd (2015), One Christmas, and Summer in February. See listings below for details.
The Giveaway is now OPEN. Closes Sunday, February 2 at 9:59 PM EST.
One (1) winner will be chosen randomly. Open to residents of the United States and Canada only, aged 18 and older. By law, Canadians must state that they are from Canada at the time of entry. If you fail to mention it at the time of entry another winner will be chosen.
You’ll get two chances to win your 5 CHOICES when you publicly share any of our articles from the Willow and Thatch website to any of your social networks. You can also share The Period Films List.
Then leave a comment here with your 5 choices, and saying what you shared, and where (just the platform – Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter – and your profile / account name like ‘Shared on Twitter as @willowandthatch.’ DO NOT ADD LINKS).
If you want just one chance to win, leave a comment with your 5 choices. (But why not share? Not only will you have another chance at winning, but you will help spread the word about Willow and Thatch. Thank you.) Please note: comments are approved manually, so if you don’t see yours right away, that’s why.
Please scroll down to the last comment to leave yours, instead of leaving it as a reply to someone else’s.
See the Official Rules.
A River Runs Through It (1992): The story about two sons of a stern minister — one reserved, one rebellious — growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing. Read more / watch the trailer.
A Room With a View (1985): In a Florence pensione circa 1900 with English guests, George and his dad offer their rooms with views to Lucy and her chaperone. Lucy and George get acquainted but Lucy returns to England. George and Lucy meet again but now she’s engaged. Read more / watch the trailer.
An Education (2009): A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938): When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard’s absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army. Read more / watch the trailer.
Agatha Christie’s Death On The Nile (1978): Based on the novel of the same name, the British mystery film is set in Egypt in 1937 and features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, played by Peter Ustinov, plus an all-star supporting cast including Maggie Smith, Angela Lansbury, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, David Niven, George Kennedy and Jack Warden. Read more / watch the trailer.
Agatha Christie’s Poirot (The Hollow): Single episode. Poirot stumbles on the murder scene of philandering Dr Christow in a country house as his wife standing next to him with a revolver in her hand. Read more / watch the trailer.
Albert Nobbs (2011): Albert Nobbs struggles to survive in late 19th-century Ireland, where women aren’t encouraged to be independent. Posing as a man so she can work as a butler in Dublin’s most elegant hotel, Albert meets a handsome painter and looks to escape the lie she has been living. Read more / watch the trailer.
All Passion Spent (1986): The acclaimed BBC adaptation of Vita Sackville-West’s beloved novel starring Dame Wendy Hille. Dame Wendy Hiller delivers a delicately nuanced performance in Vita Sackville-West’s classic story of emerging feminist identity in post-Victorian England. Shown on PBS Masterpiece. Read more / watch the trailer.
Anna Karenina (2000): Anna Karenina is the young wife of an older husband. She has an affair with the handsome Count Vronsky. By following her desires, Anna complicates her life. PBS Masterpiece. Read more / watch the trailer.
Aristocrats (1999): Counts as 3 choices. 18th-century England and Ireland viewed through the eyes of four beautiful high-born sisters – Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers. Read more / watch the trailer.
Australia (2008): Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand. Read more / watch the trailer.
Babette’s Feast (1987): During the late 19th century, a strict religious community in a Danish village takes in a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian War as a servant to the late pastor’s daughters. Read more / watch the trailer.
Barry Lyndon (1975): An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband’s aristocratic position in 18th-century England. Read more / watch the trailer.
Beauty and the Beast (1946): A beautiful young woman takes her father’s place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her. Read more / watch the trailer.
Being Julia (2004): In the role that brought her amazing critical acclaim as well as the National Board of Review’s Best Actress Award, Annette Bening plays a beautiful and beguiling actress who finds herself bored with being the toast of the town. Read more / watch the trailer.
Berkeley Square (1998): Three young women from very different backgrounds meet, become friends and share experiences when they all gain positions as nannies in the wealthy households of London’s exclusive Berkeley Square. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Black Stallion (1979): In 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, while traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion who is brought on board and stabled in the ship he is sailing on. When it tragically sinks both he and the horse survive only to be stranded on a desert island. When finally rescued, both return to his home where they soon meet a once-successful trainer. Together they begin training the stallion to race against the fastest horses in the world. Read more / watch the trailer.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967): Bored waitress Bonnie Parker falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, stealing cars and robbing banks. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Book Thief (2013): While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being protected by her adoptive parents. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Bostonians (1984): In Boston in the aftermath of the Civil War, Verena Tarrant, a gifted young orator, has attracted the attention of Olive Chancellor, who wishes to nurture Verena as an inspirational force for the Womens Movement. But ranged against her is Basil Ransom, a handsome male chauvinist, who wants Verena as his wife. Against a backdrop of luminous New England landscapes, battle is joined, and for Olive the struggle will prove an odyssey that forces her to acknowledge her true nature. Read more / watch the trailer.
