Love British Period Dramas? These Are the Movies & TV Shows You Need to Watch This Valentine's Day

Now that the holidays are officially behind us, the next big event on our calendar is Valentine’s Day. And whether you’re spending it with a significant other or just a few of your pals, there’s no better way to celebrate love than with a good old-fashioned period piece.

That’s why this year, we took the time to round up some of our favorite romantic period dramas currently streaming on HBO Max. From Downton Abbey (the feature film) to the original Pride and Prejudice, keep reading for 11 movies and TV shows to ring in the day of love.

1. ‘emma.’ (2020) - Hbo

Starring one of our favorite actresses ATM, Anya Taylor-Joy, Emma. is a fresh take on Jane Austen’s classic tale. The film takes place in Regency-era England and follows Emma Woodhouse as she continues to do what she does best—meddle in the love lives of her family and friends. But finding a love of her own is going to take some time (as well as a few romantic missteps).

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2. ‘pride & Prejudice’ (1995)

In Jane Austen's (yes, another one) tale of 19th-century England, Mrs. Bennet hopes to marry her stubborn and opinionated daughter to a prosperous gentlemen, including new arrival Mr. Darcy. The 1995 miniseries features a star-studded cast including Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth, Susannah Harker, Julia Sawalha and Alison Steadman.

3. ‘phantom Thread’ (2017) - Hbo

Set in London during the ‘50s, the film tells the story of renowned dressmaker, Reynolds Woodcock, whose carefully tailored life is disrupted when a beautiful, young women enters his life and quickly becomes his muse. Oh, and did we mention it won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 2018? So, you’ll really feel like you traveled back in time.

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4. ‘the Beguiled’ (2017) - Hbo

Starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning (need we keep going?), The Beguiled centers around the sexual desires of an a wounded Union soldier who falls for the head-mistress of a Virginia boarding school during the American Civil War.

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5. ‘downton Abbey’ (2019) - Hbo

Considering the series ran for five successful seasons, we weren’t surprised when we heard we were getting a follow-up film. Set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey in the early twentieth century, the feature film picks up where the show left off and follows the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants as they prepare for the arrival of the king and queen.

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6. ‘barry Lyndon’ (1975)

The film’s official synopsis reads, “An Irish rogue cheats his way to the top of 18th-century British society.” And while romance isn’t at the movie’s forefront, it definitely plays a role.

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7. ‘becoming Jane’ (2007) - Hbo

Anne Hathaway stars as a young Jane Austen in this drama (set in 1795) that centers around the author’s untold romance with a charming (but poor) man played by James McAvoy.

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8. ‘elizabeth I: Part 1’ (2005) - Hbo

You can definitely count us in on anything that focuses on our beloved Queen Elizabeth. The first part of this mini-series is all about the public and private life of the monarch in latter half of reign. Oh, and we should probably mention that Helen Mirren’s performance won her an Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television.

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9. ‘elizabeth I:part 2’ (2005) - Hbo

Mirren return to the titular role for Part 2, which features an older Elizabeth in the midst of a passionate love affair with the young Earl of Essex. (See trailer above).

10. ‘pride And Prejudice’ (1940)

You know the story from either the mini series (see above), Kiera Knightly’s 2005 version or the book. But this 1940’s film was the first big-screen rendition of classic tale, and features Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier and Mary Boland.

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11. ‘emma’ (2009)

If you’re looking for a longer version of Jane Austin’s classic about Emma Woodhouse, try this TV miniseries from the BBC. Although it was only one season, Rotten Tomatoes gave the series rave reviews, writing “Bolstered by a charming supporting cast, Romola Garai's enchanting performance as the titular heroine makes this Emma a commendable adaptation.”

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