Born in Palaces: 20 films about the life of aristocrats

Movie lovers know one thing about aristocrats for sure: they drink champagne in the morning, if, of course, you believe the hero from the Soviet comedy. For those who want to learn more about representatives of the highest circles, owners of coats of arms, castles and pedigrees longer than a cool cat from the exhibition, we offer our selection of films about aristocrats. There are witty comedies, historical and biographical dramas, as well as adaptations of famous authors.

Downton Abbey (2019)

The novelty of the movie – the continuation of the famous series about aristocrats – will again take the viewer to a huge country estate located in northern England. The story centers on the life of the Crowley family and their servants. In 1927, a noble family is preparing to receive King George and his wife in their apartments. However, behind the fuss and excitement, they do not notice that the monarch is in danger and one of the inhabitants of the mansion is already preparing an attempt on his life.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:  
Downton Abbey

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:  
Michelle Dockery, Matthew Goode, Geraldine James …

Country:  
UK, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:  
18+


Diana: A Love Story (2013)

The foreign feature film will tell about the last days of the most famous of modern English aristocrats – Princess Diana. After her divorce from Charles, the woman is completely immersed in charity, attends various events and continues to help people. Once Diana is introduced to a surgeon from Pakistan and the acquaintance grows into something more. Many close friends of the “queen of human hearts” will call this relationship the romance of her life.

Original title:  
Diana

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, biography

Actors:  
Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Juliet Stevenson…

Country:  
UK, France, Sweden, Belgium

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 5.5

Age restrictions:  
12+


Royal Romance (2012)

Highly rated historical Danish film starring Mads Mikkelsen. The plot revolves around an intriguing love triangle with the mad Danish king Christian VII, his strong and independent wife Caroline Mathilde, and the idealistic young doctor Johann Friedrich Struensee. The appearance of a reforming doctor at court and in the private life of the royal couple changes the fate of an entire nation, transforming Denmark from a lagging country into one of the most progressive states of the 18th century.

Original title:  
En kongelig affære

Genre:  
Drama, melodrama, biography, history

Actors:  
Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen, Mikkel Boe Fölsgor …

Country:  
Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:  
16+


WE. We believe in love (2011)

A new look at the love story of King Edward VIII and married Wallis Simpson is presented in a British film about aristocrats who once shocked contemporaries. American Wally Winthrop is a big fan of the same Wallis, because of which the king abdicated. At the end of the 20th century, this story does not let a woman go, she hunts at auctions for historical documents and personal letters. At the same time, the heroine is experiencing her own drama and is trying to find the answer to the question: were the monarch and his beloved happy after they became outcasts for the whole country?

Original title:  
WE

Genre:
Drama, romance, history

Actors:  
Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, James D’Arcy …

Country:  
United Kingdom

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:  
16+


The king speaks! (2010)

An Oscar-winning film with an interesting script, excellent directorial and acting work, tells the surprisingly bright story of Duke Albert. After his older brother unexpectedly renounced the throne, the man had to take on a responsible mission. However, sickly since childhood and suffering from a speech defect, he was not ready for such an event. His worst nightmare is performing in front of an audience, and ahead is a coronation speech. To learn how to speak like a real monarch, Albert turns to a speech therapist for help.

Original title:  
The King’s Speech

Genre:  
Drama, biography, history

Actors:  
Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce …

Country:  
UK, USA, Australia

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.0

Age restrictions:  
16+


Easy Virtue (2008)

The beloved son returns to the stiff British family together with his American wife. It seems that the bold, bright, sexy racing driver Larita is not at all a match for a restrained aristocrat. In addition, the guest from across the ocean is a widow. It is not surprising that the daughter-in-law is not at home in the husband’s family nest. And especially the mistress of the house does not like her. Fans of comedy films about the relationship between aristocrats from England and unceremonious Americans should see how the newly-made relatives will behave.

