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100+ Best Period Dramas on Amazon Prime to Watch (2022)

These are the best period dramas on Amazon Prime Video, from epic romances to nostalgic favorites.

Amazon Prime Video has become a hotspot for streaming period dramas in the last few years. When scrolling on the streaming platform, you can find numerous titles to choose from, making it difficult to know what to watch. So, to make it easier for all the period drama fanatics or newbies out there, we’ve narrowed down the best period dramas on Amazon Prime right now (or coming soon) for you to watch – of both the television and movie variety. 

100+ Best Period Dramas on Amazon Prime to Watch (2022)

From romantic favorites like Poldark to some fabulous period drama mysteries, international dramas, lesser-known jewels, and more, there is something for everyone.

RELATED: 100+ Best Period Dramas on HBO Max to Watch

Notably, there is the recent romantic adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s classic novel, The Pursuit of Love, starring Lily James, Emily Beecham, Dominic West, Emily Mortimer (who also directs), and Andrew Scott. It premiered last year and is not to be missed!

WHAT IS ON THIS LIST?

We only included miniseries and TV shows when we originally published this list a few years ago. However, instead of writing two separate lists, we’ve decided to also include period movies as of 2022. 

If you’re a fan of romantic period dramas, romanticized period dramas, uplifting historical dramas, or period-like sumptuous costume dramas (aka fantasy with a historical influence), this is the list for you. We’ve also included several British period dramas on Amazon Prime to watch. 

RELATED: 55 Best Sensational Period Dramas on Netflix to Watch (2022)

Overall, we compiled the list to have a good variety, focusing on the interests of Silver Petticoat readers. So, the “best” might not be objectively the best – but they are the best choices for fans of romantic or Romantic (emphasis on the capital R) period dramas.  

And like always, we mainly selected series with less explicit content. We also linked to the reviews for each period drama (if we have one). 

Enjoy!

Note: This list was first published a few years ago, so it’s now up to date as of June 2022. We plan to update this page a couple of times a year. So, bookmark this page for future updates.

The availability of these period pieces on Amazon Prime Video is subject to change at any time. This list only includes available period dramas in the United States.

TABLE OF CONTENTS (JUMP TO THE SECTION OF INTEREST): 


The 50 Best Period Dramas on Amazon Prime – Miniseries and TV Shows (2022)


#1 THE ABC MURDERS (2018)

The ABC Murders photo - period dramas on Amazon Prime
PHOTO: Credit: BBC/Mammoth Screen

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

1933. Hercule Poirot, older and greyer, receives letters threatening murder. The sender signs themselves only as “ABC.”

When he takes the letters to the police looking for help, Hercule finds all his old friends have moved on. But soon there is a murder, and the once-great detective must take matters into his own hands.

Why You Should Check It Out: While John Malkovich’s performance isn’t as grand or as iconic as David Suchet’s, the miniseries is still worth checking out for the production quality alone. 

Content Note: TV-14 for brief strong language, mild sensuality, and moderate violence.

#2 AGATHA CHRISTIE’S THE PALE HORSE (2020)

The Pale Horse promotional poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

A mysterious list of names is found in the shoe of a dead woman. What is the connection to the village of Much Deeping?

Why You Should Check It Out: While Sarah Phelps’ adaptations of Agatha Christie novels aren’t to everyone’s taste, watch anyway if you’re a fan of Rufus Sewell!

Content Note: TV-14

#3 AN AMERICAN GIRL STORY (2016)

An american girl poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

Set in Detroit during the Civil Rights Movement, “An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win examines the joyful life and troubled times of an irrepressible 10-year-old African-American girl whose vivid imagination and creativity reinforce her optimism. 

When shocking national events threaten her sense of security, Melody must find inner strength to restore her hope for a better world.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you’re looking for a period drama (that’s also historically accurate) for older children, check out this lovely optimistic series set in the 1960s. 

You can also watch the other seasons set in the 1950s and 1970s. Each season follows a different character in a different time period.

Content Note: 7+

#4 ANZAC GIRLS (2014)

Anzac Girls DVD poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

The true stories of extraordinary young women who witness the brutality and heroism of war and rise to meet the challenge.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you’re a fan of Australian dramas or war shows about women, then Anzac Girls should be at the top of your list! It’s a miniseries full of relatable female characters.

Review: Anzac Girls

Content Note: TV-MA for violence and brief strong language.

#5 BLOODY ROMANCE (2018)

Bloody Romance Cdrama poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

Qi Xue (Li Yi Tong) is a beautiful 16-year-old whose life takes a horrific turn when her father sells her to a brothel. There, she undergoes unspeakable abuse that nearly breaks her spirit.

But when Qi Xue enters a mysterious new city, she is given a new identity of Wan Mei and undergoes training to become an assassin. Now able to use her beauty as a weapon.

Why You Should Check It OutBloody Romance was a huge commercial success for China. You should watch this Chinese drama if you’re looking for a series with a strong female lead.

Content Note: 13+

#6 CALL OF THE WILD (2000)

Call of the Wild 2000 poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

Jack London’s beloved story is brought to life in a delightful adventure series for the whole family. 

This TV series follows a 15-year-old boy living in an Alaskan mining town at the turn of the century whose life changes forever when he encounters a heroic and powerful dog named Buck, who together battle nature’s toughest elements, stand up against hardened criminals and rescue people in danger.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you’re looking for a good period drama for the entire family, this cute Emmy-nominated miniseries should fit the bill.

Content Note: TV-Y7

#7 THE CHOSEN, SEASON 1 (2019)

the chosen poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

The first multi-season series about the life of Christ and the highest crowd-funded TV series or film project of all time. “The Chosen” portrays Jesus through the eyes of those who met him.

Why You Should Check It Out: If Biblical history interests you, The Chosen (made from crowdsourcing) has one of the best interpretations of Jesus ever made. In this production, it’s all about characterization. 

Content Note: TV-PG

#8 THE COLLECTION (2016)

The collection promotional poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

A gripping family drama and entrepreneurial fable set in a post-war Paris fashion house. It exposes the grit behind the glamour of a rising business, spearheaded by two clashing brothers.

The atelier staff survived one war, but others loom; rivalries and romances pitting family against family, protégés against mentors, the past against the future.

Why You Should Check It Out: Francophiles will love this binge-worthy series. It has a brilliant cast, gorgeous costumes, and a beautiful production design. It is an entertaining watch.

Content Note: 16+ (mild TV-MA for sensuality.)

#9 DOCTOR THORNE (2016)

doctor thorne promo image
Doctor Thorne is an excellent period drama on Prime. Credit: ITV/Hat Trick Productions

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

From the creator of Downton Abbey. Dr. Thorne lives a quiet life with niece Mary in Greshambury, home of the wealthy Gresham family. Unbeknownst to others, the Greshams have lost their fortune and matriarch Lady Arabella has a scheme to regain it via an arranged marriage with her son and an American heiress.

However, her son plans to elope with Mary, which complicates Lady Arabella’s plans.

Why You Should Check It Out: Many still go through Downton Abbey withdrawal, even with the new movies. 

What better way to fill the void than another period drama by Julian Fellowes? If you’re looking for a romantic miniseries, add this one to the top of your list!

Review: Doctor Thorne

Content Note: TV-14

#10 DOWNTON ABBEY (2010-2015)

Downton Abbey promo image
Downton Abbey. Credit: ITV/Carnival Films/WGBH-TV

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

Downton Abbey — a sprawling, lavish Edwardian mansion nestled in the Yorkshire landscape — needs an heir.

Dame Maggy Smith stars as Violet, the stubborn Dowager Countess of Grantham, matriarch of Downton. Hugh Bonneville stars as her son, the stoic, unflappable Lord Crawley. Elizabeth McGovern is his far-sighted American wife, Cora. From Academy Award-winner Julian Fellowes. This is the original un-edited UK version of the program.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you STILL are one of the few people on the planet who haven’t seen Downton Abbey, go and make this a priority ASAP. 

This addictive period drama will capture your hearts with unforgettable characters and amazing love stories. 

Also, Maggie Smith’s one-liners are hysterical. It’s a perfect show to re-watch. 

Review: Downton Abbey

Content Note: TV-PG to TV-14 (mild overall)

#11 THE DUCHESS OF DUKE STREET (1976-1977)

The Duchess of Duke Street poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

Based on a true story, Gemma Jones stars in this Emmy-nominated series following a Cockney servant girl as she rises to manage one of Edwardian London’s most prestigious hotels.

