There is probably not a single movie that can come close to the success and influence of the 1939 epic historical film, ‘Gone With the Wind.’ The movie is considered to be the highest-grossing film of all time if its earnings are to be adjusted for inflation. Moreover, it also won ten Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and the first Academy Award for an African-American: Best Supporting Actress for Hattie McDaniel.
The film is set against the backdrop of the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era, being based on the 1936 novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell. The movie revolves around a romantic affair between the manipulative daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, Scarlett O’Hara, and a married man. The film is praised for the character of O’Hara, technical wizardry, and extremely high production value. However, it did receive criticism for perpetuating a few racial stereotypes. This list takes a look at similar movies that tell a story set against the backdrop of historical events. You can watch several of these movies similar to Gone With the Wind on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. Django Unchained (2012)
This Quentin Tarantino movie is a stylistic masterpiece and easily one of the most impressive movies belonging to the revisionist Western genre. Moreover, the movie also gets several facets of African-American representation right, unlike ‘Gone With the Wind.’ Additionally, ‘Django Unchained‘ proves to be thoroughly entertaining and stylistically victorious, adding another feather to Tarantino’s hat. The film revolves around a freed slave’s mission to rescue his wife from a plantation owner, with the help of a bounty hunter.
6. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Similar to ‘Gone With the Wind,’ ‘Doctor Zhivago’ tells a story of romance against a historic backdrop with its poster describing the movie’s plot as “a love caught between the fire of revolution.” Based on the 1957 novel of the same name by Boris Pasternak, ‘Doctor Zhivago’ is set during the Russian Civil War and at a time just before the First World War.
5. Barry Lyndon (1975)
‘Barry Lyndon’ is a period movie that is directed, produced, and written by the acclaimed filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick. It is an adaptation of the 1844 novel, ‘The Luck of Barry Lyndon’ by William Makepeace Thackeray. Set in the 18th century, the film recounts the fictional story of an Irish opportunist who marries a rich widow, aiming to climb up the social ladder. The film is partially set during the Seven Years’ War and went on to win four Academy Awards.
4. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
‘The Grapes of Wrath’ is perhaps the most American movie of all time. The movie is set during the Great Depression and narrates a moving story of a family chasing the American Dream. It is based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by John Steinbeck and sees the Joad family take a road trip to California in order to find work, facing several hardships along the way. It is considered to be one of the greatest American movies of all time.
3. The Age of Innocence (1993)
‘The Age of Innocence’ is yet another critically acclaimed romance movie set against a historical period. The movie is set in the 1870s in New York and revolves around a rich attorney who is happily married to a woman named May. However, an intense love triangle follows when he develops feelings for his wife’s cousin, Ellen.
2. Red Dust (1932)
‘Red Dust’ is a 1932 movie that tells another romance story against the backdrop of historical events. This one is set in French Indochina, taking a look at the colonial rubber business of the time. The story focuses on a love triangle involving a man named Carson. He is depicted to be pursuing one of his employees’ wives after ending a relationship with a prostitute. The film also stars Clark Gable (an integral cast member of ‘Gone With the Wind’).
‘Casablanca’ requires no introduction whatsoever. It is widely regarded as one of the best romance movies of all time. In fact, it is considered to be one of the greatest films across genres. The movie is set during the Second World War and revolves around an American expatriate, Rick who decides to help his ex-lover’s husband flee the city of Casablanca. However, his ex-lover, Ilsa soon starts to develop feelings for Rick again.
Read More: Best Period Romance Movies