Brideshead Revisited (2008): The movie version (not the mini-series) of a poignant story of forbidden love and the loss of innocence set in England prior to the Second World War. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Cazalets (2001): Counts as 5 choices. Its 1937 and the storm clouds of World War II gather across Europe. Tensions also simmer beneath the seemingly charmed lives of the Cazalet family. While this grand family saga commences during an idyllic summer at the Cazalets Sussex country estate, the years that follow will see birth, death, marriage, adultery, dementia, intrigue, and war play significant roles. Based on Elizabeth Jane Howards captivating family epic. PBS Masterpiece. Read more / watch the trailer.
Chopin: Desire for Love (2002): A tangled web of unruly passion lies at the center of this drama, chronicling the stormy affair between the great piano virtuoso Frederic Chopin and the flamboyant feminist writer Aurore Dupin, who called herself George Sand. Academy Award nominated Jerzy Antczak directs this sweeping portrayal of the famed composer and his intense but hurtful relationship with George Sand and her children. Read more / watch the trailer.
Cheyenne (Season 1): After the Civil War, nomadic adventurer Cheyenne Bodie roamed the west looking for fights, women, and bad guys to beat up. His job changed from episode to episode. Read more / watch the trailer.
Cinema Paradiso (1988): A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema’s projectionist. Read more / watch the trailer.
Circle of Friends (1995): For everyone who ever though the person they loved was out of their reach. Set in 1957, friends Benny and Eve eagerly escape their dull hometown to attend college in Dublin, where their education really begins. They learn about love and friendship. Read more / watch the trailer.
Coco Before Chanel (2009): The early life of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, the orphan who would build a fashion empire and be known universally by her nickname, Coco. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Color Purple (1985): A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades. Read more / watch the trailer.
Dances with Wolves (1990): Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military. Read more / watch the trailer.
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998): Five unmarried sisters make the most of their simple existence in rural Ireland in the 1930s. Read more / watch the trailer.
Dangerous Liaisons (1988): Two not-so-noble power players in 18th-century France use seduction as a game with a devout wife’s virtue as the ultimate prize. Read more / watch the trailer.
Das Boot (1981): The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror. Read more / watch the trailer.
Days of Heaven (1978): One of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time, this period drama is a moving story about two men who love the same woman. A fugitive from the slums of Chicago, finds himself pitted against a shy, rich Texan for the love of Abby. Read more / watch the trailer.
Dead Poets Society (1989): English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings. Read more / watch the trailer.
Doctor Zhivago (1965): The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist’s wife and experiences hardship during World War I and then the October Revolution. Read more / watch the trailer.
Driving Miss Daisy (1989): An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Durrells in Corfu (Season 1): Counts as 3 choices. Based on naturalist Gerald Durrell’s much-loved trilogy of novels, “The Durrells in Corfu” sees impoverished but sparky widow Louisa Durrell make the radical decision to leave 1930s England to seek out a new destiny for her family. PBS Masterpiece. Read more / watch the trailer.
Elizabeth (1998): The early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch. Read more / watch the trailer.
Elizabeth I (2005): This two-part miniseries starring Helen Mirren explores the intersection of the public and private life of Queen Elizabeth I in the latter half of her reign. Read more / watch the trailer.
Elvira Madigan (1967): Set in an idyllic Danish forest in 1859, the Danish tightrope dancer Elvira Madigan meets Lieutenant Sixten Sparre, a Swedish officer who is married and has two children. They both decide to run away, leading to tragic consequences. Read more / watch the trailer.
Emma (1996): While matchmaking for friends and neighbors, a young 19th-century Englishwoman nearly misses her own chance at love. Read more / watch the trailer.
Emma (2009): Counts as 2 choices. This BBC WGBH/Boston Co-Production features an all-star cast including Romola Garai as Emma. Beautiful, clever, and rich Emma Woodhouse is convinced she is good at matchmaking after her older sister and her governess both marry suitable husbands. So begins a story which challenges Emma’s naivety and her social preconceptions. Fresh and funny, this perceptive adaptation brings Jane Austen’s comic masterpiece to life. Read more / watch the trailer.
The English Patient (1996): At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair. Read more / watch the trailer.
Far from the Madding Crowd (1998): Bathsheba Everdene, a vain, pretty girl has recently taken over her uncle’s farm. Her independent, naïve personality leaves her torn between the three men who wish to marry her. PBS Masterpiece. Read more / watch the trailer.
Far from the Madding Crowd (2015): Bathsheba Everdene catches the eye of local farmer Gabriel Oak when she arrives to live with her aunt in Dorset. Declining his offer of marriage, their lives continue to intertwine as fate brings contrasting fortunes to both of them. Read more / watch the trailer.
