Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Favorite Historical Films of All Time

Since I am a historical romance author, I thought we could talk about our favorite historical films of all time.

Here are mine, which I’ve categorized according to what has provided me with inspiration for the different periods I have written about.  Sometimes the films are set during the same time period, but other times they simply provided insight for the development of characters.  (For example: The Patriot inspired me when I was writing my Highlander trilogy, even though it was set during the American Revolution.)

American Heiress series:
The Buccaneers
The Age of Innocence
Lilly Langtry
Washington Square
The Way We Live Now
Portrait of a Lady
Wallis and Edward
Pride and Prejudice (I know, I know… Regency period, but still a costume drama/characterization masterpiece in every way.)
Sense and Sensibility

Pembroke Palace Series:
The Madness of King George
North and South
The Secret Garden
Gosford Park
The Remains of the Day
Downton Abbey
Becoming Jane
Amazing Grace

Highlander Trilogy
As background for the Jacobite Rebellion:
The Tudors
Anne of a Thousand Days
Mary Queen of Scots
The Last King
Elizabeth (parts one and two)
Rob Roy
Last of the Mohicans
Horatio Hornblower (great fighting heroism)
Master and Commander (lots of swashbuckling drama)
Rome (interesting characters, no one is all good or all bad)
300 (Hunks with swords)
Phantom of the Opera (tortured Gerard Butler)
Beowulf (more tortured Gerard Butler)
The Patriot
Gods and Generals

Time Travel (Taken by the Cowboy)
Cowboys and Aliens

I’m sure I’m forgetting all kinds of great historical films.  So help me out if you can offer more recommendations.  Or comment on something you saw on the list that inspired you, and share your favorites!

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  1. I am inspired by movies, too, Julianne. I love Sense and Sensibility, but I am more drawn to American settings. Sometimes I love the theme of contemporary film so much I want to make it into a historical--and I have.

  2. I adore Shakespeare in Love! The costumes, the chemistry, the vicarious living in another era feel of it. Plus it has a solid story and witty dialogue.

  3. I've watched a good number of those Julianne! Interesting seeing the list and having read the books and how disparate and similar certain things are. I adore Hornblower by the way. And North and South. Gotta say I wasn't overly fond of Bleak House though.

    The ones I haven't watched on the list make me want to go get them now. The Way We Live Now reminded me of He Knew He Was Right...

  4. Love these movies! I haven't seen Horatio Hornblower in years and loved Ioan Gruffudd in them. Such a hero! I loved Andy Whitfield in Spartacus too. Pride and Prejudice 1995 A&E version is way up there for inspiration as well. Awesome

  5. I love pretty the same historical films as you do, Julianne.

    I'll add: The Sharpe series, The Borgias and of course my Russian obsession, Bednaya Nastya (Poor Anastasia) a mini series set in Imperial Russia during the same time frame as early Victorian England.

  6. I think I own a lot of those. Hey, it's a business expense!
    A couple I loved from more recent history were The Painted Veil and Chariots of Fire.

  7. Great list! Persuasion is a favorite film of mine, and Age of Innocence is one of my favourite novels, though I haven't seen the movie. I used it for inspiration for the New York section of McShannon's Chance.

  8. Awesome list. I'd add Dangerous Liaisons, Beloved, and Impromptu.

  9. That's a great list, Julianne. I can't think of any movies that have influenced my writing, nor songs either. I tend to write based more on what type of book I like to read, so certain books have inspired me to write a certain genre I guess.