Why You Should Check It Out: Gemma Jones is a standout in this excellent series all period drama fans will want to see. It’s a classic series that lasted two seasons and followed the story of a fabulous heroine!

Content Note: TV-14 (mild).

#12 THE DURRELLS IN CORFU (2016-2019)

The Durrells in Corfu promo image
Credit: Sid Gentle Films/Masterpiece/ITV

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

Based on naturalist Gerald Durrell’s much-loved trilogy of novels, The Durrells in Corfu sees impoverished but sparky widow Louisa Durrell (Keeley Hawes, MI-5) make the radical decision to leave 1930s England to seek out a new destiny for her family.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you enjoy a bit of zany fun in your period dramas, you won’t want to miss the crazy antics of the Durrells family. It’s entertaining, romantic, funny and has beautiful scenery. 

Review: The Durrells in Corfu

Content Note: TV-PG 

#13 EKATERINA: THE RISE OF CATHERINE THE GREAT (2017)

Ekaterina (2014 -) Russian Television Series Review - A Rich and Complex Portrayal of Catherine the Great
Photo: Russia-1

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

This major international production traces the rise of Catherine the Great, Empress of 18th Century Russia and part of the Romanoff line. Ekaterina, a German princess, is selected to marry Peter the Third, heir to the Russian throne and grandson of Peter the Great. 

Her story, filled with emotion, struggle and passion shows that even in an age of imperial dynasties, power is not given. It is taken.

Why You Should Check It Out: Fans of historical films, international shows, and royal period dramas won’t want to miss this popular series from Russia. It’s also a beautiful production.

ReviewEkaterina

Content Note: 13+ (Content Moderate)

#14 EMPRESSES IN THE PALACE (2013)

Empresses in the Palace - Period Dramas on Amazon Prime
Photo: Dongyang Hua’er Film & TV Co.

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

Set in 1722 during the Qing Dynasty, sweeping drama EMPRESSES IN THE PALACE is an epic tale of love, betrayal and scandal told from inside the Imperial Harem – the story of one emperor and his countless women. 

In a world filled with treachery and corruption, who will truly win the Emperor’s heart and reign supreme? In Mandarin with English subtitles.

Why You Should Check It Out: An epically romantic Chinese drama, the story should be on everyone’s must-watch list. What’s also great about this historical drama is that you can watch the series from beginning to satisfying ending!

Content Note: 7+ (TV-PG-like)

#15 ENDEAVOUR (2012-)

Endeavour
Credit: Mammoth Screen/Masterpiece/ITV

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

Before Inspector Morse, there was the rookie Constable Morse, fed up with police work and ready to nip his career in the bud by handing in his resignation. That is until a murder turned up that only he could solve.

Why You Should Check It Out: Inspector Morse fans will love this series about a young “Constable Morse” and his early career during the 1960s. For those looking for another good British mystery series, add this one to your list! Don’t forget to see the 2012 Masterpiece Mystery movie first.

Review: Endeavour

Content Note: Switches between TV-PG and TV-14.

#16 A FRENCH VILLAGE (2009-2017)

a french village poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

In French with English subtitles. This acclaimed drama is about the German occupation of France during World War II and its effects on the inhabitants of a small village in Jura. 

In June 1940, the village of Villeneuve awakes to the arrival of the German army, and the next four years of occupation have a shattering effect on the lives of all its inhabitants.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you’re looking for an excellent international show to stream, this award-winning drama has it all: history, suspense, romance, fascinating characters, and more. The series brings a new perspective to what it was like to live in occupied France.

Only seasons 1, 3, and 4 are currently available with Prime Video. To watch the rest of the series, you must pay for MHz Choice Amazon Channel. 

Content Note: Some of the episodes include mature content. It is rated 16+/TV-MA.

#17 GRANTCHESTER (2014-)

Grantchester promo photo
Credit: Kudos/Masterpiece/ITV

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

In GRANTCHESTER, a young vicar and a veteran cop join forces to solve baffling murders around a placid English village in 1953.

Why You Should Check It Out: James Norton is incredible in this role (although he’s only in the first few seasons). An addictive pleasure that every period drama fan should check out, particularly if you love shows with a focus on mysteries and characterization.

Review: Grantchester

Content Note: TV-14

#18 THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY (2013)

The great train robbery 2013
Credit: World Productions/Kew Media/BBC One

Amazon Prime Synopsis

A two-part drama which portrays The Great Train Robbery of 8 August 1963, firstly from the point of view of the robbers and then from the point of view of the police who set out to identify and catch the robbers.

Why You Should Check It Out: Chris Chibnall (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) adapted the story with an all-star cast, including Luke Evans and Jim Broadbent. 

Content Note: 16+

#19 IVANHOE (1997)

ivanhoe 1997 poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Sir Walter Scott’s swashbuckling tale of chivalry, romance and bravehearts in medieval England, when Saxons hated their Norman conquerors. The plot is full of heroes and knaves, knightly tournaments and bloody battles. 

Wilfred of Ivanhoe is estranged from his family and torn between his feelings for a beautiful Jewess and a Saxon heiress.

Why You Should Check It Out: Ivanhoe is a six-part epic miniseries set during Medieval times and stars notable actors such as Ciaran Hinds and Christopher Lee. If you love BBC period dramas, it is must-see entertainment.

Content Note: 13+

#20 LITTLE MEN (1998-1999)

Little Men promo image
Credit: CTV

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

Set in rural Massachusetts, the series chronicles the heroic struggles of Jo Bhaer as she attempts to manage Plumfield, a boarding school for boys, after the tragic death of her husband Fritz. Based upon Louisa May Alcott’s classic sequel to Little Women.

Why You Should Check It OutLittle Men is a little-known Canadian series about the widowed Jo March. It diverts sharply from the books but is a heartwarming series fans of Road to Avonlea will enjoy.

Content Note: 7+

#21 LITTLE WOMEN (2017)

little women 2018
Credit: Playground Television UK/BBC/Masterpiece

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women is the story of sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, as they navigate what it means to be a young woman: from gender roles to sibling rivalry, first love, loss, and marriage.

Why You Should Check It Out: While the series feels more British than American, the miniseries adaptation is still entertaining, with a likable cast. You also won’t want to miss Angela Lansbury giving a memorable performance as Aunt March!

Review: Little Women (2018)

Content Note: TV-PG

#22 LONDON HOSPITAL (CASUALTY 1900S) (2008)

London Hospital poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

Romance, surgery and history combine in this vivid, atmospheric drama based on the lives and case notes of doctors, nurses and patients at the Royal London Hospital a century ago.

Why You Should Check It OutGrey’s Anatomy meets Call the Midwife in this British period drama. Many of the cases were based on real-life cases, so history fans should love this one! 

Content Note: TV-14 (the series shows realistic medical scenes, so it is not for the squeamish!)

#23 THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL (2017)

the marvelous mrs maisel still
Credit: Amazon Studios

Amazon Prime Synopsis

In 1958 New York, Midge Maisel’s life is on track– husband, kids, and elegant Yom Kippur dinners in their Upper West Side apartment. But when her life takes a surprise turn, she has to quickly decide what else she’s good at – and going from housewife to stand-up comic is a wild choice to everyone but her. 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is written and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls).

Why You Should Check It Out: Amy Sherman Palladino brings her characteristic wit and clever dialogue to this stylish series. The show has won numerous Primetime Emmys, has brilliant performances from the cast, and includes some romance. 

Content Note: TV-MA. Be aware of strong and suggestive language throughout, plus some nudity and scenes of explicit sensuality. 

#24 MERLIN (2008-2012)

Lancelot in Merlin TV show; period dramas on amazon prime video
Santiago Cabrera as Lancelot. Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

Merlin will one day be the greatest wizard that the world will ever know, but for now, he is just a young man, geeky and awkward, who must keep his talent hidden in a kingdom where magic is banned…

In this ambitious and action-packed drama, the myths, monsters and magic of the legends are revitalized and given a modern twist in preparation for their inevitable destinies.

Why You Should Check It OutSmallville fans will love this cute and entertaining series about a young Merlin. If you enjoy historical fantasy shows, this one’s for you. 

Plus, you won’t want to miss one of the most romantic portrayals of Lancelot – played by Santiago Cabrera. Sadly, his character is only in a few episodes total. 

