10 Romantic Historical Movies

Friday, February 11 by Anwar Jefferson-George

If you're tired of watching chick flick fluff and would much rather prefer to educate yourself while you and your girlfriend let your brains vegetate, this list of the top 10 romantic historical movies ought to be perfect. Why not watch something you'll both enjoy for once?

  1. "The Princess Bride" (1987) - A tale of cunning revenge, a foul prince and a lovely princess, this is a romantic classic you've probably heard of before. As true love rushes to the lady's aid in the form of an outcast pirate, treachery awaits, accompanied by a healthy dose of humor.
  2. "Pride and Prejudice" (2005) Taken from the classic Jane Austen historical romance, this tale of five distinctly different sisters sees them hunting after potential suitors. Unfortunately, there are only two eligible men, and one has a problem with his attitude.
  3. "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) - A historical "what if" situation places England's greatest bard in a sticky situation after he falls in love with a woman disguised as a boy actor. His writers block doesn't make things any easier, but it does lend to the comedic value the film bears.
  4. "A Knight's Tale" (2001) - A great performance from the late Heath Ledger, a in a new twist on the rags to riches theme. A peasant pretends to be a knight after the death of his noble master, winning fame and romantic love through competition.
  5. "Emma" (1996) - Another romantic Austen classic, Emma stars Gwyneth Paltrow as the worst matchmaker in Georgian England. Although she cannot recognize the compatibility of the men and women she serves, she continues with perseverance, when in fact she should be taking care of her own problems. Fortunately, things don't turn out all bad.
  6. "Anne of the Thousand Days" (1969) - A classic historical period drama that details the real circumstances behind the execution of Anne Boleyn. In 1536 Henry VIII considers whether or not to execute his current wife and move on to the next in a gruesome flashback that reveals a lover's quarrel that  affects a nation and ultimately ends in tragedy.
  7. "Tristan and Isolde"  (2006) - This romantic historical movie about love in the midst of war begins at the end of the Roman Empire and beginning of the Dark Ages. Tristan, a young Cornish warrior, falls in love with Isolde, an Irish maiden who rescues him from treachery through circumstances beyond either of their control. As she is promised to Tristan's Lord, their love will pass through many obstacles.
  8. "The Country of Monte Cristo" (2002) – The classic revenge tale, this movie has to be seen to be believed. When a man is exiled from his home through treachery, he has to escape from prison and fight off smugglers, thieves and eventually rescue own son from the noble who betrayed him in the first place.
  9. "Gone With the Wind" (1936)  - Set in the midst on the American Civil War, this historical Southern classic follows a young woman who tries desperately to find lasting love in the midst of conflict. She gets off to a poor start, marrying the shy brother-in-law of the man who originally forsook her, and ignoring the attentions of the man who could make her happy until it's too late. Although she attempts to reconcile, things just keep getting out of hand.
  10. "Dangerous Liasons" (1988) – Revenge on a former lover takes a wrong turn when the main party involved in the plan decides to switch sides. A star-packed cast of historically-inspired aristocratic jerks only makes this take on the excesses of nobility more poignant as nearly every character seems to be concerned only with serving their own self.
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