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Period Dramas Sorted by Historical Era

Looking for ideas of a period drama to watch?
Here are over 1100 films, sorted by era...

Ancient Period Dramas (4000 B.C - 500)
(such as: Jesus of Nazareth, Ben Hur, Troy,
The Ten Commandments, The Nativity Story and Cleopatra)

Medieval Period Dramas (500-1500)
(such as: Lord of the Rings, King Arthur, Tristan and Isolde,
The Princess Bride, A Knight's Tale and Robin Hood)

Renaissance Period Dramas (1400-1600)
(such as: Ever After, Shakespeare in Love, 1492, Elizabeth and The Other Boleyn Girl)

Baroque Period Dramas (1600-1750)
(such as: Pirates of the Caribbean, Le Roi Soleil, The Three Musketeers,
Vatel, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost in La Mancha)

Georgian Period Dramas (1714-1830)
(such as: The Aristocrats, Amazing Grace, Marie Antoinette,
John Adams, The Duchess and The Scarlet Pimpernel)

[Note: Jane Austen adaptations listed specifically in Regency era below]

Regency Period Dramas (1811-1820)
(such as: Pride and Prejudice, Bright Star, Persuasion,
Emma, and Sense and Sensibility)

Victorian Period Dramas (1837-1901)
(such as: The Young Victoria, Daniel Deronda, Little Women, Little House on the Prairie,
The Buccaneers, North and South, The Inheritance and Mrs. Brown)

[Considering that Queen Victoria's reign was so long,
this is the largest group of films sorted by era including almost 300 period dramas!]

Edwardian Period Dramas (1901-1914)
(such as: Downton Abbey, The Lost Prince, The Importance of Being Earnest,
Titanic, My Fair Lady, Anne of Green Gables)

Post-Edwardian Period Dramas (1915-1960s)
(such as: The Ladies in Lavender, The Remains of the Day, The Magic of Ordinary Days,
The Sound of Music, The Painted Veil, Foyle's War)

The above is solely a visual list of movies from each era.
The Film Index lists those period films which have been featured in greater detail.

Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. I have included mainly those that I've seen myself and/or those that are suitable for most audiences. I know that plenty of you have favourite dramas that might be missing from this list (sorry!) but I've tried to include a good selection of the quantity of period films available out there!
(Many are available to watch online.)
Audrey Hepburn's Ascot dress in My Fair Lady
sold for $3.7 million

Felt a little bit sad today when thinking of these iconic costumes being sold. I still am befuddled that there weren't any supporters of the film industry interested in maintaining this collection of four decades' worth gathered by Debbie Reynolds. I ended up staying awake until 3 a.m. just to watch the live auction, curious to see the sale of Hepburn's dress from My Fair Lady!

According to Indiewire, in the end, many items went to Saudi Arabia or Japan. "With an hour to go before the auction was scheduled to begin, the theater of the Paley Center in Beverly Hills was already full and the downstairs gallery was filling up. When Debbie Reynolds walked in, looking perky in a white pants suit, the crowd rose and applauded as she took the podium to say a few last words before hundreds of her costumes and props went under the gavel. “I’ve been collecting for 45 years and I’m only forty,” brought appreciative laughs and her eyes welled up as she thanked everyone for coming—and bidding. While she has passionately and lovingly tried to save this slice of Hollywood history, the years of accumulated bills necessitated this sale. But the anticipation hung heavy in the room. The people filling the theater looked more like observers and fans than capable of coming up with major bucks, but one truth of auctions is that all it takes is two people who want the same thing to drive prices sky high."

Here are some of the items that sold:

Worn by Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch
Sold for $4.6 million
Worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
$1.2 million

Worn by Judy Garland during first 2 weeks of filming The Wizard of Oz
Sold for $910,000 - more than ten times the estimate

Original shoes worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz

Worn by Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief

Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music
Dresses (L-R) sold for $550,000 / $45,000 / $42,500

Outfits for Marta and Gretl (The Sound of Music) sold for $35,000
(guitar sold for $140,000 and movie poster sold for $6000)

Worn by Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc
Sold for $50,000

Worn by Bette Davis and Joan Collins (middle dress) in The Virgin Queen
$7500, $3000 and $22,500
Worn by Charlie Chaplin in Little Tramp