Content Note: TV-14 (mild)

#25 THE MILL (2013-2014)

The Mill poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

Period television drama based on real-life stories and people of the textile mill workers at Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, England, and combined with fictional characters and events.

Why You Should Check It Out: This is an eye-opening period drama with a fantastic cast, including Matthew McNulty. You’ll be drawn into the lives of these characters.

Content Note: 13+

#26 MISS TRUTH (2020)

Miss Truth Poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

Ran Yan, an unfavored daughter of a rich family in Suzhou, studied autopsy at an early age for investigating the real cause of her mother’s death. After knowing Xiao Song, the assistant minister of the Ministry of Penalty and a master of both the pen and the sword, Ran Yan helped him to solve many murders.

As peace returned to the country, Ran Yan and Xiao Song got together at last.

Why You Should Check It Out: It’s like Sherlock Holmes but with romance! 

Content Note: TV-14

#27 THE MUSKETEERS (2014-2016)

The musketeers photo
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

Set on the streets of 17th-century Paris, where law and order is more an idea than reality, The Musketeers follows the horse riding, sword-wielding Musketeers Athos, Aramis and Porthos. 

Far more than King Louis XIII’s personal bodyguards, they ultimately stand resolutely for social justice: for honor, for valor, for love and for the thrill of it.

Why You Should Check It Out: It’s a fun adventure show with dreamy leading men, romance, and swashbuckling action. You can’t go wrong with Santiago Cabrera, Tom Burke, Peter Capaldi, and more!

Review: The Musketeers

Content Note: TV-14 (mild); comparable to Marvel movies.

#28 THE NATIVITY (2010)

The Nativity TV poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

The greatest story ever told, as you’ve never seen it before. Writer Tony Jordan transforms a classic tale with familiar characters into a gripping human drama with an all-star cast. Starring Tatiana Maslany, Andrew Buchan, Peter Capaldi and Claudie Blakely.

Why You Should Check It Out: It’s an engaging interpretation of the Biblical story, focusing more on the relationship between Mary and Joseph. Peter Capaldi is a standout as Balthazar, one of the wise men.

Content Note: TV-PG

#29 ORDEAL BY INNOCENCE (2018)

Ordeal by Innocence
Photo: Mammoth Screen/BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

When wealthy philanthropist, Rachel Argyll, is murdered at her family estate, her adopted son Jack is arrested for her murder. He vehemently protests his guilt and eighteen months later, the identity of the murder is thrown in doubt. 

Now it is up to the rest of the family to decipher a killer amongst them.

Why You Should Check It Out: While not wholly faithful to Agatha Christie’s book, the cast alone makes this miniseries worth watching. The cast includes Bill Nighy, Eleanor Tomlinson, Matthew Goode, Anna Chancellor, Anthony Boyle, etc.

Review: Ordeal By Innocence 

Content Note: TV-MA (Brief strong language and other moderate mature content.)

#30 THE PARADISE (2012-2013)

The Paradise promotional photo
Photo: BBC/Masterpiece

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

…with nothing to live on but her wits, Denise comes from the country to work in the spectacularly glamorous Ladies Paradise, England’s first department store. 

So begins our rags-to-riches story of a young girl who falls in love with the intoxicating and dangerous charms of the modern world.

Why You Should Check It OutThe Paradise is one of the most romantic period dramas ever made! You can’t go wrong with this lovely series if you enjoy shows with swoony romances, fabulous characters, and excellent writing. Unfortunately, the second season was its last season.

Review: The Paradise

#31 POLDARK (2015-2019)

Poldark season 5 with Ross and Demelza
Credit: BBC/Masterpiece/Mammoth Screen

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

It’s 1783 and Ross Poldark returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his world in ruins: his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin. But Ross finds that hope and love can be found when you are least expecting it.

Why You Should Check It Out: Aidan Turner as the Byronic Poldark is just about pitch-perfect, and so is the rest of the TV Series. Romance, characterization, and the gorgeous Cornwall scenery make this one unmissable.

You can now binge all six seasons. Does anyone else love the Ross and Demelza love story?

Review: Poldark

Content Note: TV-14

#32 THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (1984)

the prisoner of zenda 1984 screenshot
Credit: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Anthony Hope’s fast-moving story of royal romance and political intrigue has been a much-loved bestseller from the day it was first published. Malcolm Sinclair is the Englishman posing as Ruritania’s new monarch when the real King is abducted. Victoria Wicks plays his unsuspecting Queen.

Why You Should Check It Out: It’s an old-fashioned story with a memorable romance. While this adaptation has mostly been forgotten over time, it’s a well-made classic from the BBC that deserves attention.

Content Note: 13+

#33 THE PURSUIT OF LOVE (2021)

The Pursuit of Love promo photo; period dramas on amazon prime video
Photo: BBC/Amazon Studios

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

The Pursuit of Love follows the friendship between cousins Linda and Fanny, which will be put to the test as Fanny settles for a steady life and Linda decides to follow her heart.

Why You Should Check It Out: The excellent cast, including period drama favorite Lily James, plus lots of romance and female friendships, should make this an enjoyable watch! It’s based on Nancy Mitford’s classic novel.

Review: The Pursuit of Love

Content Note: 13+ for some sensual scenes.

#34 THE REBEL PRINCESS (2021)

the rebel princess poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

The play tells the story of the princess Wang Xuan (played by Zhang Ziyi). She became her father’s chess piece and married Lord Yuzhang, Xiao Qi (played by Zhou Yiwei), from a humble background. 

The couple fell in love with each other because of a blessing in disguise. In the end, the couple joined hands to create a new era and guard their homeland’s people.

Why You Should Check It Out: Zhang Ziyi of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Memoirs of a Geisha fame stars in this romantic drama about a princess. Besides the strong lead, the series also has beautiful cinematography. 

Content Note: TV-14

#35 THE ROMANCE OF TIGER AND ROSE (2020) 

the romance of tiger and rose poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Chen Xiaoqian, an unknown screenwriter who’s been single since birth, worked really hard and finally finished a grand drama of a heroine. It was planned to start filming, but stopped because the actor Han Mingxing questioned a lot about the script. 

One day, she accidentally got stuck in her own script and turned into the third princess of DongLiang, a country where females dominate.

Why You Should Check It Out: This series has the cutest premise ever! Not to mention, the romantic Chinese series became a huge hit on social media. Watch and discover why so many viewers fell in love with it. 

Content Note: 13+

#36 RUYI’S ROYAL LOVE IN THE PALACE (2018)

Ruyi poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

The show tells a story of the most distinguished Empress of the Qing Dynasty of China: With the family’s disgrace, Ruyi learns the politics of the harem and finally becomes the Empress.

But after surviving a series of conspiracies, her relationship with her husband, the Emperor has become irreparable. Finally, Ruyi got depressed by the cruel reality of life in the Palace.

Why You Should Check It Out: This popular Chinese period drama is a sequel to the beloved series, Empresses in the Palace. Watch it if you enjoy lavish costume dramas.

Content Note: 13+

#37 SAIMDANG: MEMOIR OF COLORS (2017)

saimdang poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

When an art historian discovers the long-lost diary of famed Joseon artist Shin Saimdang, she delves into the story of the artist’s secret love affair while unraveling the mystery of her mysterious portrait.

Why You Should Check It Out: The romantic Korean drama presents a dual-timeline story much like the period drama, Possession. This limited series is a great choice if you’re looking for something sad but beautiful.

Content Note: 13+

#38 SNOWY RIVER: THE MCGREGOR SAGA, SEASON 1 (1994) 

snowy river the mcgregor saga poster
Yes, that is a young Hugh Jackman!

Amazon Prime Synopsis

This series tells the story of Matt McGregor, one of the richest and most influential man in town, and widower father of three children: Colin, Rob and Danni. Unresolved… tension comes in the shape of Matt’s childhood independent, free-spirited friend, the recently widowed Kathleen O’Neil, who’s returned to Paterson’s Ridge with her son after having spent many years in England.

Why You Should Check It Out: See a young Guy Pearce, Josh Lucas, and Brett Climo (A Place to Call Home) in this beloved Australian series. 

Season one is available on Prime Video, but you have to watch seasons 2-4 on Amazon’s free streaming service, freevee, so expect some advertisements.