Finding Neverland (2005): A magical tale about one of the world’s greatest storytellers and the people who inspired his masterwork Peter Pan. Read more / watch the trailer.
Fingersmith (2005): In this BBC series set in Victorian England, Sue, a young thief, participates in a scam to defraud a rich heiress by becoming her maid. Things take an unexpected turn and Sue’s plan goes horribly wrong. Read more / watch the trailer.
Florence Foster Jenkins (Blu-ray + DVD): Set in 1940s New York, “Florence Foster Jenkins” is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her husband and manager, St. Clair Bayfield, an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge. Read more / watch the trailer.
For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada (2012): An ex-war hero leads a ragtag group of rebels in their fight for religious freedom against Mexico’s anticlerical government in the 1920s. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Forsyte Saga (2002): Counts as 2 choices. Complete series. Chronicles the lives of three generations of the upper-middle-class British family, the Forsytes, from the 1870s to 1920. PBS Masterpiece. Read more / watch the trailer.
Freedom (2014): Experience the world that inspired the great hymn “Amazing Grace”! Samuel Woodward and his family escape from slavery in 1856 and travel north along the Underground Railroad to freedom. A century earlier, his own great-grandfather journeys toward slavery in America aboard John Newton’s ship. What happened on that voyage that changed the captain so profoundly? Read more / watch the trailer.
The Game of Death (2000): A man joins a secret club for those who are seeking to end their lives, only to rediscover his will to live upon meeting the club’s only female member. Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s short story “The Suicide Club.” Read more / watch the trailer.
Genius (2017): The private life of the 20th century’s most brilliant icon, Albert Einstein, was full of passionate, volatile relationships. Read more / watch the trailer.
Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003): A young peasant maid working in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth) becomes his talented assistant and the model for one of his most famous works. Read more / watch the trailer.
Gosford Park (2001): The lives of upstairs guests and downstairs servants at a party in 1932 in a country house in England as they investigate a murder involving one of them. Read more / watch the trailer.
Grey Gardens (2009): The feature film depicting the lives of two eccentric, mutually dependent women play out in a decaying house known as Grey Gardens. Read more / watch the trailer.
Hamlet (1996): Kenneth Branagh writes, directs and stars in this four-time Oscar® nominated classic Shakespeare saga about the melancholy Dane. The only unabridged film version of the classic play, here updated to the 19th century. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Help (2012): In 1960’s Mississippi, a young journalist roils her community when she interviews the domestic staffs who serve the town’s wealthy white families but have remained largely invisible until now. Read more / watch the trailer.
Henry V (1989): In the midst of the Hundred Years War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415. Read more / watch the trailer.
Henry IX: The Lost King: Documentary. Henry Frederick Stuart was the best king Britain never had. The son of King James I of England and Queen Anne, he started the British Museum and the Royal Collection and was the first royal prince to back a permanent settlement on American soil in the early 1700s. This immersive documentary resurrects this forgotten prince from the shadows of history and reveals the tragedy of his lost potential. Read more / watch the trailer.
Hope and Glory (1987): British writer/director John Boorman draws us into an astonishing and exhilarating portrait of his own childhood, set against the terrors of a London torn apart by the onset of WWII. Seven-year-old Billy Rohan finds his childhood to be a time of great danger and even greater discovery. Billy’s young life is shaped and even enriched by the one positive thing war has brought him: liberation from the ordinary. Read more / watch the trailer.
In Love And War (1996): The true love story about a courageous nurse and the heart she stole along with the lives she saved, inspiring Ernest Hemingway to write “A Farewell to Arms.” Read more / watch the trailer.
In the Mood for Love (2000): Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs. Read more / watch the trailer.
I Remember Nelson (1982): Worshipped as a national savior, Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson masterminded the naval victories that thwarted Napoleon’s plans to invade Britain. Yet, in the midst of public adulation, rumors swirled about his private life. Nelson took a friend’s wife as a mistress and even fathered a child by her in secret. What emerges is an unconventional portrait of a complex figure and a study in the effects of fame. PBS Masterpiece. Read more / watch the trailer.
Iron Jawed Angels (2004): Defiant young activists take the women’s suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote. Read more / watch the trailer.
Jamestown (Seasons 1 & 2): Counts as 2 choices. 1619, Virginia: on what feels like the edge of the world sits the first British colony of Jamestown. For 12 years, it has been populated only by men, but the settlement is shaken up when the first women, including Alice, Verity and Jocelyn, land in this breathtaking wilderness. The new arrivals make an immediate impact and are thrust into a new world of love, desire, power and survival. PBS Masterpiece. Read more / watch the trailer.