Marlon Brando and Merle Oberon
as Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine in Desirée
$60,000 and $22,500

1952 red MG TD used by Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant in Monkey Business

Charlton Heston in Ben-Hur
(sandals sold for $14,000, poster sold for $5500)

Worn by Katharine Hepburn as Jo in Little Women

Worn by Greta Garbo in Anna Karenina

Deborah Kerr as Elizabeth I in Young Bess

Angela Lansbury as Queen Anne in Three Musketeers

Elizabeth Taylor in Little Women

Katharine Hepburn in Mary of Scotland

Laurence Olivier in Pride and Prejudice

Other items sold:
Orson Welles' outfit as Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre - $20,000
Elizabeth Taylor's riding outfit from National Velvet - $60,000
Yul Brynner's outfit in The King and I - $9500
Elizabeth Taylor's headdress from Cleopatra - $100,000
Richard Burton's tunic and cape from Cleopatra - $85,000
Grace Kelly's Princess Alexandra dress from The Swan - $110,000
Lydia Bennett's dress from Pride and Prejudice (1940) - $5000
Marilyn Monroe's outfit from There's No Business Like Show Business - $500,000
(and poster from same movie sold for $7500)
Marlon Brandon's Mutiny on the Bounty naval outfit - $90,000
Barbara Streisand's Hello Dolly gold dress - $100,000
Leslie Caron's plaid dress & cape from Gigi - $65,000
Joan Crawford's waitress outfit from Mildred Pierce - $22,500
Vivien Leigh's robe from A Streetcar Named Desire - $18,000

Profiles in History: The Debbie Reynolds Collection is deemed to be the most significant collection of Hollywood costumes and props since the liquidation of the MGM and FOX studios in the 1970’s. Profiles in History plans to sell this massive collection through a series of auctions starting with part one in June 2011 and part two in December 2011. This entire collection contains over 3,500 costumes, 20,000 original photographs, several thousand original movie posters, original costume sketches and hundreds of key props from film history.

View: Auction Results
Highlighted items on auction block

Index to image galleries & articles of weddings from years gone by...

I've been fascinated with period fashion of late and discovered some great websites with dresses from various eras that have me longing for the enchanting styles of yesteryear. While perusing and ooh-ing and ahh-ing, it dawned on me that I could spend hours focused on wedding fashion alone, so I've planned a few posts which will highlight the wonderful dresses worn on that special day, whether they be museum pieces, vintage or vintage-inspired! Hope you enjoy walking down memory lane with me!
Paintings featured in top banner:
"Call to Arms" - Edmund Blair Leighton
"Signing the Register" - Edmund Blair Leighton
"The Wedding Morning" - John Henry Frederick Bacon
"Pamela is Married" - Joseph Highmore
"None but the Brave Deserve the Fair" - James Shaw Crompton
I've noticed the number of posts on Enchanted Serenity inching toward a thousand and I've wondered how I could mark the milestone! Keep in mind that my posts aren't always as time consuming as other bloggers who take the time to write reviews or post articles elaborating on a certain topic. My main goal has always been to share links with others of great period dramas that you might not be familiar with or background information about the films that we love! Although most of my posts are summaries or links to other sources, it still has been a labour of love and it's been great fun meeting so many others who share my love of this genre.

One of my biggest hurdles has been how to make it "searchable" and indexed so people can find out more about desired dramas. Since I've posted so frequently (as of late anyway), it would be easy to miss an item that was posted just a few days earlier. I currently have 5 posts appearing at a time but some days I've posted that many articles and so the other posts get moved down the queue and out of site.

to all who've taken the time to comment or email along the way!

It's a blast to share this journey back in time with you!

Edwardian Fashion - Image gallery 2

Like a kid in a candy store, I'm delighting in discovering more great examples of the fashion found in the Edwardian era! Just discovered the treasure trove found on Abiti Antichi, a wardrobe collected by Camilla Columbo which would be the absolute envy of those of us who are fans of period fashion! Thank you so much Camilla for sharing your collection with us!

These images can be found on Camilla's site: 1901-1908, 1909-1914

See previous: Edwardian Fashion - Image gallery #1

Can you choose a favourite?

Love the detail on this one.
Reminds me of this one that I love on Dame Maggie in Downton Abbey

When I think of Edwardian, I think of ecru...