Content Note: TV-PG

#39 SPIES OF WARSAW (2013)

Spies of Warsaw photo; period dramas on amazon prime video
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

David Tennant and Janet Montgomery star in this adaptation of Alan Furst’s celebrated spy novel set in Poland, Paris and Berlin in the years leading up to the Second World War.

At the French embassy in Warsaw, the new military attaché, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of the city.

Why You Should Check It Out: David Tennant in a period drama spy series with romantic intrigue. Enough said.

Content Note: TV-14

#40 THE SWORD AND THE BROCADE (2021)

the sword and the brocade poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

Set during the Ming Dynasty, the story revolves around the romance between General Xu Lingyi and the concubine’s daughter Shiyiniang that starts from an arranged marriage.

Despite being born with a low status, Luo Shiyiniang is extremely assertive and believes that a woman’s vision should not be limited to the household. She hopes to rely on her embroidery skills as a ticket to freedom.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you’re in the mood for an epic love story with a happy ending, you’ll like this Chinese period drama.

Content Note: 13+

#41 TOM JONES (1997)

vTom Jones 1987 promo photo
Credit: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis

A ribald and rowdy romp through the mansions and taverns of Georgian England. Henry Fielding’s fallen hero bed-hops his way out of a good home and almost into a hangman’s noose, via a series of misadventures and misunderstandings.

Why You Should Check It Out: Max Beesley and Samantha Norton star in this British adaptation of the famous novel. Other notable actors in this high-quality production include James D’arcy, Sylvester McCoy, Michelle Fairley, Camille Coduri, Celia Imrie, Kelly Reilly, and more.

Content Note: TV-14 for an explicit love scene and suggestive content.

#42 VANITY FAIR (2018)

Vanity Fair (2018) - See the Most Compelling Adaptation to Date
Credit: ITV/Amazon Studios

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

In a world where everyone is striving for what is not worth having, no one is more determined to climb to the heights of English Society than Miss Rebecca Sharp.

Why You Should Check It Out: The story of the complex heroine, Becky Sharp, is told splendidly in this excellent adaptation of the novel, although it has a bit of modern flair.

Review: Vanity Fair (2018) 

Content Note: TV-14

#43 A VERY BRITISH SCANDAL (2021)

a very british scandal period drama promo image
Credit: BBC/Amazon Studios/Sony Pictures Television

Amazon Prime Synopsis

From the creators of A Very English Scandal, the story that shook an empire, A Very British Scandal focuses on the divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, one of the most notorious, extraordinary and brutal legal cases of the 20th Century.

Why You Should Check It Out: Claire Foy and Paul Bettany star in this scandalous historical drama about a shocking legal case. Don’t watch this one for likable characters; however, watch it if good period dramas based on true stories intrigue you.

Content Note: 16+ for risqué content.

#44 A VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL (2018)

A Very English Scandal
Credit: Blueprint Pictures/BBC/Sony Pictures Television

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for conspiracy to murder. Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant), the leader of the Liberal party, has a secret he’s desperate to hide.

His ex-lover Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw) is putting Thorpe’s brilliant political career at risk so Thorpe schemes and deceives until he realizes there’s only one way to silence Scott for good.

Starring Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, Alex Jennings.

Why You Should Check It Out: Watch for the brilliant performances from Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw. Russell T. Davies’ (Doctor Who) writing is in top form. The series takes place in 1979.

Content Note: TV-14, but there is risqué content in this miniseries.

#45 VICTORIA (2016)

Victoria season 3
Credit: Mammoth Screen/Masterpiece/ITV

Amazon Prime Synopsis:

Created by Daisy Goodwin, this ambitious drama presents the early years of one of history’s greatest monarchs.

Why You Should Check It Out: One of the better period drama TV series, Victoria, mostly follows the love story of Victoria and Albert. It also has a Downton Abbey flair. 

Overall, if you enjoy romanticized period dramas about the royal family, this is one of the best series.

Review: Victoria, Episode One Recap

Content Note: TV-PG

#46 VIKINGS (2013-2020)

Vikings promo photo
Photo Credit: MGM Television/History Channel

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

Ragnar is pitted against Rollo over a land dispute he’s trying to settle on behalf of King Horik. A deadly fever hits Kattegat putting Ragnar’s wife and daughter’s lives in grave danger.

Why You Should Check It Out: Fans of Game of Thrones or Viking history will probably like this series. Plus, it’s a high-budget historical drama with many great actors.

Content Note: TV-14 for explicit content. Vikings on Amazon is an edited version of the series used for the History channel. A TV-MA version of the show has much more graphic scenes, but not the version that plays on Prime Video.

#47 THE VINEYARD (2021)

the vineyard photo; period dramas on amazon prime video
Photo: Amazon Prime Video/Atresmedia Studios/Boomerang TV

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

The Vineyard is the story of Mauro Larrea and Soledad Montalvo, two strangers whose destinies will cross in the second half of the 19th century, leading to their lives changing forever. 

A history of glories and defeats, of silver mines, family intrigues, vineyards, wineries, and fascinating cities whose splendor faded over time.

Why You Should Check It Out: This new romantic period drama from Spain is for anyone who loves a slow-burn romance. It’s an excellent series – just make sure to use the Spanish audio with English subtitles. Dubbing is not recommended.

Content Note: 16+/TV-14 for a love scene and some nudity. Trigger warning; there is also a disturbing assault scene in the first episode.

#48 THE WHEEL OF TIME (2021)

The Wheel of Time Lan and Moiraine
Lan and Moiraine. Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Television/Amazon Studios

Amazon Prime Synopsis

The lives of five young villagers change forever when a strange and powerful woman arrives, claiming one of them is the child of an ancient prophecy with the power to tip the balance between Light and Dark forever. 

They must choose whether to trust this stranger – and each other – with the fate of the world before the Dark One breaks out of His prison, and The Last Battle begins.

Why You Should Check It Out: The Wheel of Time is like Lord of the Rings meets Legend of the Seeker. It’s an epic tale with stunning performances, likable characters, memorable romances, and a big budget. Rosamund Pike and Daniel Henney give standout performances.

Review: The Wheel of Time

Content Note: 16+. The series is mostly TV-14-like, but there is a sequence with nudity, some violence, and a couple of love scenes.

#49 WPC 56 (2013-2015)

wpc 56

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

The daily challenges facing the first Woman Police Constable to join a West Midlands force in the 1950s, where sexism, chauvinism and petty grudges are rife.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you enjoy British crime dramas with a female lead, this is an enjoyable series with some romance on the side. 

Content Note: 13+

#50 Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING (2015-2017)

Z: The Beginning of Everything promo photo
Photo: Amazon Studios

Amazon Prime Synopsis: 

Z: The Beginning of Everything tells the story of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the brilliant, beautiful Southern Belle who became the original flapper and icon of the wild, flamboyant Jazz Age.

Why You Should Check It Out: Christina Ricci stars in this stylish period drama about Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s a quality production and a fun watch overall.

Review: Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING (2015-2017)

Content Note: 16+ for a moderate amount of explicit sensuality/nudity and occasional profanity. 

EVEN MORE PERIOD SERIES ON PRIME TO WATCH: 

  • The Bleak Old Shop of StuffBrittania (TV-MA)
  • Byron (TV-MA)
  • Carnival Row (TV-MA)
  • Dance Of the Phoenix 
  • The Dawns Here are Quiet
  • Deer And the Cauldron 
  • Detective De Luca – This Italian period drama looks intriguing!
  • Fake Princess (Cute Romantic Historical)
  • Fighter Of The Destiny 
  • God Of Lost Fantasy 
  • Good Girls Revolt (TV-MA) – An Amazon Prime historical series
  • Good Omens – TV-MA (Mild) -It’s not a period drama, but there are a few historical flashbacks. I highly recommend this excellent series.
  • Hunderby (TV-MA)
  • Ip Man (2013) – TV-MA
  • Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Greek Myths
  • The Kennedys – This is a comedy. 
  • The Last Tycoon (TV-MA)
  • The Legend Of El Cid (16+)
  • The Legend of Fuyao (Very popular)
  • The Legend of Xiao Chuo 
  • Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story (Emmy-Nominated)
  • Love Of Thousand Years (16+)
  • Love Story Of Court Enemies 
  • MAGI The Tensho Boys’ Embassy (16+)
  • Man In The High Castle (TV-MA)
  • Ming Dynasty
  • Overlord 
  • Picnic At Hanging Rock (Ranges Between TV-14 And TV-MA For Nudity)
  • Qin Dynasty Epic 
  • Sinbad 
  • Tall Tales & Legends
  • The Americans (TV-MA)
  • Truth Or Dare (18+)
  • Under The Power 
  • The Underground Railroad (TV-MA)
  • Untamed (Huge hit)
  • Vietnam (16+) – See a young Nicole Kidman in this underrated series.
  • Winter Begonia
  • Young Charlie Chaplin – Emmy-Nominated

The 50 Best Period Movies on Amazon Prime (2022)


#1 THE AERONAUTS (2019)

The Aeronauts still with Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne
Credit: Amazon Studios

Amazon Prime Synopsis

In 1862, daredevil balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) teams up with pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) to advance human knowledge of the weather and fly higher than anyone in history.