Original title:  
Easy Virtue

Genre:  
Melodrama, comedy

Actors:  
Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Colin Firth …

Country:  
UK, Canada

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:  
16+


Young Victoria (2008)

This biopic about the high aristocracy follows the early years of the young Victoria’s reign and her marriage to Prince Albert. William IV died in 1837 and his daughter became Queen of Great Britain. The time of her reign was the period of the highest prosperity for the country. Victoria was a trendsetter in wedding fashion, mother of 9 children and grandmother of 40 grandchildren. And despite the skepticism about marriage, when she first saw Prince Albert, she sincerely fell in love and adored her husband all 20 years of marriage.

Original title:  
The Young Victoria

Genre:  
Drama, melodrama, biography, history

Actors:  
Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany …

Country:  
UK, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:  
16+


Return to Brideshead (2008)

The next melodrama from the list of the best films about aristocrats will take the viewer during the Second World War . An officer of the English army, Charles Ryder, finds himself in places with which significant moments of his life are associated. Mentally, the man goes back ten years ago, when he studied at Oxford and met Sebastian and Julia Flyte, descendants of a noble aristocratic family and owners of the Brideshead estate.

Original title:  
Brideshead Revisited

Genre:
Drama, Romance

Actors:  
Matthew Goode, Ben Whishaw, Hayley Atwell, Emma Thompson…

Country:  
UK, Italy, Morocco, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.7

Age Limits
12+


Another Boleyn Girl (2008)

The two Boleyn sisters find themselves at the center of the intrigues of the royal court under Henry VIII. Wanting to improve the position of his family in society, the father offers his daughter Anna as a mistress to the king. However, the monarch is more to the liking of another Boleyn – married Mary. He appoints her as a lady-in-waiting to the queen. Mary submits to the will of her father and husband, sharing a bed with Henry. Soon the two sisters are in the power of the king. But only one of them will ascend the throne. But what price will she have to pay?

Original title:  
The Other Boleyn Girl

Genre:  
Drama, melodrama, biography, history

Actors:  
Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana…

Country:  
UK, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:  
12+


Duchess (2008)

The next film about the life of English aristocrats is a biographical film about the fate of the Duchess Georgiana Cavendish, a real historical figure. The usual situation for the Victorian era – the young and freedom-loving Georgiana is married to the duke. Realizing that she cannot fall in love with a prim husband, the girl gives herself up to secular pleasures, becoming a trendsetter and an honored guest at any ball. However, true love is not far off, and soon the Duchess will face a real battle between feelings and duty.

Original title:  
The Duchess

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, history

Actors:  
Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Hayley Atwell…

Country:  
UK, Italy, France, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:  
16+


Queen (2005)

August 1997 The UK is on the verge of a crisis, not because of political or economic problems, but against the backdrop of a personal tragedy – the death of Princess Diana. Elizabeth II should keep the royal family away from the scandalous death of the ex-wife of Prince Charles. However, the new prime minister, Tony Blair, is confident that the public expects the crown to publicly express grief over the death of the people’s favorite.

Original title:
The Queen

Genre:
Drama, biography, history

Actors:
Helen Mirren, James Cromwell, Michael Sheen …

Country:
UK, USA, France, Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
12+


Marie Antoinette (2005)

With impeccable period detail and gorgeous costumes, the film tells the story of the infamous French Queen Marie Antoinette. In 1770, the 14-year-old Austrian Princess Marie Antoinette travels to France to marry Louis XV, thereby cementing the alliance between the two countries. At first, the girl hardly adapts to the palace order, but gradually she finds both friends and enemies. The main problem of the young queen is the lack of an heir, but what if the husband does not even want to touch his wife?

Original title:  
Marie Antoinette

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, biography

Actors:  
Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Judy Davis…

Country:  
USA, France, Japan

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:  
16+


Wallis and Edward (2005)

The Crown Prince of Great Britain and Wally Simpson were in their early thirties when they first saw each other. After meeting, young people could not control their feelings and succumbed to temptation, an affair began. A novel that shocked the whole world. The royal family and the government were at a loss, because according to the laws, the future king could not marry a girl from a simple family, moreover, a divorced one. However, the usually insecure Edward this time showed iron firmness and made an irrevocable decision.