On left: dress made using fabric taken from skirt of earlier era (original bodice shown).

Gallery of dresses shown in order of year (1901-1914). Last 2 shown are dressing gowns...

Period Fashion: Mourning Dress

In watching Downton Abbey, I was struck by the fact that the family members would have to wear their mourning clothes after their relatives had been lost on the Titanic. In this day and age, we wear black for a brief time to show respect but in Victorian times, the period of mourning was much longer and so would require a substantial wardrobe. By the Edwardian era, the length of mourning and the rules had eased up.

(On right: shown in the film "The Young Victoria", Victoria is in mourning after death of her uncle King William IV)

[Source] "In 19th century England, a widow was expected to remain in mourning for over two years. The rules were slightly less rigid for American women.

These stages of mourning were observed by women:
Full mourning, a period of a year and one day, was represented with dull black clothing without ornament. The most recognizable portion of this stage was the weeping veil of black crepe. If a women had no means of income and small children to support, marriage was allowed after this period. There are cases of women returning to black clothing on the day after marrying again.
Second mourning, a period of nine months, allowed for minor ornamentation by implementing fabric trim and mourning jewelry. The main dress was still made from a lusterless cloth. The veil was lifted and worn back over the head. Elderly widows frequently remained in mourning for the rest of their lives.
Half mourning lasted from three to six months and was represented by more elaborate fabrics used as trim. Gradually easing back into color was expected coming out of half mourning. All manor of jewelry could be worn.

The standard mourning time for a widower was two years but it was up to his discretion when to end his single stage. Men could go about their daily lives and continue to work. Typically young unmarried men stayed in mourning for as long as the women in the household did."

Many thanks to Evangeline of Edwardian Promenade for answering my inquiry of how mourning practices changed during the Edwardian era. She explains:
"Comparing two different editions of “Manners and Rules of Good Society”—one published in 1888 and the other in 1913—a widow in 1888 always wore mourning for two years; a widow in 1913 could wear mourning for two years, but she also had the option of only doing so for eighteen months. Crepe was also optional, with more widows choosing not to wear it by 1913. In 1888, jewelry was forbidden until eight months had past, whereas in 1913, barring gold, diamonds, could be worn after three months. Other periods of mourning (in-laws, cousins, etc) were drastically reduced in 1913 (i.e. Daughter-in-law or Son-in-law: 12 months in 1888, six months in 1913)."

Pics source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum, Abiti Antichi

~ Period fashion of mourning dress over the years ~

Edwardian Fashion - Image gallery 1

I'm absolutely in awe of the Edwardian fashion shown in Downton Abbey and have since discovered other beautiful (and some not so beautiful) outfits from that era. Some of the dresses are breathtakingly gorgeous and yet some of the designs and colours are just not to my taste...

LOVE these!
Worn by Queen Maud of Norway circa 1910-1913


Lady Sybil turned heads in Downton Abbey when she walked in sporting pantaloons instead of an anticipated new dress. Although this scene in the series took place in 1913, it was not the first time that harem pants were seen. Charles Frederick Worth introduced such a costume in 1870 (shown on left above).

Description of Worth's pantaloons (The Met) - This Turkish style costume exhibits the European and American fascination with Turkish dress which stems from the 18th century and endured throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. This trend culminated in 1911 with Paul Poiret's "harem" pants and Turkish themed fancy dress ball, "1002nd Night." This particular pair of Turkish trousers combined with its elaborately embroidered fashionable bodice, is appropriate for a fancy dress ball and indicates the lengths that people would go to for this type of costume event. Owning an expensive Worth fancy dress ball ensemble would have been the epitome of distinction and extravagance.

Sources: most of these images found through Victoria &Albert Collections and The Metropolitan Museum of Art Other sources include: Fashion-Era, Victoriana.com, Costumer's Manifesto, Edwardianera, Defunct Fashion, The Ladies Treasury, Across the Ages, Vintage Textile, Historical Fashion, Wear It Again Sam

Edwardian fashion in Downton Abbey:
Period fashion, Costumes from episode 1, A Milliner's Dream: The Hats! and 5 pic galleries