Jane Eyre (2011) Blu-ray: When orphaned governess Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) arrives at imposing Thornfield Hall, she’s intrigued by her brooding wealthy employer, Rochester (Michael Fassbender). His dark moods and the strange occurrences in the house lead her to discover a terrible secret that he had hoped to hide from her forever. Read more / watch the trailer.
Jericho of Scotland Yard (2005): Chief Inspector Michael Jericho of Scotland Yard is a respected, uncompromising and forward-thinking detective investigating high-profile murders in 1950s London. The series is set in a fascinating period of Britain’s social history, when London saw an explosion of shifting attitudes after the Second World War. Includes episodes A Pair of Ragged Claws, and The Killing of Johnny Swan. Read more / watch the trailer.
John Adams (2008): Counts as 2 choices. The award-winning, seven-part HBO miniseries about American Founding Father John Adams. Read more / watch the trailer.
Joyeux Noel (2005): In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other’s way of life. Read more / watch the trailer.
Julia (1977): At the behest of an old and dear friend, playwright Lillian Hellman undertakes a dangerous mission to smuggle funds into Nazi Germany. Read more / watch the trailer.
Julie & Julia (2009): Julia Child’s story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book. Read more / watch the trailer.
La France (2007): French farm girl Camille is awaiting news of her husband, who is fighting at the front during the Great War. After she receives an enigmatic letter ending their relationship, she dresses up as a boy and joins a wandering regiment in search of her estranged love. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Last Station (2009): A historical drama that illustrates Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s struggle to balance fame and wealth with his commitment to a life devoid of material things. Starring Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren. Read more / watch the trailer.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962): The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Life of Verdi (1982): Giuseppe Verdi was born in 1813 and lived until 1901, his life spanning nearly a century of political turmoil and considerable personal turmoil. This 1982 biographical television miniseries, as seen on PBS’s Great Performances, dramatizes the life of this classic Italian composer known for operas including La Traviata, Rigoletto, and Aida and his Requiem. Read more / watch the trailer.
Little Dorrit (2008): This BBC / PBS mini-series tells the story of Amy Dorrit, who spends her days earning money for the family and looking after her proud father, who is a long term inmate of Marshalsea debtors’ prison in London. Amy and her family’s world is transformed when her boss’ son, Arthur Clennam, returns from overseas to solve his family’s mysterious legacy and discovers that their lives are interlinked. Read more / watch the trailer.
Little House on the Prairie (Premiere movie): The pilot movie for the long-running TV series based on the young adult book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The life and adventures of the Ingalls family in the nineteenth century American Midwest. Read more / watch the trailer.
Little Women (1994): The March sisters live and grow in post-Civil War America. Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Living and the Dead (2016): Counts as 2 choices. In this BBC TV series, a young couple inherit a farm, and they are determined to turn it into a success, but strange supernatural forces soon intervene, threatening their marriage and their lives. Read more / watch the trailer.
Long Day’s Journey into Night (1962): Alcohol, morphine, illness and stinginess doom a family in 1912 Connecticut. Directed by Sidney Lumet. From the Eugene O’Neill play. Read more / watch the trailer.
Love Finds a Home (2009): The final chapter from popular novelist Janette Oke’s “Love Comes Softly” series of books arrives on the screen in a tale of new frontiers. Belinda once again faces decisions about her life that are no less difficult than before. A very unexpected responsibility makes the choice even harder. Read more / watch the trailer.
Love’s Long Journey (2005): The third chapter from popular novelist Janette Oke’s “Love Comes Softly” series of books arrives on the screen in a tale of new frontiers. Missie is pregnant, and it’s time that her and husband Willie strike out on their own and begin life anew. Read more / watch the trailer.
Macbeth (1971): A ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord seizes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and a trio of witches. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962): A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy. Read more / watch the trailer.
Mansfield Park (1983): In this BBC TV mini-series based on the Jane Austen novel, impoverished Fanny Price is sent to live with her more affluent uncle and aunt. The arrival of new neighbors brings a chance for romance to Fanny and her cousins. Read more / watch the trailer.
Marcel Proust’s Time Regained (1999): Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is on his deathbed. Looking at photographs brings memories of his childhood, his youth, his lovers, and the way the Great War put an end to a stratum of society. Read more / watch the trailer.
Matewan (1987): Counts as 3 choices. Written and directed by John Sayles, this wrenching historical drama recounts the true story of a West Virginia coal town where the local miners’ struggle to form a union rose to the pitch of all out war in 1920. When the town of Matewan’s miners go on strike, organizer Joe Kenehan arrives to help them, uniting workers white and black, Appalachia born and immigrant, while urging patience in the face of the coal company’s violent provocations. With a crackerjack ensemble cast and Oscar nominated cinematography, “Matewan” taps into a rich vein of Americana with painstaking attention to local texture, issuing an impassioned cry for justice that still resounds today. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Mayor of Casterbridge (1978): Counts as 2 choices. Note: has a minute long bit of damage on the 2nd episode. As an adaptation of a classic, this BBC dramatization of Thomas Hardy’s heart-wrenching novel is remarkably loyal to the original. The incomparable Alan Bates manages to make the mature Michael Henchard, the flawed protagonist, sympathetic, despite his galling youthful misdeeds. Anna Massey is his poignant co-star. Read more / watch the trailer.
