Humanity without its history is incomplete. Just like that, films are incomplete without the historical/period genre. Across the decades since films came into being, we have all been subjected to historical/period dramas that take us on an extraordinary journey to a different time, showing how the ways of life were back then. From the macrocosm of huge monuments to the microcosm of human emotions, we understand how we came into being and what we carry within us. On that note, here is the list of period movies available on Peacock.
8. Ephraim’s Rescue (2013)
Directed by T. C. Christensen, this film follows the true stories of the lives of Mormon pioneers Ephraim Hanks and Thomas Dobson, who lived in the 19th century. While Hank started as a soldier, he went on to convert and join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Meanwhile, born and baptized, Thomas Dobson leaves with his family for Utah as a part of the handcart brigade composed of almost 3000 Mormon pioneers from England, Wales, Scandinavia, and Scotland. When the brigade faced trouble, Hanks set off to help them. The cast of the film includes Richard Benedict as old Ephraim Hanks and James Gaisford as Thomas Dobson. You can watch ‘Ephraim’s Rescue’ here.
7. Furious (2017)
Directed by Dzhanik Fayziev, ‘3 Furious’ is based on the Russian legend of Ryazan bogatyr (the Russian equivalent of knight-errant) Evpaty Kolovrat as borrowed from 16th-century literary work “Tale of the Destruction of Ryazan.” The events depicted belong to the 13th century and show how Kolovrat fought with his group of men against the Mongol forces led by Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan. A story of bravery and sacrifice, ‘Furious’ stars Ilya Malakov as Evpaty Kolovrat, along with Polina Chernyshova, Aleksandr Tsoy, Yuliya Khlynina and Aleksandr Ilyin. You can stream the film here.
6. The Scarlet and the Black (1983)
A historical war drama directed by Jerry London, this film stars Gregory Peck as real-life Irish Catholic priest Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty of the Vatican in an Allies-occupied Rome during World War II. O’Flaherty was responsible for establishing an underground organization within the church to take care of escaped Allied prisoners of war, Jews, and Roman refugees, and ended up saving an estimated 6,500 souls. How he pulled off this huge feat while facing the danger of death if found out is what we see in the classic. Along with Peck, the cast includes Christopher Plummer, John Gielgud, Raf Vallone, Barbara Bouchet, and Olga Karlatos. The film is based on J. P. Gallagher’s book “The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican” (1067). You can watch ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ here.
5. The Delivered (2019)
Also known as ‘Fanny Lye Deliver’d,’ this Thomas Clay directorial takes place in one location over a handful of days. It is set in Shropshire County, England, in the 2nd half of the 17th century (post the English Civil War) and follows Puritan restraint Fanny Lye (Maxine Peake) and her much-older overly controlling soldier husband John (Charles Dance) and their son Arthur. While Fanny struggles to keep up with her Puritan way of life and an abusive husband, their lives turn upside down when a mysterious young couple, Thomas (Freddie Fox) and Rebecca (Tanya Reynolds), arrives at their doorstep, followed by the Sheriff (Peter McDonald) who is looking for a couple as well. To find out what the secret of the couple is, you can watch ‘The Delivered’ here.
4. Emma. (2020)
Directed by Autumn de Wilde, this film is based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel of the same name. It is set in Regency-era England and follows the exploits of wealthy and elegant Miss Emma Woodhouse as she carries out matchmaking responsibilities for her friends, helping them find their better halves. While she finds herself to be a great matchmaker, her skills often turn out to be meddlesome and can even be said to be misguided. The question is, can she be the perfect matchmaker for herself? A must-watch Jane Austen adaptation, ‘Emma.’ Stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma Woodhouse, along with Mia Goth, Johnny Flynn, Callum Turner, Connor Swindells, and Tanya Reynolds. You can watch the film here.
3. The Eight Hundred (2020)
This film depicts the defense of Sihang Warehouse (The Battle of Sihang Warehouse) in Shanghai from October 26 to November 1, 1937, by around 450 Chinese National Revolutionary Army soldiers against the hordes of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA). The battle was a part of the Battle of Shanghai, which itself was a part of the Second Sino-Japanese War of World War II, fought between China and Japan. A chef’s kiss for any war movie enthusiast, ‘The Eight Hundred’ stars Zheng Kai, Zhang Youhao, Huang Xiaoming, Ethan Juan, Augusta Xu-Holland, and Tang Yixin. You can watch the film here.
2. Dunkirk (2017)
Directed by Christopher Nolan, this war drama follows the evacuation of British soldiers and other Allied troops from the Dunkirk beach in the aftermath of them being cornered by German forces during World War II. Numbering around 300,000, the troops were evacuated by civilian vessels, including yachts and boats that then brought them home to England. Nolan expertly blends facts and fiction by showcasing the event in a very personal manner from three perspectives: land, water, and air. The cast of ‘Dunkirk’ includes Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance and Barry Keoghan. You can stream it here.
1. Downfall (2004)
Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, this movie centers on the downfall of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. Hitler’s (Bruno Ganz) descent into paranoia as the truth of a lost war dawns on him, along with how his generals reacted to the whole situation and their Fuhrer’s unhinged nature, have been depicted brilliantly in the film set against the backdrop of the Battle of Berlin in World War II. Alongside Ganz, the cast includes Ulrich Matthes, Thomas Kretschmann, Christian Berkel, and Stefan Mehren. You can watch the film here.
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