My Fashion Index
Edwardian Fashion - Image gallery 2

_________ Image gallery of fashion 1900 - 1915 __________

1913 / 1912

1910 / 1914

1913 Meyer Jonasson / 1915 from Wear it Again Sam

1900-1905 Worth ballgown

1898-1902 negligée /1900-02/1900-05

1900-05 / 1900-03 / 1900-03 Rouff

1900-1905 Jacques Doucet / 1900 Gustave Beer / 1900 Worth

1901-1905 / 1902 / 1902 coat Worth

1902 Worth / 1903 Worth / 1905

1905-07 French / 1905 deshabille / 1905

1905 / 1905 House of Redfern / 1905 Vintage Textile

1905 tea gown Worth / 1905 / 1905

1906 smoking suit / 1907 / 1907 American

1908 / 1908-10 Worth / 1908 Callot Soeurs

1908 / 1908 Worth / 1909 Worth

1910 bridesmaid / 1910 Callot Soeurs / 1910

1910 Callot Soeurs / 1910 French / 1910 Irish lace jacket

1910 Vintage Textile / 1910 / 1910 suit

1910 / 1910 Worth / 1910 Worth

1910 / 1910 / 1910 lace jacket

1911 / 1911 evening dress French / 1912-13 French

1912-14 American / 1912-15 / 1912-14 Paul Poiret

1912 French ...

1912 French Butard / 1912 French / 1912 Irish

1912 jacket / 1912 Paquin / 1912 Poiret

1912 / 1912 Vintage textile / 1913 promenade suit

1913 / 1914 Callot Soeurs / 1915

18th century shoes back in vogue!

While most of us like to fawn over pictures of period fashion from a time gone by, I admire those who do more that just gaze at these costumes but take the time to create new incarnations of the beautiful styles found in various eras. One site that I stumbled upon, American Duchess, has wonderful posts covering historical costuming from the 16th to the 20th century and shares tips on creating outfits as well as offering items for sale. I couldn't believe when I saw these delightful 18th century shoes, that there was actually an image of their protoype since they are in fact being designed for manufacture and will be available for sale in the near future!

"Drawing provided to the manufacturer, based on 1770s styles"
(Read more here)
Lauren has more details on these shoes including the style and sizes available, and is currently running a poll to determine a name for them that is apropos!

And...the upper material will be dyable silk, which means the ability to match your shoes to your various gowns! Now to find the right gown!

Great design Lauren! Thanks for sharing!

There Be Dragons (2011)

[Official synopsis]
Roland Joffe, the director who brought us the highly acclaimed and deeply spiritual film The Mission has returned to his roots with the epic movie There Be Dragons, a powerful story of war, tragedy, love and redemption. Set during the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War (1930s), it tells the story of two childhood friends who become separated during the political conflict to find themselves on opposite sides as war erupts. One chooses the path of peace and becomes a priest while the other chooses the life of a soldier driven by jealousy and revenge. Each will struggle to find the power of forgiveness over the forces that tore their lives and friendship apart.

Planned for release in theatres worldwide in Spring, 2011.
Trailer and behind-the-scenes video below

Charlie Cox (Stardust) - Josemaría Escrivá
Wes Bentley (The Claim) - Manolo
Olga Kurylenko (Centurion) - Ildiko
Rodrigo Santoro (Love Actually) - Oriol
Dougray Scott (Ever After) - Robert, son of Manolo
Geraldine Chaplin, Derek Jacobi , Charles Dance, Michael Feast, Lily Cole, Golshifteh Farahani, Robert Blythe

The film is both written and directed by Oscar-nominated British filmmaker Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields, The Mission, City of Joy, The Scarlet Letter). Joffe said that it's a " story about people trying to find meaning about their lives." The epic film tells the story of a present-day Spanish journalist, Robert, who is mending relations with his dying father, Manolo, who took part in the Spanish Civil War. The journalist discovers through his investigations that his father was a close childhood friend of Josemaría Escrivá , a candidate for sainthood, with whom he had a complicated relationship. Manolo became a soldier during the Spanish Civil War and became obsessed with a beautiful Hungarian revolutionary, Ildiko. She rejects him and gives herself to a brave militia leader Oriol. Manolo becomes jealous and takes a path of betrayal.

The film includes the early life of Josemaría Escrivá, a modern-day saint and the founder of Opus Dei, an institution of the Catholic Church which teaches that ordinary human life is a path to sanctity. Escrivá, who died in 1975, was canonized by John Paul II in 2002. Joffé, who initially shied away from the project, was "ultimately intrigued by the chance to dramatize the life of a modern-day saint, particularly considering Escrivá's 'liberating' view that a path to God could be found in an ordinary life."