Mercy Street (Season 1): Based on real events, this PBS series takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of a distinctive cast of characters — doctors, nurses, contraband laborers and Southern loyalists — realizing the chaotic world of Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia, and the Mansion House Hospital in the early years of the Civil War. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Mission (1986): In this epic, unforgettable film, eighteenth century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal. The true story of two men – a man of the sword (Robert De Niro) and a man of the cloth (Jeremy Irons). Read more / watch the trailer.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008): Guinevere Pettigrew, a middle-aged London governess, finds herself unfairly dismissed from her job. An attempt to gain new employment catapults her into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse. Read more / watch the trailer.
Molière (2007): A comedic period drama. Imprisoned for debt, playwright Molière is rescued by an aristocrat who needs his help in order to seduce a young marquise. Read more / watch the trailer.
Murdoch Mysteries (Season 1): In the 1890s, William Murdoch uses radical forensic techniques for the time, including fingerprinting and trace evidence, to solve some of the city’s most gruesome murders. Read more / watch the trailer.
Newsies (1992): A musical based on the New York City newsboy strike of 1899. When young newspaper sellers are exploited beyond reason by their bosses they set out to enact change and are met by the ruthlessness of big business. Read more / watch the trailer.
North & South (1975): Counts as 2 choices. In this Victorian era BBC mini-series based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, a young woman is uprooted from her idyllic village in Southern England, has her eyes opened to class warfare in the industrial North, and receives a surprising marriage proposal. Read more / watch the trailer.
North and South (1985): Counts as 2 choices. The Complete Collection. Two friends, one northern and one southern, struggle to maintain their friendship as events build towards the American Civil War. Read more / watch the trailer.
Northanger Abbey (1987): A taste for melodrama from reading too many Gothic novels is almost Catherine Morland’s downfall when she falls in love with Henry Tilney. Invited to stay at Northanger Abbey, she finds evidence of a sinister family secret. A BBC mini-series based on the Jane Austen novel. Read more / watch the trailer.
Oliver Twist (1999): In this television mini-series, an orphan named Oliver Twist meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master. PBS Masterpiece. Read more / watch the trailer.
One Christmas (1994): An 8 year old boy visits his estranged father for the holidays in 1930s New Orleans. Stars Katharine Hepburn. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Others (2001): A woman who lives in her darkened old family house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that the home is haunted. Read more / watch the trailer.
Outlander (Season 1, Volume 1): The first 8 episodes of Season 1. An English combat nurse from 1945 is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. Read more / watch the trailer.
Outlander (Season 2): An English combat nurse from 1945 is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. Read more / watch the trailer.
Pearl Harbor (2001): A tale of war and romance mixed in with history. The story follows two lifelong friends and a beautiful nurse who are caught up in the horror of an infamous Sunday morning in 1941. Read more / watch the trailer.
Persuasion (1971): A BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel about lost and found love. Anne is persuaded to reject a proposition of marriage from the man she loves due to his lack of fortune. Years later she is made the offer again. Read more / watch the trailer.
Persuasion (1995): Seven years after their breakup, a spinster and an impoverished sailor attempt to rekindle their aborted romance. Read more / watch the trailer.
Persuasion (2007): Counts as 2 choices. Jane Austen’s romantic masterpiece in a thrilling new production from the BBC and Masterpiece Theatre. Anne Elliot fell deeply in love with the handsome young naval officer Frederick Wentworth at the age of nineteen. But Anne was persuaded to break off her engagement. Eight years later, Anne has lived to regret her decision. She never stopped loving Wentworth, and when he returns from sea with a fortune and rank, she can only watch as every eligible young woman in the district falls at his feet. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Portrait of a Lady (1968): Counts as 2 choices. A 6-episode BBC adaptation of the Henry James story of a young American woman who enters into a disastrous marriage in 1800s Italy, starring Richard Chamberlain and Suzanne Neve. Best known for his novels the chronicle the passions and missteps of 19th century Americans in Europe, Henry James continues to appeal to modern sensibilities with his deep understanding of character. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981): The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Prestige (2006): In Victorian London, after a tragic accident, two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion while sacrificing everything they have to outwit each other. Read more / watch the trailer.
Pride and Prejudice (1980): A BBC adaptation of the Jane Austen classic. While the arrival of wealthy gentlemen sends her marriage-minded mother into a frenzy, willful and opinionated Elizabeth Bennet matches wits with haughty Mr. Darcy. Read more / watch the trailer.
