The new Amazon-owned streaming service, IMDB Freedive premiered back in January of 2019, adding to the growing list of streaming services offering free content to watch. Recently, however, the streaming business rebranded to the new name of IMDB TV. With the new name, came plenty of new movies and shows to watch. However, if you’re a period drama fan, it’s hard to find the best of what’s currently available on IMDB TV since period drama doesn’t have its own category. So, after searching through the current library, I compiled a list of the best free period dramas to watch right now!
To stream, you can watch IMDB TV directly from the website, on Amazon Fire TV, and through your Amazon Prime Video subscription if you have one. Now, free doesn’t mean ad-free, so expect some commercials.
That said, if you’re a fan of period dramas and are also looking to save your pocketbook, this is the list for you. From popular period dramas, romantic period dramas, historical war dramas, family period dramas, and lesser-known movies and shows, there’s something here for everyone.
Note: Availability is based on the time of publication (August 2019). Availability of these free period dramas may change at any time.
The Best Free Period Dramas on IMDB TV
This award-winning romantic period drama from Martin Scorsese is gorgeous, memorable, and a fantastic example of classic romance done right on the big screen. Michelle Pfeiffer, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Winona Ryder star.
A Knight’s Tale is a rom-com medieval treat full of chivalrous romance and feel-good comedy. Heath Ledger stars as the underdog seeking to become a knight – despite being a peasant.
An excellent period drama starring Brad Pitt and directed by Robert Redford. In this American tale of rural Montana, two brothers grow up with a strict minister father. If you enjoy literary fiction, then this movie’s for you.
While the romance is creepy and impossible to root for (and it’s meant to be), as a coming-of-age period drama about a young teen in 1960s London, it’s excellent. This was a breakout performance for Carey Mulligan.
5. Anthropoid (2016)
Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan star in this lesser-known WWII drama about the true story of a mission to assassinate Hitler’s third-in-command.
Content Note: Rated R for violence.
Bel Powley stars in this romantic war drama about a teenage girl during the Soviet Occupation of the Baltic region.
Content Note: This is a war film with a few disturbing moments. It’s rated R for nudity, an attempted rape, and moderate violence.
This TV movie adaptation of the famous musical stars Vanessa Williams and Jason Alexander. It was nominated for three Emmy’s (winning one).
A delightful movie about three North Carolina women. Gena Rowlands, Mimi Rogers, and Susan May Pratt star in this charming southern movie based on a popular book.
An indie sports period drama about two brothers on a road trip in 1972 to see the famous baseball player Roberto Clemente’s 3000th hit. Ray Liotta, Rory Culkin, and Trevor Morgan star.
10. Copperhead (2013)
From the director of Gettysburg comes another Civil War historical drama. This movie tells the story of a New York family and their town fighting over opposing political views.
A brilliant period fantasy about unrequited love and a young Chinese warrior. This groundbreaking action film won four Academy Awards.
Kevin Costner stars in this romantic epic about a Civil War hero assigned to a post in the western frontier. It won seven Academy Awards and received rave reviews.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a stunning and gorgeous adaptation of the classic novel. While Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder don’t quite pull off their English accents, the movie itself is fantastic. Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins also star.
Content Note: Rated R for sexuality and violence. The movie has a few frightening and creepy horror moments.
If you’re a fan of real-life royal productions, then you’ll likely appreciate this TV-miniseries starring Edward Fox and Cynthia Harris.
Set during World War I, Flyboys tells the story of young American men signing up for the French military and becoming the first American fighter pilots. James Franco stars.
A historical fantasy for the entire family. James Purefoy, Piper Perabo, Patrick Swayze, and Michael Clarke Duncan star.
Natasha Richardson stars in this emotional true story about Ruther Gruber, a woman who helped bring Holocaust refugees to the United States.
Magic, romance, and mystery come together in this magnificent period drama starring Edward Norton. I can’t recommend this movie enough.
This big-budget Australian mini-series tells the “true” story of Mary Bryant, an English woman sentenced to Australia as a convict, who then carried off an amazing escape with other convicts. Bring tissues while watching this heartbreaking series. Romola Garai, Alex O’Loughlin, and Jack Davenport star.
Content Note: TV-MA for violence, rape, sexuality, and nudity.
A widowed French woman raises a Vietnamese princess. But when she grows up, they both fall in love with a French officer. This romantic historical drama won the Best Foreign Language film and stars Catherine Deneuve and Vincent Perez.
If you enjoy time travel movies, then you’ll probably enjoy this fun mini-series about H.G. Wells. There’s also an enjoyable love story with Wells and a female scientist. So, this is good, old-fashioned entertainment.
Based on a lesser-known Louisa May Alcott novel, this is a sweet and enjoyable romantic period drama set in Concord, Massachusetts. If you enjoy wholesome romances or Jane Austen, you should like this cute TV movie.
23. The Inquiry (2006)
If you enjoy historical Christian movies, then you’ll likely appreciate this movie about a Roman soldier traveling to Jerusalem to disprove the resurrection of Jesus.
In Meg Ryan’s directorial debut, a young telegram messenger comes of age in 1942. If you love Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan films, you won’t want to miss their onscreen reunion when Hanks appears in an emotional cameo.
Farah Fawcett stars as a mother in the 1940s who gives birth to a Down syndrome child and raises her in a time when this wasn’t accepted.