According to Joffé, they are "making a film about love, human love and divine love, about hate, about betrayal, about war, about mistakes, about everything it is to be a human being." "Reconciliation matters" is the main take away message that Joffe expects from the viewers and that this is “a film about what it means to be a saint in this day and age."

Why the title? It refers to its theme exploring the unknown territories of hatred, guilt, and forgiveness explained producer Ignacio G. Sancha. "There be dragons" is an abbreviation of "here there be dragons" from the Latin hic sunt dracones, an ancient way of denoting in maps a place where there is danger, or an unknown place, a place to be explored.

Behind the Scenes...

Who was Josemaria Escriva? (Youtube video)

I came across an article yesterday that ruffled some feathers on this side of the pond. Seems that British reporter Chris Hastings chose to be selective about details that he posted about the upcoming American broadcast of Downton Abbey on PBS Masterpiece. If one reads his article, it is plain to see that his attempt was to insult American viewers as seen by his suggestive title: "Downton downsized... by two hours because American TV executives fear its intricate plot will baffle U.S. viewers".

First off, let me clarify (since the Daily Mail seems unwilling to do so) that 2 hours have NOT been cut from the series. The British telecast on ITV had the equivalent of 2 hours of commercials over the 7-episode run. So as far as editing scenes for the American broadcast, there should be minimal changes. I've been informed by Evangeline Holland of Edwardian Promenade, who has seen both the British and American versions and she explained, "I like the cuts they've made... The pacing is better since they've cut a lot of the repetitious dialogue and scenarios... And I was worried about the cuts as well, but PBS did a very, very good job of retaining the flow of the plot."

I was also informed by an American tv reviewer, Jace Lacob (Televisionary and The Daily Beast) that when he was called for an opinion by Hastings, he pointed out that the difference was due to 2 hours of ads but The Daily Mail chose to ignore that in the article. Hastings also included an unattributed quote from Lacob's review of Downton Abbey. I find it odd that The Daily Mail took the time to point out that "On ITV, the series, ...ran with advertisements, while PBS - the Public Broadcasting Service - is free of commercials" and yet they still ran with the headline and the premise throughout the article that 2 hours have been sliced.
Update-Read Jace Lacob's reply:
In Defense of Downton Abbey (Or, Don't Believe Everything You Read)

Last evening, there were no comments posted regarding the Daily Mail's article when I posted a comment to them. Today, I notice multiple comments are now shown but they chose not to post mine. No big surprise there.

With regard to comments made by Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of PBS, I'm surprised that she's not giving the American audience more credit since I believe she's aware of the type of highly-discerning viewers that frequent PBS.

Eaton explains, 'American audiences are used to a different speed when it comes to television drama and you need to get into a story very quickly. We also wanted to get to the point where Matthew Crawley [the family's middle-class cousin and unlikely heir] arrives on the scene much faster than in the British version. He is a pivotal character and his arrival brings with it drama and conflict. 'In the British version he doesn't arrive until episode two. In our version he is there in episode one.'

However, this point of Matthew appearing in Episode 1 seems evident to me since the British telecast was only 65 minutes long so it only makes sense that we would in fact see Downton's heir in PBS's first episode of 90 minutes. (Personally, I did not find the first episode on ITV to be lacking in any way considering we only get a glimpse of Matthew in the final minutes. Not all of us were interested in Dan Stevens' character as a romantic lead. There are other interesting fish to fry, not to mention the plot revolving around the rest of the cast including the presence of Dame Maggie Smith!)

Eaton also said, 'We thought there might be too many references to the entail and they have been cut. It is not a concept people in the US are very familiar with.'
Modified to add: I've just previewed the first episode on PBS and there are still scenes which reference the entail so not all scenes have been cut including one of my favourite moments between the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) and Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern)!

So to Mr. Hastings, who described America as the "land of the notoriously short attention span", I'd just like to say that don't take it for granted that we can still read between the lines!

FYI: Although there might me minor edits for the PBS telecast,
the DVD is the original and unedited UK version
Link: Daily Mail article
In Defense of Downton Abbey (Or, Don't Believe Everything You Read)

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