Pride and Prejudice (1995): The definitive “Pride and Prejudice” and the most successful TV period drama ever. This BBC/A&E co-production pulsates with energy as lively, witty Elizabeth Bennet charms smouldering, haughty Darcy against a backdrop of a picture postcard countryside, small-town assembly rooms and stately English homes. Read more / watch the trailer.
Pride & Prejudice (2005): Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice? Read more / watch the trailer.
The Promise (2016): Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris – a renowned American journalist based in Paris. Read more / watch the trailer.
Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002): In 1931, three half-white, half-Aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their houses to be trained as domestic staff, and set off on a journey across the Outback. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Railway Children (2000): Counts as 2 choices. A dramatization of E. Nesbit’s classic novel about three children whose lives change forever after they move to a Yorkshire cottage near a railway line. PBS Masterpiece. Includes the book. Read more / watch the trailer.
Revolutionary Road (2008): A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children. Read more / watch the trailer.
Romeo and Juliet (1968): The classic version. When the now famous “star crossed lovers” of two enemy families meet, forbidden love ensues. Read more / watch the trailer.
Scrooge (1970): A musical retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic novel about an old bitter miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Secret of Roan Inish (1994): Young Fiona lives with her grandparents in a small fishing village where she takes an active role to unravel the mysterious secrets. Read more / watch the trailer.
Sense and Sensibility (1981): A BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s tale of two devoted sisters with totally differing attitudes to life and love. Filmed on location in the stately homes of picturesque Dorset and Somerset. Read more / watch the trailer.
Sense and Sensibility (1995): Based on Jane Austen’s classic novel, the period drama tells of the Dashwood sisters, sensible Elinor and passionate Marianne, whose chances at marriage seem doomed by their family’s sudden loss of fortune. Read more / watch the trailer.
Sense & Sensibility (2008): Counts as 5 choices. In this BBC / PBS adaptation of Jane Austen’s story, Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve when she falls in love with the charming but unsuitable John Willoughby, ignoring her sister Elinor’s warnings. Elinor struggles to conceal her own romantic disappointment. Will the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love? Includes the movie “Jane Austen Regrets.” Read more / watch the trailer.
Seven Samurai (1954): One of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, the historical drama tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This three-hour ride seamlessly weaves philosophy and entertainment, delicate human emotions and relentless action, into a rich, evocative, and unforgettable tale of courage and hope. Read more / watch the trailer.
Shakespeare In Love (1998): A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays. Read more / watch the trailer.
Shane (1953): A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act. Read more / watch the trailer.
Sherlock Holmes (2009): Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England. Read more / watch the trailer.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011): Detective Sherlock Holmes is on the trail of criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, who is carrying out a string of random crimes across Europe. Read more / watch the trailer.
Somewhere in Time (1980): Get swept away by one of the most beloved romances ever in this powerful story of a writer who sacrifices his life in the present to find love in the past in the year 1912. Read more / watch the trailer.
Sons & Lovers (2003): Counts as 5 choices. A powerful, passionate adaptation of the classic DH Lawrence novel about love, sex and family starring Sarah Lancashire as Gertrude Morel, “Sons and Lovers” is a drama about the fragility of human relationships. Gertrude pours all of her love into her relationship with her youngest son who tries to put her wishes before his own as he struggles to find his own way in the world. Read more / watch the trailer.
Sorrell and Son (1984): Counts as 5 choices. Spanning two decades of tragedy and joy, this faithful adaptation of Warwick Deeping’s best-selling novel tells the story of Stephen Sorrell, a decorated British army officer, who returns home after the First World War to face unemployment, poverty and his wife’s desertion. Determined to educate his son as a gentleman, Sorrell is forced to accept exhausting and demeaning jobs in order to provide him with the best possibilities for a brighter future. PBS Masterpiece. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Sound of Music (1965): In this true-life story, Julie Andrews lights up the screen as Maria, a spirited young Austrian woman who leaves the convent to become a governess for Captain von Trapp’s seven unruly children. Her charm and songs soon win the hearts of the children – and their father. But when Nazi Germany unites with Austria, Maria is forced to attempt a daring escape with her new family. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Story of Adele H (1975): Halifax, 1863. A young woman, miss Lewly, comes to Halifax to search for Leuitenant Pinson, whom she is madly in love with. Actually, she is Adele Hugo, the second daughter of the great French poet. Read more / watch the trailer.
Summer in February (2014): 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. Read more / watch the trailer.
Sweet Land (2005): In 1920, Inge, a German national, travels from Norway to rural Minnesota for her arranged marriage to Olaf, a Norwegian farmer; bureaucracy and prejudice cause major complications. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996): BBC’s adaptation of Anne Bronte’s classic story. In a remote village on the Yorkshire moors, a beautiful widow and her son move into the near-derelict Wildfell Hall. Befriended by a handsome farmer, she remains mysteriously silent about her past and why she is afraid – until she becomes the focus of malicious village gossip. Read more / watch the trailer.
Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1998): A free-spirited yet naive country girl is caught between her wealthy, manipulative “cousin” Alec and the handsome, educated farmer Angel Clare in this Victorian tragedy from novelist Thomas Hardy. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948): Two Americans searching for work in Mexico convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Read more / watch the trailer.
Tuck Everlasting (2002): A young woman meets and falls in love with a young man who is part of a family of immortals. Includes the book by Natalie Babbitt. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Tudors (Season 1): The tumultuous early years of King Henry VIII’s nearly 40-year, omnipotent reign (1509-1547) of England. In addition to his famous female consorts and 20+ year marriage to Catherine of Aragon and the infamous dalliance with Anne Boleyn, the series delves into Henry’s most notable political relationship and the deconstruction of the Roman Catholic Church in England. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Turn of the Screw (1999): This PBS Masterpiece period drama based on the classic novel by Henry James stars Colin Firth, Pam Ferris and Jodhi May. A naive, young governess is hired by a charming bachelor to look after his two young children in a grand mansion in rural England. Her first impressions are all goodthe house is beautiful, the housekeeper is friendly, the children are lovely and the job is a perfect delight. When apparitions begin to haunt her, she believes that she alone can save the children. Read more / watch the trailer.
12 Years a Slave (2013): Based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist forever alters his life. Read more / watch the trailer.
Under the Greenwood Tree (2005): In this lighthearted BBC romance from Victorian novelist Thomas Hardy, the beautiful new village school teacher is pursued by three suitors: a working-class man, a landowner, and the vicar. Read more / watch the trailer.
Vera Drake (2004): Based on a true story, Vera Drake, a woman in 1950s England secretly aids women to terminate unwanted pregnancies. When the authorities find her out, Vera’s world and family life unravel. Read more / watch the trailer.
War and Peace (1966): Counts as 2 choices. Eight-hour epic. At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet film industry set out to prove it could outdo Hollywood with a production that would dazzle the world: a titanic, awe-inspiring adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic tome in which the fates of three souls—the blundering, good-hearted Pierre; the heroically tragic Prince Andrei; and the radiant, tempestuous Natasha—collide amid the tumult of the Napoleonic Wars. Read more / watch the trailer.
War Horse (2011): Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert’s hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Way We Live Now (2001): Anthony Trollope’s epic tale of Victorian power and corruption captures the turmoil as the old order is swept aside by the brash new forces of business and finance. It is packed with the trials and tribulations of young love, the enduring values of honorable men, the raw energy of one of the most powerful cities in the world, and the greed and corruption that lay below its glittering surface. Read more / watch the trailer.
When Calls the Heart (The Heart of the Community): Single episode of the family-friendly period series set on the frontier. The town carnival is a chance for Elizabeth to raise money for the school and help a young boy connect with his father. Read more / watch the trailer.
When Calls the Heart (The Christmas Wishing Tree): Single episode (S5) of the family-friendly period series set on the frontier. The return of a loved one, the renewal of the Christmas spirit, and hope for a miracle are some lofty Christmas wishes. But, with the help of a Wishing Tree, the town of Hope Valley discovers that wishes can be granted in the most unexpected ways. Read more / watch the trailer.
Wish Me Luck (The Complete Collection): Counts as 5 choices. A British TV series exploring the lives and the very brave work of female undercover agents who worked behind enemy lines during the Second World War. Read more / watch the trailer.
Wives and Daughters (1999): BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel. Set in a richly portrayed society well-stocked with eccentric nobles and gossipy villagers, the story centers around 17-year-old Molly Gibson, the only daughter of a respected country Doctor. Read more / watch the trailer.
Wodehouse In Exile (2013): In 1941, PG Wodehouse was released from internment in Germany and persuaded by the German Foreign Office to record five infamous broadcasts to the USA, wittily relating his experiences of camp life. What had been a hit with his fellow internees was met with anger back in England. He had become a pawn in one of the biggest propaganda battles of the war between Germany and the Allies. Read more / watch the trailer.
Wolf Hall (2015): After the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey, his secretary, Thomas Cromwell, finds himself amongst the treachery and intrigue of King Henry VIII’s court and soon becomes a close advisor to the King, a role fraught with danger. Read more / watch the trailer.
Youth Without Youth (2007): A love story wrapped in a mystery. Set in Europe before WWII, a timid professor is changed by a cataclysmic event and explores the mysteries of life. Read more / watch the trailer.
