25 Period Pieces That Will Completely Transport You

The only thing better than a great romantic movie is a great romantic period piece. There’s just something about the costumes that makes the love feel that much more dramatic. Usually, the stakes are higher — money or illness or the lack of cell phones are the reason the couple is pulled apart. They have to steal away to dark corners to share clandestine moments. Throw in a corset, and you make the heaving bosoms that much more pronounced. You can't help but swoon.

Ahead, we rounded up 30 sweet, sexy, romantic period pieces you will love — and you can stream them all from the comfort of your couch.

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Courtesy of Sony Picture.
An Education (2009)

Time Period: England, 1960s

We wish Peter Sarsgaard would whisk us off to Paris.
Courtesy of Lionsgate.
The English Patient (1996)

Time Period: Europe, 1940s

This Academy Award winner from Anthony Minghella is stunning — just what you want from a quality period piece.
Courtesy of NBC Universal.
Atonement (2007)

Time Period: England, 1940s

The Keira Knightley drama isn’t as good as the Ian McKewan novel it’s based on, but that green dress is pretty much everything.
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Moulin Rouge (2001)

Time Period: France, 1900s

Sure, they didn’t really sing “Lady Marmalade” in 1900, but there’s nothing sadder than the doomed romance between Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman.
Courtesy of Focus Features.
Gosford Park (2001)

Time Period: England, 1930s

Before Downton Abbey, there was Gosford Park, which had all the scandal of our favourite BBC series and Maggie Smith.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
The Notebook (2004)

Time Period: United States, 1940s

Admit it: The reason this film is so good is because of the costumes.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Gone With The Wind (1939)

Time Period: United States, 1860s

We won’t get into all of the problems with this movie. Instead, we’ll just focus on the ultimate love triangle: Rhett/Scarlett/Ashley. What Scarlett ever saw in Ashley is beyond us.
Courtesy of TriStar Pictures.
A River Runs Through It (1992)

Time Period: United States, 1920s

Forget about Legends of the Fall. This is the Brad Pitt period piece you’ll want to watch over and over (though it’s almost guaranteed to make you cry).
Photo by Laurie Sparham, courtesy of Focus Features.
Jane Eyre (2011)

Time Period: England, 1840s

This faithful adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic captures the longing and heartache of the novel perfectly.
Courtesy of Lionsgate.
Restoration (1995)

Time Period: England, 17th century

An oft-overlooked Robert Downey Jr. movie (before the rehab and the Iron Man success) about a doctor in 17th-century England who becomes a favourite of the court of Charles II.
Courtesy of FOX.
The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Time Period: Colonial America, 1750s

Oh, Hawkeye! This movie made you cry in 10th-grade English class. Why not watch it again to really appreciate the skills of Daniel Day-Lewis?
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Age of Innocence (1993)

Time Period: United States, turn of the 20th century

Michelle Pfeiffer, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Winona Ryder are all magnificent in this sumptuous New York drama from Martin Scorsese.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Time Period: Russia, 1910s

It’s long, it’s sad, it’s freezing. But, in the end, you’ll be thankful you don’t live in early-20th-century Russia.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
A Very Long Engagement (2004)

Time Period: France, 19th century

Audrey Tautou searches for her lost love in this gorgeous French film.
Courtesy of MGM.
Raise The Red Lantern (1992)

Time Period: China, 1920s

An unbelievably beautiful and heartbreaking film, which received an Academy Award nod for Best Foreign Language Film.
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Dreamgirls (2006)

Time Period: United States, 1960s

This movie is more about the music than the romance, but you can’t deny Beyoncé’s amazing costumes.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

Time Period: France, early 18th century

Michelle Pfeiffer at her finest.
Courtesy of Merchant-Ivory.
A Room With A View (1985)

Time Period: Edwardian England

A lovely little film (with a young Helena Bonham Carter!) that should be watched yearly.
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Marie Antoinette (2006)

Time Period: France, late 18th century

Plenty of people hated this Sofia Coppola confection, but oh the costumes!
Courtesy of Lionsgate.
Shakespeare In Love (1998)

Time Period: Elizabethan England

Gwyneth Paltrow is near perfect in this classic romantic comedy.
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Little Women (1994)

Time period: United States, 1860s

Most of us count Laurie among our first great fictional crushes. And, who didn’t long for a pretty dress to wear to Sallie Gardiner’s ball — or a chance to tour Europe with Aunt March?
Courtesy of Universal Studios.
Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Time period: England, 1810s

We can argue at length over which version of Jane Austen’s classic is best — the 1995 BBC miniseries or the 2005 film adaptation. When push comes to shove, though, and Mr. Darcy declares his love, it doesn’t really matter, does it?
Courtesy of Sony Pictures.
A Single Man (2009)

Time Period: United States, 1960s

Tom Ford’s directorial debut is visually gorgeous, and Colin Firth was at his finest in his turn as a gay professor dealing with his grief after the death of his longtime partner.
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Titanic (1997)

Time Period: 1912

One of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century. But, boy, did we long to wear Rose’s dress from the dinner scene.
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Time Period: England, 1810s

Emma Thompson was just a hair too old to play Elinor, but Hugh Grant was in his element as the shy and slightly bumbling Edward. Even in the early 19th century it seemed a little weird that someone as old as Alan Rickman would marry someone as young and beautiful as Kate Winslet. Yet, somehow it totally works.
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