Why You Should Check It Out: Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, and Himesh Patel star in this gorgeous-looking period drama inspired by actual events. 

Content Note: PG-13

#2 ANOTHER MOTHER’S SON (2017)

another mother's son poster final

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Jersey, 1942. The British Channel Islands fall to the Germans who put prisoners of war to work in slave labor camps. When a Russian soldier escapes the labor camps, seeking shelter, a Jersey resident, Lou, realizes she can’t simply hand him back. Lou decides to harbor the fugitive, striking up a bond with the young, intelligent man whom she soon treats as her son.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you loved Guernsey, then Another Mother’s Son (set at the same time and place) is a must-watch historical drama about bravery and kindness. So, if you’re looking for historical dramas on Amazon Prime, this is a great choice.

Content Note: 16+ for mild violence and a suggestive scene.

#3 BRAVEHEART (1995)

Braveheart
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Amazon Prime Synopsis

William Wallace, a commoner, unites the 13th Century Scots in their battle to overthrow English rule.

Why You Should Check It Out: Braveheart won 5 Oscars and is a classic for a reason. 

Content Note: Rated R for graphic violence, some moderate amount of explicit love scenes with nudity, and some profanity. 

#4 CARRIE’S WAR (2004)

carrie's war poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

A heartwarming coming-of-age drama, where childhood fantasy meets grown up reality. It’s wartime…Carrie Willow and her younger brother Nick are evacuated to Wales where they live with the difficult Mr Evans but while there make the most colorful collection of friends.

Why You Should Check It Out: Carrie’s War is a lovely and enjoyable adaptation of a beloved English children’s novel. 

Content Note: 13+

#5 THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE (2013)

the christmas candle movie still
Credit: Pinewood Studios

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Legend has it every 25 years an angel touches a single candle, and whomever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries old legend may come to an end when a progressive young minister arrives. 

Now, the fiery candlemaker must fight to preserve the legacy of the Christmas Candle. From bestselling author, Max Lucado.

Why You Should Check It Out: Hans Matheson stars in this delightful romantic period drama that’s perfect to watch during the holidays. It’s sure to become a Christmas favorite

Other notable stars in the film include Samantha Barks, Lesley Manville, Sylvester McCoy, Susan Boyle, Barbara Flynn, John Hannah, and more.

Review: The Christmas Candle

Content Note: PG

#6 CIDER WITH ROSIE (2015)

cider with rosie poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

A semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story set in the Cotswolds during and immediately after the First World War. 

With her husband working in the War office, devoted mother Annie Lee takes her step-daughters and her own children to live in the idyllic Gloucestershire countryside, the youngest being the sickly Laurie, known as Loll.

Why You Should Check It Out: The magical British TV film is a charming adaptation of the novel by Laurie Lee (based on his childhood). 

So, if you love period dramas based on memoirs like Lark Rise to Candleford, this one’s for you. Samantha Morton and Timothy Spall star.

Content Note: 13+

#7 THE COURIER (2020)

the courier publicity photo
Photo: Roadside Attractions

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Benedict Cumberbatch (DOCTOR STRANGE) and Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) star in this true-life Cold War spy thriller about British businessman Greville Wynne, who must form an alliance with a Soviet spy to prevent a nuclear confrontation.

Why You Should Check It Out: The historical spy thriller based on a true story is tense from start to finish, with some excellent performances from Cumberbatch and Merab Ninidze.

Content Note: PG-13 for violence, brief strong language, and partial nudity.

#8 CROOKED HOUSE (2008)

Crooked House 2008
Credit: BBC/Endemol UK/Tiger Aspect Productions

Amazon Prime Synopsis

When a museum curator is given the door knocker from a Tudor mansion, the ghostly secrets of Geap Manor’s haunted past begin to emerge. In the 1780s, ghastly sounds come from the panelling of the drawing room, and in the 1920s, a ghostly bride stalks the corridors. 

Then, a schoolteacher attaches the knocker to the door of his home, with fearful consequences reaching out from the past.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you’re in the mood for a little of the gothic in this period horror film, you might enjoy this British movie by Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss. Period drama fans will also enjoy seeing North and South’s Daniela Denby-Ashe in a significant role. 

Content Note: 13+

#9 THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008)

the curious case of benjamin button picture with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett
Credit: Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros.

Amazon Prime Synopsis

The mysterious story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

Why You Should Check It Out: The Oscar-winning period drama starred Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and was penned by the same screenwriter from Forrest Gump. 

Content Note: PG-13

#10 DELICIOUS (2021) 

Delicious poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

France, 1789, just before the Revolution. With the help of a surprising young woman, a chef who has been sacked by his master finds the strength to free himself from his position as a servant and opens the first restaurant.

Why You Should Check It Out: This French period film is sumptuous and gorgeous! It’s also a brand-new film with a unique story. 

Content Note: 13+

#11 THE DRESSMAKER (2015)

The Dressmaker

Amazon Prime Synopsis

THE DRESSMAKER tells the story of the beautiful and talented Tilly Dunnage. After years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, Tilly returns home to a town in the Australian outback to reconcile with her eccentric mother Molly.

Why You Should Check It Out: Kate Winslet stars in this quirky but enjoyable romantic period film. The costumes and cinematography are beautiful, but The Dressmaker is not for everyone. It has some dark humor and tragedy in the story. 

Review: The Dressmaker

Content Note: Rated R for a brief scene of violence (an assault), brief strong language, and some suggestive dialogue. It’s a mild R film. 

#12 THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN (2021)

the electrical life of louis wain photo
Photo: Amazon Studios

Amazon Prime Synopsis

The true story of eccentric British artist Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose playful, psychedelic pictures transformed the public’s perception of cats forever. 

Set in the early 1900s, we follow Wain as he seeks to unlock the “electrical” mysteries of the world and, in so doing, to better understand his own life and the profound love he shared with his wife Emily Richardson (Claire Foy).

Why You Should Check It Out: The beautiful yet heartbreaking film is full of excellent performances and cute cats. 

Content Note: PG-13

#13 FUNNY GIRL (1968)

Funny Girl promo art
Credit: Columbia Pictures

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Barbra Streisand’s debut film won her the Academy Award(r) for her performance as singer-comedienne, Fanny Brice. Nominated for seven other awards, this classic musical film contrasts Fanny’s onstage antics with her offstage romance with dashing gambler, Nicky Arnstein (Omar Shariff). 

Why You Should Check It Out: Barbra Streisand gives the performance of a lifetime in this incredible movie musical. 

Content Note: G

#14 A GIRL OF THE LIMBERLOST (1990)

a girl of the limberlost poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

It’s 1908 in rural Indiana, and Eleonora Comstock is determined to attend high school. When an unexpected tax comes due, Eleonora’s mother forces her to quit school to bring in their crops. 

But after their crops are ruined by a storm, both mother and daughter must learn to understand each other or lose what they love most.

Why You Should Check It Out: Anne of Green Gables fans will love this heartwarming film that’s perfect for the entire family. 

Content Note: 13+

#15 HANOVER STREET (1979)

hanover street image
Credit: Columbia Pictures

Amazon Prime Synopsis

In this WWII romance, David Halloran (Harrison Ford) is an American…pilot stationed in London. During an air raid, Halloran meets and falls in love with beautiful Briton Margaret Sellinger (Lesley-Anne Down) even though Margaret is married.

Why You Should Check It Out: Harrison Ford stars in this historical romance film. Enough said!