Zulu (1964): Michael Caine stars in this epic story of the battle of Rorke’s Drift, on January 22nd 1879, where 1,200 British troops found themselves completely outnumbered by irate Zulu warriors in Natal, South Africa. The two lieutenants in charge of the garrison, Jon Chard and Gonville Bromhead, are at odds with each other, but manage to rally the men together and put up a courageous fight. Read more / watch the trailer.
Period Drama Collections
British Cinema Collection (Volume 3): Counts as 2 choices. Get into the spirit of British period drama with this collection of 8 movies. With stars like Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Colin Firth, Daniel Craig and Michael Caine, this eight-film collection certainly has Hollywood royalty on its side. All the drama and excitement of British cinema is captured here in classic adaptations and contemporary tales. Includes the following films: “Jane Eyre,” “Becoming Jane,” “Ethan Frome,” “Serpent’s Kiss,” ”Brideshead Revisited,” “The Advocate,” “Love and Rage,” and “Jekyll and Hyde.” Read more / watch the trailer.
The Elizabeth Gaskell Collection (BBC): Counts as 5 choices. Three BBC miniseries adapted from Mary Gaskell’s classic novels. In “Cranford,” a market town in the North West of England is a place governed by etiquette, custom and above all, an intricate network of ladies. It seems that life has always been conducted according to their social rules, but Cranford is on the cusp of change. “North & South” follows Margaret Hale, the daughter of a middle-class parson who uproots the family from rural southern England to start a new life in Milton – a northern mill town in the throes of the industrial revolution. “Wives and Daughters” is set in a richly portrayed society well-stocked with eccentric nobles and gossipy villagers. The well-ordered world of 17-year-old Molly Gibson becomes complicated when her father, a respected country doctor, remarries after many years of widowhood. Read more / watch the trailer.
The George Eliot Collection (BBC): Counts as 5 choices. From the BBC Classics line comes to life an assortment of all-star casts in five of George Eliot’s beautifully astute literary works, all lovingly portrayed in critically acclaimed productions from the BBC. This 5-disc set includes Adam Bede, Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe, The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch, and Daniel Deronda. Read more / watch the trailer.
The Jane Austen Collection (BBC): Counts as 3 choices. Lovingly remastered BBC original productions of six of Jane Austen’s finest novels – Sense & Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. These classic romances of the 18th century spring vividly to life on the screen. Full of wit and charm, with an equal amount of humor and drama. Read more / watch the trailer.
Masterpiece Classic: Classic English Literature Collection (Volume 1): Counts as 5 choices. With a tradition of great writers stretching back many hundreds of years, England’s reputation as a producer of literary giants is well deserved. Now this incredible collection from PBS brings the lives and work of some of the greatest names in English literature to life in a new and exciting way. Includes Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Northanger Abbey. Read more / watch the trailer.
Masterpiece Classic: Classic English Literature Collection (Volume 2): Counts as 5 choices. Following the success of Classic English Literature Volume 1, PBS is proud to present the Second Volume of this revealing and entertaining look into the work and lives of some of the greatest authors in history. The films include The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Mansfield Park, The Turn of the Screw, and A Room with a View. Read more / watch the trailer.
Masterpiece Theatre’s Family Collection: Counts as 5 choices. PBS Masterpiece mini-series for the whole family include “Carrie’s War,” “Goodbye Mr. Chips,” “Pollyanna,” and “The Railway Children.” Read more / watch the trailer.
Romantic Movie Favorites (Box Set): Counts as 2 choices. This collection features nine classic romance movies with star performances by Faye Dunaway, Susan Sarandon, Richard Chamberlain, and Blythe Danner among many others. The films included are: “The Last of the Belles,” “Arch of Triumph,” “Promise of Love,” Jane Eyre” (1971), “The Right-Hand Man,” “The Gamble,” “Hazards of the Heart,” and “Lady and the Highwayman.” Read more / watch the trailer.
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Round 7 winner: Julie W. with “Little Women,” “Spartacus,” “War Horse,” “When Calls the Heart” (The Heart of the Community), and “When Calls the Heart” (Rules of Engagement). Congrats!
Round 6 winner: Kay E with “Berkeley Square,” “Bomb Girls,” “Gone with the Wind,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” and “Angela’s Ashes.”
Round 5 winner: Howard B. with “Lincoln,” “Seabiscuit,” “Deadwood (Season 1),””Atonement,” and “The King’s Speech.” Congrats!
Round 4 winner: Forfeited by failure to respond within 2 weeks.
Round 3 winner: Linda P with “Catherine Cookson Collection.” Congrats!
Round 2 winner: Lisa W with “Upstairs, Downstairs.” Congrats!
Round 1 winner: John S with “Great Cinema” (15 Classic Films 1), “Great Cinema” (15 Classic Films 2) and “A Christmas Carol.” Congrats!
If you enjoyed this post, wander over to The Period Films List to discover the best historical, costume, and period dramas to watch, all sorted by era and theme.