Original title:
Wallis & Edward

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Joely Richardson, David Westhead, Lisa Kay …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.4


Good Woman (2004)

This witty movie about aristocrats is a successful adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play. The film takes the viewer to Italy in the 30s. American socialite Mrs Erlynne goes on holiday to the Italian coast. Here the lady meets a young Windermere couple – 20-year-old Lady Meg and her wealthy husband Robert. Known for her predatory habits and love for wealthy men, Erlyn drew attention to this family for a reason.

Original title:
A Good Woman

Genre:
Drama, romance, comedy

Actors:
Helen Hunt, Scarlett Johansson, Milena Vukotic …

Country:
UK, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
12+


The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

The comedy melodrama continues the top films about representatives of the English aristocracy . Jack, who lives in the countryside, is the guardian of the charming young Miss Cecilia. Periodically, the man leaves for London, where he calls himself Ernest and has fun in the company of Olga’s friend. On the contrary, Olga often leaves the city and travels to the village under the same pseudonym – Ernest. When two men propose to different women, introducing themselves by the same name, there is unimaginable confusion. How will this risky game of fictitious names end?

Original title:
The Importance of Being Earnest

Genre:
Drama, Romance, Comedy

Actors:
Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Francis O’Connor …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 6.8

Age Limits :
12+


Gosford Park (2001)

A comedy detective film in the spirit of the works of Agatha Christie takes the viewer to England in the 30s. The guests arrive at the Gosford Park estate. The owners of the mansion invited friends and acquaintances, including the countess, a war veteran and several representatives of the film world. In the midst of a party, the owner of the house is found dead. One thing is clear – one of the guests tried to send him to the next world. And of course, in the course of the investigation , each character has skeletons in the closet.

Original title:  
Gosford Park

Genre:
Drama, Comedy, Crime

Actors:  
Kelly Macdonald, Emily Watson, Kristin Scott Thomas…

Country:  
USA, UK, Italy

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 7.2

Age Limits
16+


Blue Bloods (2000)

Unexpectedly for his aristocratic relatives, Earl Marshwood marries Hollywood star Miranda Frale. His loving mother is horrified by the arrival of the bride and groom, friends are advised not to allow a “person of inappropriate origin” into the family, and the staff is excited about the upcoming meeting with an actress from Hollywood. General hysteria reaches a peak when Don Lucas, a famous actor and former lover of Miranda, appears at Marshwood Hall.

Original title:  
Relative Values

​​Genre
Comedy

Actors:  
Julie Andrews, Edward Utterton, William Baldwin …

Country:  
United Kingdom

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.5

Age Limits
12+


Ideal Husband (1999)

Sir Robert Chiltern is a respected government official and an exemplary family man who loves his wife. His friend Lord Arthur Goring is a slacker, a womanizer and an intriguer. The plot begins when Laura Cheveley, an old acquaintance of the two men, arrives in London. The woman intends to blackmail Robert if he does not agree to her terms. Laura threatens to ruin his career and marriage by making public the secret of how he acquired his fortune. Arthur comes to the aid of a friend, an intrigue unfolds, revealing the true nature of the two friends.

Original title:
An Ideal Husband

Genre:
Melodrama, comedy

Actors:
Cate Blanchett, Minnie Driver, Rupert Everett …

Country:
UK, France, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
12+


At the end of the day (1993)

Stevens is the perfect butler. Work has long become more important to him than any personal affairs. And serving the owner of Darlington Hall is his main life goal. Too long suppression of emotions has taught a man to hide his true feelings to such an extent that he looks more like a mannequin than a person. Perhaps the appearance of the young housekeeper Miss Kenton on the estate will be a new and completely unexplored chapter of life for Stevens? The melodrama is based on the book by Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, and the role of an old-fashioned butler in love was played by Anthony Hopkins.

Original title:
The Remains of the Day

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, James Fox…

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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