Content Note: PG

#16 I CAPTURE THE CASTLE (2003)

I capture the castle promo art
Credit: BBC Films/Trademark Films/Momentum Pictures

Amazon Prime Synopsis

A love story set in 1930s England that follows 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, and the fortunes of her eccentric family, struggling to survive in a decaying English castle.

Why You Should Check It Out: One of my favorite movies, I Capture the Castle is a charming coming-of-age story with romance, humor, and a brilliant cast. Romola Garai, Rose Byrne, Bill Nighy, Tara Fitzgerald, Henry Thomas, Marc Blucas, and Henry Cavill star. 

Call the Midwife’s Heidi Thomas wrote the screenplay based on the book by Dodie Smith. 

Review: I Capture the Castle

Content Note: Rated R for a scene of nudity. The film should be PG-13. 

#17 IMPROMPTU (1991)

Impromptu poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

“Impromptu” is the comic and tender tale of how novelist George Sand and composer Frederic Chopin met; of how Sand recklessly pursued Chopin; how Chopin resisted Sand’s advances; of how, despite the best and most mischievous efforts of many of those around them, they eventually fell in love.

Why You Should Check It Out: Impromptu is an underrated gem starring Judy Davis and Hugh Grant in one of his first leading roles. Emma Thompson also stars.

Content Note: PG-13

#18 LADIES IN LAVENDER (2004)

Ladies in Lavender
Credit: Tale Partnerships/Scala Productions/Lakeshore International

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Aging spinster sisters Ursula (Judi Dench) and Janet (Maggie Smith) discover a young man (Daniel Brühl) near death on the beach by their home in a small Cornish fishing village. 

Taking him in, they discover that he is Andrea, a violinist from Krakow, Poland, who had been swept off an ocean liner on which he was sailing to a fresh start in America.

Why You Should Check It Out: Ladies in Lavender is an unusual romance film with beautiful performances from Dench and Smith. I can’t recommend this lovely period drama enough. 

Content Note: PG-13

#19 THE LADY VANISHES (2013)

the lady vanishes promo photo
Credit: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis

The Lady Vanishes is a stunning adaptation of the classic 1930s thriller. Iris Carr is traveling across Europe by train when she befriends Miss Froy, an elderly English woman. 

But when she wakes up from a few hours’ sleep, Miss Froy has vanished. As fellow passengers claim the lady never existed, Iris fights to discover the fate of Miss Froy – and prove that she’s not going mad.

Why You Should Check It Out: While an imperfect novel adaptation, The Lady Vanishes is an entertaining period mystery starring Victoria’s Tom Hughes. 

Review: The Lady Vanishes

Content Note: PG-13

#20 THE LAST PRINCESS – (2016)

The Last Princess movie still
Credit: Hofilm/Lotte Entertainment

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Princess Deok-Hye was the last princess of Korea. Under Japanese colonial rule, she is taken to Japan as a hostage. With the era’s harsh conditions, she struggles to maintain the hope of the Korean people. 

Jang-Han is a fighter for Korean independence. His mission is to bring Princess Deok-Hye back to South Korea and he also loves her.

Why You Should Check It Out: Last Princess is a breathtaking and emotional Korean period drama everyone should see. 

Content Note: 13+

#21 A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (1992)

A League of Their Own with Geena Davis
Credit: Columbia Pictures

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Tom Hanks and Geena Davis star in this big-league comedy based on the real-life exploits of the All-American Girls Baseball League.

Why You Should Check It Out: A League of Their Own is a pitch-perfect period drama and one of the greatest sports dramas ever. 

Content Note: PG-13

#22 LINCOLN (2012)

Lincoln 2012 film
Credit: Amblin Entertainment/The Kennedy Marshall Company/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Amazon Prime Synopsis

HD. Daniel Day-Lewis is spectacular in an Oscar(R)-winning performance as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s film about the 16th President.

Why You Should Check It Out: Besides Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones also give memorable performances in this stunning historical film.

Content Note: PG-13

#23 THE LITTLE PRINCESS (1939)

the little princess promo image
Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Shirley Temple plays Sara Crewe, the privileged daughter of Captain Reginald Crewe. When the Captain leaves to fight in Africa, Sara is enrolled into an all-girls school in London. All is well until he is reported dead, but Sara thinks he’s still alive.

Why You Should Check It Out: Set in 1899, The Little Princess is a sweet, delightful film for the entire family, with Shirley Temple giving one of her best performances. 

Content Note: Not rated but acceptable for everyone.

#24 THE LONG WALK HOME (1990)

the long walk home poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

One black and one white woman in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, must decide what they are going to do in response to the famous bus boycott led by Martin Luther King.

Why You Should Check It Out: Whoopi Goldberg and Sissy Spacek star in this underrated inspirational historical movie. 

Content Note: PG

#25 LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (2016)

Love & Friendship Poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Set in 1790s London, LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP centers on the recently widowed Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale), who seeks refuge with her in-laws to escape the scandalous rumors surrounding her private life. 

While at their estate the scheming Lady Susan decides it’s time to secure a husband for herself and for her somewhat reluctant and awkward daughter.

Why You Should Check It Out: Whit Stillman adapted this witty period comedy based on one of Jane Austen’s lesser-known works. While polarizing to the audience, we found this Jane Austen movie absolutely delightful. If you liked Gwyneth Paltrow’s Emma or Oscar Wilde adaptations, you should love this period drama.

Review: Love & Friendship

Content Note: PG

#26 THE LOVELY BONES (2009)

The Lovely Bones promo photo with Saoirse Ronan
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Amazon Prime Synopsis

A murdered 14-year-old watches over her family and killer. 

Why You Should Check It Out: Peter Jackson directs this beautiful and haunting film based on the bestselling novel. Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci (he received an Oscar nomination for his creepy performance), Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, and Rose McIver star.

Content Note: PG-13

#27 MAHANATI (TELUGU) (2018)

MAHANATI poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Mahanati is a film about the rise of the first female south Indian superstar – Savitri. Her story is one of the most heart wrenching romantic tragedies of our times.

This film tells a story of the Mahanati; her life, her journey to fame, and the dramatic downfall. Keerthy Suresh, elegantly brought Savitri to life, and Gemini Ganesan, played by Dulquer Salman, makes this film a true pleasure to watch.

Why You Should Check It Out: It is a fantastic biopic about a superstar who may be lesser known to an American audience.

Content Note: PG-13

#28 NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA (1971)

nicholas and alexandra 1971 cast photo
Credit: Horizon Pictures/Columbia Pictures

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Nicholas and Alexandra covers the rise and fall of the last of the Russian Romanovs. From their lavish wedding, to involvement of the mystical holy man, Rasputin, the Czar and Czarina of Russia are out of touch with their people. 

This gives way to the rise of Lenin and Trotsky who sow the seeds of revolution thus sealing the Russian royal family’s doom.

Why You Should Check It Out: Michael Jayston (Jane Eyre) and Janet Suzman star in this Oscar-winning film about the Russian royals. If you enjoyed Doctor Zhivago, you’d likely appreciate this romantic epic with its beautiful costumes and gorgeous musical score.

Content Note: PG

#29 NICHOLAS NICKLEBY (2002)

Nicholas Nickleby 2002
Credit: MGM Distribution Co.

Amazon Prime Synopsis

After Nicholas’ father dies and leaves the family penniless, the Nickleby family moves to London to stay with their Uncle Ralph. Ralph turns abusive and separates the family, which includes sending Nicholas to the cruel and wicked Wackford Squeers. 

At this horrible escape from the school and set off to reunite the Nickleby family.

Why You Should Check It Out: Charlie Hunnam and Anne Hathaway star in this excellent and romantic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel. Other actors in this gorgeous and entertaining production include Jamie Bell, Christopher Plummer, Romola Garai, Tom Courtenay, and Juliet Stevenson. 

Review: Nicholas Nickleby

Content Note: PG

#30 OLD GRINGO (1989)

Old Gringo promo image
Credit: Columbia Pictures

Amazon Prime Synopsis

In 1913, Harriet (Jane Fonda) accepts a job as a governess in Mexico. While there, Harriet is thrown into the middle of the Mexican revolution where she attracts the attentions of two very different men: an elderly American gentleman (Gregory Peck) who has come to Mexico to die, and General Arroyo (Jimmy Smits) who is fighting for the freedom of his people.

Why You Should Check It Out: Old Gringo is a surprisingly entertaining period romance film many have forgotten over time. The unusual love triangle between three brilliant actors makes this worth watching. 

