Friday, May 7, 2010

Historical Romances on the Silver Screen

   Have you ever read a book, a historical romance in particular, and wish it were coming to a theater near you?
   There are a lot of different movies out there in the net-flicks archives that feature story lines straight from our favorite periods in time. Victorian and Regency era films are so plentiful; there are even some where the acting isn't TOO over the top!

Here are some titles you may or may not have heard of/seen:

'The Libertine' with Johnny Depp is amazing! I watched it a few times when I picked it up at the local video store one summer afternoon. Click the link to read more about it; but as the title suggests, its about a libertine! A notorious libertine at that.

'Persuasion' ,a film adaptation to Jane Austen's memorable novel under the same title. This is by consensus of all those doing consensuses, that Rupert Penry-Jones is BY FAR the hottest Captain Fredrick Wentworth we've ever seen. There is a 1995 adaptation as well, but although it had better acting, the aesthetic properties (old, slightly unattractive) of the actors didn't please as well as it did in this version.

 'Northanger Abbey' is yet another Jane Austen film adaptation. It has gorgeous characters and in my opinion, does some sort of justice to the  book. 

'Sleepy Hollow' Another Johnny Depp! This one is about 'The Headless Horseman'. It was graphic and grotesque! I didn't like how chaste it was, but maybe Christina Ricci (pictured in the poster to the right) was a minor while filming so the romance couldn't be to exploitative. Its still a good flick!
'From Hell' YET another Johnny Depp. This one centers around the fiend 'Jack the Ripper'. Its has bawdy buxoms and gruesome murders. Anything more romantic?
'Marie Antoinette' with Kirsten Dunst, received mixed reviews. It's really a 'if it floats your boat' kind of movie. You'll either love it, or nitpick it to a skeletal shell. It also won some awards for costume and if anything, the dresses are really pretty =)

 'The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex' made in 1939, features an all-star cast inculdeing the incomprable Bette Davis. It was directed by Michael Curtiz, who had been directing since 1910, and has dozens upon dozens of films in his repertoire

'Shakespeare in Love' with Gwyneth Paltrow and the ever-sexy Joseph Fiennes! This is a classic for everyone. We all know about William Shakespeare and we all know about 'Shakespeare in Love'

'Emma' with Gwyneth Paltrow. Emma has been re-created countless times including multiple times in TV mini series and an earlier film adaptation in 1932.

'The Other Boleyn Girl' with Scarlett Johannsen, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana (mmhmm)! Oh, that scandalous Anne Boleyn! Great film. (for some reason, I hated ScarJo's acting, but she sorta fit into the film anyway o.0)

'The Age of Innocence' the film adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel
under the same title.

'Tristan & Isolde' with the always yummy James Franco! This movie was a delight! So cute and heart-wrenching at the same time. More info in the link.

'The Young Victoria' with Emily Blunt (love her) received some 
serious honors this year at the Oscars. Winning in the best costume design and best make-up and hair categories. I've seen the movie, and it indeed deserved the adulations and the nomination for best female lead at the Oscars! Miss Blunt did 'WORK'. This was a great movie; I wanted to cry at the end when she had his clothes laid out!

'The Duchess' with Keira Knightley is probably one of the most accurate portrayals of the Historical Romances you and I read today. The title alone is reminiscent to a Mary Balogh or Julia Quinn novel, minus the happy ending. It was depressing, but accurate; and the acting wasn't horrible.

'Ever After' is a classic that everyone should have seen at least a good 60 times in their lifetime by now. I loved Drew Berrymore in this film. Modern Cinderella stories always warm the hearts!

'Becoming Jane' is a biopic about the God Mama of Romance. Miss Jane Austen. An upcoming post will be dedicated to her, so look out for that.

As I've stated before, there are hundreds of movies from the Renaissance, middle ages, times of kings and queens and from the formation and systematic dismantling of the British aristocracy. They aren't that hard to find; use a good search engine and type in Dumbo-proof searches: 'regency romance movies' or 'best historical romance movies'.

> Masterpiece | on PBS is a wonderful source for romance re-enactments and motion-picture adaptations of great historicals. There was a whole event centered on Jane Austen's work, which was amazing (and which yours truly missed)! Right now, they are in their 'mystery mode', spotlighting that particular genre at this time; but if you keep checking back, you can get the schedules for upcoming romance masterpiece performances.

*I'll be scouring you tube this weekend for material to use in a video-media/ trailers companion post to this topic.

*Make sure that you e-mail me if you feel there's a great title I may have missed! And post your comments telling me what you thought of the films I've already featured.

-Until Next Post<3...


  1. What a lovely list. There were a few in there that I didn't know anything about. Glad to have found this.

  2. Happy to bring them to you, Daz. It's actually surprising, how many films from the V & R era are out there.

    They are a great activity to enjoy for a book club night with the girls too! ; a little something different.



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