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  • Writer's pictureRitz Theatre

Period Piece or Time Machine

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

A historical drama or period piece can bring us back in time to Ancient Greece or 1991. It can mold our perception of a time period and even has the power to change our impression of history itself.

The VVitch made in 2015, set in the 1630's

A visually and verbally well thought out period piece like The VVitch hopes not to miss a detail. The filmmakers have the power to trick the viewer into thinking we are watching a scene right from the bygone days. Every street sign and petticoat as well as the spoken language must be of the period so we aren't taken out of the trance the film has put us under.

Marie Antoinette made in 2006, set in the 1770's

Other period pieces like Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette take artistic liberties. While the film is undoubtedly set in the delectable Roccoco era, many modern details are present. Even when each and every element is nearly perfect, many aspects of a period piece must be imagined and will most definitely mash nuance with the time at which the film was made.

Hidden Figures made in 2016, set in the 1950's and 60's

While watching a period piece, we can learn about historical events in movies like Killers of the Flower Moon. We can become enraptured in a great romance like Pride and Prejudice. We can envision the lives of great people in movies like Hidden Figures. Sometimes, we can enjoy a quirky story twisted from the pages of the Sunday paper like Cocaine Bear.

Grease made in 1978, set in the 1950's

The story of a period piece can live somewhere on a spectrum of historical accuracy or may simply be inspired by an era as it is in movies like Grease or That Thing You Do. These films become our looking glass into history whether they are true or false. They are a reenactment of grand proportions burned into the celluloid of time.



The Ritz team has yet again put together a list for you. This time, it's period pieces!


Brooke - Titanic - Made in 1997, set in 1912 - "Titanic is a movie about a rich woman, Rose, who falls in love with a poor man, Jack. While at sea, they both fall in love and have an affair while Rose is being forced to marry another man. After choosing true love, the ship ultimately sinks and not everyone is saved."



Ellissa - Forrest Gump - Made in 1994, set in the 1950's -1960's - "Forrest Gump is a movie about a simple man who journeys through a life of many obstacles and achievements by incredibly consistent beginner's luck."





Emily - The Wonder - Made in 2022, set in 1862 - "Set in 1860's Ireland, a nurse is tasked with visiting a rural village to investigate the miracle of a young fasting girl who claims to be able to survive months without eating."





Kyle - 1917 - Made in 2019, set in 1917 - "A soldier's journey through the heartbreak, struggles and bloodshed of World War I, on an impossible mission across enemy lines."






Ronnie - The Sound of Music - Made in 1965, set in the late 1930's - "Watching The Sound of Music has always been an Easter tradition in my family."






Sheila - Hacksaw Ridge - Made in 2016, set in the early 1940's








Stephanie - Inherent Vice - Made in 2015, set in 1970 - "Paul Thomas Anderson has created many a stunning period piece. I love Inherent Vice for it's gritty comedy and deeper concepts of inherently flawed systems and lifestyles."





Tania - Crimson Peak - Made in 2015, set in 1887 - "Set in the Victorian-era, Crimson Peak is a visually stunning gothic romance that perfectly combines horror, beauty, and suspense to bewitch viewers and keep them at the edge of their seat."

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