Content Note: Rated R for some violence, brief nudity, and a love scene with nudity. 

#31 PEARL HARBOR (2001)

Pearl Harbor promotional art
Credit: Touchstone Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films/Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Amazon Prime Synopsis

History comes alive in the unforgettable motion picture Pearl Harbor. Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale star in a tale of one of the watershed events of the twentieth century, brought to the screen by Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay.

Why You Should Check It Out: While a flawed film, the romantic historical epic is an entertaining spectacle with memorable love stories and mesmerizing special effects. 

Content Note: PG-13

#32 THE QUIET MAN (1952)

The Quiet Man promo image
Credit: Republic Pictures

Amazon Prime Synopsis

A tired American ex-boxer returns to his native hamlet in Ireland to win the hand of a spirited young woman.

Why You Should Check It Out: Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne star in this Oscar-winning romance film set in Ireland. It’s absolutely wonderful!

Review: The Quiet Man

Content Note: 7+

#33 A QUIET PASSION (2016)

A Quiet Passion: A Poetic and Underrated Masterpiece
Credit: Music Box Films

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Cynthia Nixon delivers a triumphant performance as Emily Dickinson as she personifies the wit, intellectual independence and pathos of the poet whose genius only came to be recognized after her death. 

Acclaimed director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) exquisitely evokes Dickinson’s deep attachment to her close-knit family along with the manners, mores and spiritual convictions of her time.

Why You Should Check It Out: The authentic historical dialogue and slow pace may put off some viewers, but once you get used to the pace and rhythm, it becomes a compelling film with a brilliant performance from Cynthia Nixon. Jennifer Ehle also stars. 

Review: A Quiet Passion

Content Note: PG-13

#34 RADIOACTIVE (2019)

Radioactive movie still
Credit: StudioCanal

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Pioneer – Rebel – Genius | Don’t miss Rosamund Pike in the incredible, true story of Marie Curie and her Nobel Prize-winning work that changed the world.

Why You Should Check It Out: Rosamund Pike and Sam Riley star in this romance film about Marie Curie. Watch for the surprising but emotional ending. 

Content Note: PG-13

#35 RESPECT (2021)

respect promo photo
Photo: United Artists Releasing

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a young child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, “Respect” is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice and become the Queen of Soul.

Why You Should Check It Out: Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin in this powerful biopic. 

Content Note: PG-13

#36 ROMEO AND JULIET (2013)

Romeo and Juliet 2013
Credit: Relativity Media

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Shakespeare’s epic romance is revitalized by Downton Abbey writer, Julian Fellowes, and The Flight of the Innocent director, Carlos Carlei. 

With an all-star cast that includes Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Damian Lewis, and Paul Giamatti, it gives a new generation the chance to fall in love with the enduring legend of Romeo and Juliet. Every generation deserves to discover this classic story.

Why You Should Check It Out: Julian Fellowes is a master storyteller, so watching his version is intriguing. The adaptation is visually stunning – although the dialogue may throw off some viewers if they want an authentic Shakespearean movie. 

However, the romance film is great for introducing young teens to the story. 

Review: Romeo and Juliet

Content Note: PG-13

#37 A ROYAL NIGHT OUT (2015)

a royal night out

Amazon Prime Synopsis

On V.E. Day 1945, Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth defect their chaperones and sneak off for a wild evening in celebratory London.

Why You Should Check It Out: A Royal Night Out is good fun – especially if you’re looking for a rom-com to watch!

Review: A Royal Night Out

Content Note: PG-13

#38 THE SANDLOT (1993)

The Sandlot poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Youngsters will get a kick out of this kid’s-eye-view story of what happens when a shy boy moves to a new neighborhood and becomes involved with a ragtag baseball team.

Why You Should Check It Out: If nostalgia’s what you’re after, you can’t go wrong with this family classic!

Content Note: PG

#39 THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH (1994)

the secret of roan inish poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Young Fiona lives with her grandparents in a small fishing village where she takes an active role to unravel the mysterious secrets.

Why You Should Check It Out: This enchanting Irish fairy tale film is full of magic and a lovely family film to watch.

Content Note: PG

#40 SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999)

sleepy hollow 1999 photo
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Johnny Depp is Ichabod Crane, an eccentric investigator determined to stop the murderous Headless Horseman. Christina Ricci is Katrina Van Tassel, the beautiful and mysterious girl with secret ties to the supernatural terror.

Why You Should Check It Out: Watch this one if you love the actors and the gothic romance genre.  

Content Note: Rated R for graphic horror violence and an explicit (brief) suggestive scene. 

#41 SOLOMON & GAENOR (1999) 

solomon & gaenor still
Credit: FilmFour Distributors

Amazon Prime Synopsis

A tragic love story between a Jewish young man and a Welsh woman in the beginning of the century. The movie is mostly in English with parts in Welsh and Yiddish.

Why You Should Check It Out: Ioan Gruffudd stars in this tragic story of star-crossed lovers.

Content Note: Rated R for a couple of explicit but brief love scenes and some violence.

#42 SOPHIE AND THE RISING SUN (2016)

sophie and the rising sun poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Autumn of 1941 in Salty Creek, in a fishing village in South Carolina, interracial lovers are swept up in the tides of history.

Why You Should Check It Out: Sophie and the Rising Sun is an underrated, poignant period romance film with a talented cast. 

Content Note: Rated R for a couple of semi-explicit love scenes with nudity and an assault. 

#43 SYLVIE’S LOVE (2020)

Sylvie's Love poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

When a young woman meets an aspiring saxophonist in her father’s record shop in 1950s Harlem, their love ignites a sweeping romance that transcends changing times, geography, and professional success.

Why You Should Check It Out: Tessa Thompson stars in this powerful Emmy-nominated drama made in the style of an old Hollywood classic love story. It’s a compelling, passionate film. 

Review: Sylvie’s Love

Content Note: PG-13

#44 UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE (2005)

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Amidst the surrounding farms and woodlands of the idyllic village of Mellstock, southern England, a love story grows between local boy Dick Dewey and beautiful schoolteacher Fancy Day. 

But in seeking her hand in marriage penniless Dick finds himself in competition with other more likely suitors, will true love win out or will the social traditions of Victorian England determine Fancy’s future?

Why You Should Check It Out: Keeley Hawes stars in this sweet romance based upon a Thomas Hardy novel. And yes, it does have a happy ending!

Review: Under the Greenwood Tree

Content Note: TV-PG

#45 THE WAR BRIDE (2001)

Amazon Prime Synopsis

WW2: In London, Lily marries a Canadian soldier who goes off to war. She and her newborn daughter are invited to come and live with his family in Canada, where conditions are not as splendid as he had described. And nobody knows if and when he will return.

Why You Should Check It Out: Anna Friel stars in this entertaining period drama set in a unique World War II location.

Review: The War Bride

Content Note: 13+

#46 THE WHITE COUNTESS (2005)

the white countess poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Set in 1930s Shanghai, where a blind American diplomat (Ralph Fiennes) develops a curious relationship with a young Russian refugee (Natasha Richardson) who works odd — and sometimes illicit — jobs to support members of her dead husband’s aristocratic family.

Why You Should Check It Out: James Ivory (A Room with a View) directs this epic romance film!

Content Note: PG-13

#47 THE WINSLOW BOY (1999)

the winslow boy 1999 promotional art
Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Amazon Prime Synopsis

When a young boy claims he was expelled for something he didn’t do, his father sacrifices everything to defend his family’s honor. Based on Terence Rattigan’s celebrated play, adapted and directed by David Mamet.

Why You Should Check It Out: Jeremy Northam stars in this excellent, underrated period romance film. I would rate this movie five stars and can’t recommend it enough.  

Content Note: G

#48 WISH YOU WELL (2013)

wish you well poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

An accident forces twelve-year old Louisa Mae and her younger brother Oz to move from New York City to live with their great grandmother on a small farm in Virginia. Once finally adjusted to their new home, their family is threatened to be torn apart again when a coal company tries to steal their land. 

Now, Lou must team up with a lawyer, to fight for their land, their home and their future.

Why You Should Check It Out: Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, and Josh Lucas star in this heartwarming period drama (set in the 1940s) based on the bestselling novel by David Baldacci. 

Content Note: 13+

#49 WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)

Wuthering Heights 1939
Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Productions/United Artists

Amazon Prime Synopsis

A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveler the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff.

Why You Should Check It Out: Although this adaptation leaves out half the novel, the gorgeous film is a classic masterpiece. And Laurence Olivier gives one of his most memorable performances as the villainous yet romantic Heathcliff. 

Content Note: TV-14/16+

#50 WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1970)

Wuthering Heights classic poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Emily Bronte’s gothic heroine, Cathy, loves stableboy Heathcliff but marries squire Edgar.

Why You Should Check It Out: Nobody understands how to play Byronic Heroes better than Timothy Dalton – who plays the Byronic Heathcliff! Watch this version for the excellent performances and gorgeous visuals. 

Content Note: 13+

EVEN MORE PERIOD MOVIES ON AMAZON PRIME TO WATCH: 

  • 17 Miracles
  • 1900 (Rated R)
  • The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box
  • The Adventures of a Mathematician
  • The Adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson
  • After Miss Julie
  • Against a Crooked Sky
  • Allied (Rated R)
  • Alone Yet Not Alone
  • The American (2001)
  • An American Rhapsody
  • Angel and the Badman
  • Angel Mountain (16+)
  • Anna Karenina – Vronsky’s Story (16+)
  • Annie: A Royal Adventure
  • Anthropoid (Rated R)
  • April Morning – Revolutionary War
  • The Aviator (1985) – Stars Christopher Reeve
  • The Basket (2000) – idyllic looking
  • BBC Television Shakespeare: The Tempest
  • Beauty and the Beast (1987) 
  • Being the Ricardos
  • Bel Ami (Rated R)
  • Beowulf & Grendel (2005) (Rated R)
  • Beyond The Mask
  • Black Book (Rated R)
  • Black Candle
  • Brave New Jersey (TV-MA)
  • Broken Glass – with Mandy Patinkin
  • Bugsy (Rated R)
  • Burton and Taylor
  • Café Society
  • Call Me By Your Name (Rated R)
  • Captain Scarlett
  • Casanova, Last Love (16+)
  • Cezanne et Moi (Rated R)
  • Chinese Ghost Story (16+)
  • Cinderella (1965)
  • Cinderella (2021)
  • Clay (2008)
  • Cliffs of Freedom (Rated R)
  • Clothes in the Wardrobe
  • The Cokeville Miracle
  • Come Away – not well-liked though
  • Come On Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (1975) – Emmy-nominated
  • Cruel Train (TV-MA)
  • Cyrano De Bergerac (1950) – Won Best Actor
  • Daphne (16+)
  • Despite the Falling Snow
  • Dorian Gray (Rated R)
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (2008)
  • Elvis & Nixon (Rated R)
  • Ephraim’s Rescue
  • Esther and the King
  • The Fighting Preacher
  • Finding Altamira (16+)
  • Forbidden Empire
  • Frantz
  • Fugitive Pieces (Rated R)
  • The Girl King (18+)
  • Gold (2018)
  • Good Morning, Vietnam (Rated R)
  • Goya’s Ghosts (Rated R)
  • Grey Owl
  • Half of a Yellow Sun (Rated R)
  • Hattie – stars Aidan Turner
  • Heidi (1998)
  • Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Huckleberry Finn (1974)
  • Identical
  • In Dubious Battle (Rated R)
  • In the Time of the Butterflies
  • The Innocents
  • Interlude in Prague
  • Ithaca
  • Jane and Emma
  • Journey’s End (Rated R)
  • King Lear (2008)
  • Lady of the Manor (Rated R)
  • The Legend of Lizzie Borden
  • Legend: The Bessie Coleman Story
  • Lions For Lambs (Rated R)
  • Little Men (1940)
  • The Lost City of Z
  • Love is Blind (TV-MA); stars Aidan Turner
  • Loving Miss Hatto
  • The Luzhin Defense
  • The Mad Women’s Ball (18+)
  • Mademoiselle Paradis (13+
  • The Madness of King George
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  • Mao’s Last Dancer
  • Maysville
  • Moby Dick (1956)
  • Morning Glory
  • Night Watch (2014) – TV-14
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  • Oliver Twist (1933)
  • Our Town (1940)
  • The Passion of the Christ (Rated R)
  • Peacock Spring
  • Phantom (Rated R)
  • Pinocchio (2020)
  • Poor Liza
  • The Private Life of Samuel Pepys
  • Queen Marie
  • Rebel: Loreta Velazquez, Secret Soldier of the American Civil War
  • Red Tails
  • Rescue Dawn
  • Revolutionary Road (Rated R)
  • Rising Free
  • Road to Perdition (Rated R)
  • Running for Grace
  • Saint Ralph
  • Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed
  • Saul: The Journey to Damascus
  • Savannah
  • The Scarlet Letter (1934)
  • Shanghai Noon
  • Shaolin (Rated R)
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four
  • Silence (Rated R)
  • Small Faces
  • Snow White (1989)
  • The Story of Adele H
  • Sunstroke
  • Swallows & Amazons
  • Taking Sides (16+)
  • Tale of Tarot
  • The Tender Bar (Rated R)
  • Tennessee Williams’ The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (Rated R)
  • Trumbo (Rated R)
  • Turn of the Screw (2009)
  • Valkyrie
  • Vivandière
  • Voices from a Locked Room (Rated R)
  • Waiting for Anya 
  • Way Back
  • We Were Soldiers (Rated R)
  • Where the Red Fern Grows
  • The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd; has Colin Firth
  • Wild Faith
  • Wonder Wheel
  • Wonderstruck
  • The Work and the Glory
  • Young Sherlock Holmes
  • The Zookeeper (2001)

COMING SOON: 

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) 
  • Nanny McPhee Returns (2010)
  • War Horse (2011)
  • The Librarians (2013)
What period dramas on Prime do you plan on watching? Any recommendations? Sound off below…

Note: This article was first published in May 2016 and has been updated. Also, if you’re looking for free period dramas on Amazon Prime, check out their free streaming app, freevee.


Featured Image Credit: Amazon Prime Period Dramas. The Rebel Princess (Youku), Z: The Beginning of Everything (Amazon Studios), The Pursuit of Love (Photo: BBC/Amazon Studios), The Vineyard (Photo: Amazon Prime Video/Atresmedia Studios/Boomerang TV), Poldark (BBC).


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By on June 28th, 2021

About Autumn Topping

In second grade, Autumn wrote her first story, “The Spinach Monster,” and hasn't stopped writing since. Intrigued by the tales her grandmother told of vampires, witches, and ghosts as a girl, she's always been drawn to the fantastic. Later, Autumn studied English and Creative Writing (continuing her love for classic literature and everything old-fashioned) and graduated with an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. Currently, she co-runs this lovely blog and works as a YA Librarian.

More posts by this author.

10 thoughts on “100+ Best Period Dramas on Amazon Prime to Watch (2022)”

  1. Great list! So glad there are some amazing period dramas with easy access. Makes it nice for those viewers who prefer streaming over DVD sets. 🙂

    Reply
    • Well, this list was put up in 2016, so a few are no longer there. Streaming services change their content frequently. That said, I checked the titles and a good majority are still available. Though this is for Amazon Prime U.S. and I don’t know where you’re from!

      Reply
  2. Thank you so much for putting this list together. Since we “cut the cord” it takes a little research to find free quality shows to watch with just Prime (and Acorn TV). Most of the shows were still available, and I’ve added about 6 to our watchlist! Yea! Well done.

    Reply
  3. Yes it is a shame that those of us long term subscribers have very little new content to view with our Prime Membership…

    Reply
  4. I love your site! Just finished watching Sanditon and really sad about the ending. Anyway, I just want to recommend a highly addictive and wonderful Russian series that made me swoon- “Detective Anna”. This has a great plot and two actors with awesome chemistry.

    Reply
  5. Your very 1st show on this list, A French Village is excellent, but to my dismay only the 1st season is included in Amazon Prime. To continue watching I would have to pay $7.99/mo. for another provider. I consider this a bait & switch tactic and I’m very disappointed. You should have included this information in your review. I have no problem paying extra for services like Showtime, HBO and several others because I know what I’m getting beforehand.

    Reply
    • Thanks for letting me know! I researched as best as I could, but it is easy to miss things. I’ll update that information. Prime Video changes availability all the time too and it is hard to keep up. That first season thing seems to be a new marketing tactic from Amazon and may be happening more and more, unfortunately.

      Reply

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