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Historical romance novel made into a movie?

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Initial post: Jan 5, 2009 3:07:37 AM PST
RiRi says:
Does anyone know of any historical romance novels that were made into movies? I wish more were!

Plus, does anyone know where I could watch them online?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 12:33:07 PM PST
MelissaO says:
My all-time fav is the A&E/BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle. I'm sure you could find it online, but not sure where...(youtube???)

I just saw Last of the Mohicans after many years and the movie is WONDERFUL. I almost forgot. Not a standard romance, but it's pretty hot.

I also just saw a BBC movie called North and South, which takes place in England during the industrial revolution. It was amazing, and I would recommend it to any romance lover. Basic plotline, a preacher and his daughter (heroine) move to the "wilds" of northern England to an industrial town where they meet the hero who is very rich but prejudiced against the niceties of London folk. He falls in love with her, but it takes awhile for them to work things out.....great story. Sort of like and industrial revolution P&P.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 10:46:28 PM PST
RiRi says:
Thanks for the reply! To be honest, I've read a lot of people recommending Pride and Prejudice and even Becoming Jane, but those, according to me, aren't really historical romances. They lack the fire and spark of the kind of historical romances that I like to read by Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught. The only movie I've seen that could truly be considered a "historical romance" is Partition, it has enough love, romance, a bit of history and tons of spark and sexual chemistry between the leads and steamy scenes. I just want to know if there's any other movies like that out there. Definitely going to check out North and South though, now that you recommended it!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 4:54:01 AM PST
I would love to see Johanna Lindsey or Lisa Kleypas novels made into movies. Maybe not big screen but LifeTime Channel Or Oxgen channel or even WE channel movies.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 9:24:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 6, 2009 9:29:21 PM PST
K.O says:
RiRi: I'll be watching your thread to see if anyone comes up with anything I haven't seen already, as this is a big favorite of mine. I have not even heard of this "Partition" you recommended, and it sounds right up my alley. I will be running over to see what I can find immediately. Okay here is my recommendations:

North and South (based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell) (not the John Jakes "North & South set in civil war America, although that is also a pretty good mini-series): A favorite - MelissaO is right on with this one. Doesn't contain "steamy scenes" so much as the absolutely most passionate wrap up kiss of any movie ever in my opinion. I own this one (and it's a mini series - long and wonderful!).

An Ideal Husband: Is a movie that truly resembles a historical romance from the Victorian (I think) period. It's somewhat of a comedy though, and not full of steamy scenes either (not too many out there that include that in a movie, so that's why I'm so interested in the one you mentioned). This is a good movie though, well made, funny and top notch cast.

Firelight: Follows a historical romance novel to a tee. Very poignant and moving story of a man with an invalid (comatose) wife in the 1800s who sets out to find a woman to bear him a child so that he is able to secure an heir. Of course, he falls deeply in love with the woman who bears him a child and she with him, but surrenders that child to him in much dismay and exits his life (as pre-arranged). Years later a governess is needed for the child and her real mother applies for the position. You can imagine how the story begins to unfold from there. The beautiful Sophie Marceau stars. You will love this movie.

Horseman On the Roof: Definitely sounds like one you should watch if you haven't. Truly a "historical romance" with all the elements you are describing. It is a french made film, however, with subtitles, but that did not detract from how majestic the film was. Also stars two gorgeous well-known french actors, Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez. (those two -- sigh!)

The Buccaneeers: While not strictly a historical romance, it is a drama that includes several different romances. It's about four friends (three American heiresses and one friend they meet originally from South America, who travel to England to "shop" for husbands (a common occurence during the Victorian period), preferrably with titles. Even though it's not straight romance alone, it involves the different romance and life experiences each one encounters along the way, some good, some tragic. Follows each of the girls, as well as several extremely interesting secondary players (their governess) and how their lives interact. It's a great period piece with wonderful costuming and locations (I bought it here at Ami). Stays very much in line (as far as my knowledge anyway) with the historic details of the times (resembles a "gothic" romance in some of its setting). One main couple show-cased has a very passionate love affair, not graphic, but definitely more than kisses. Have watched it many times over, and really enjoyed it.

Although you mentioned you didn't consider the mini-series of Pride and Prejudice the type of "romance you are looking for, " if by any chance you haven't seen the new version with Keira Knightly, you definitely should watch that one, as it is a truly romantic and beautiful movie.

I have a ton of BBC productions and other movies I've collected, but the ones I've listed are the most closely related to your specifics. If I think of any others, I will certainly re-post. And THANK YOU for mentioning the one you did. I can't wait to check it out!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 9:41:58 PM PST
Sun Set says:
The Scarlet Letter
Tristan and Isolde
Lorna Doone

These are classic romances not really mainstream romance.

Oh and MelissaO, I love the last of the Mohicans, one of my faves! I liked North and South too, except I liked the Civil War one based on John Jakes novels.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2009 11:36:23 AM PST
withak says:
Actually Julie Garwood's "For the Rose's" was made into a made for TV movie several years ago. Jennifer Garner is the lead. I can't really recommend it though as it did not even come close to the book except that it had the four orphan boys who found her and raised her. But all the other characters were different. Still it did get made. The name of the movie was "Rose Hill" and can some times be seen on the Hallmark Channel

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2009 12:09:13 PM PST
MelissaO says:
K - You are right, the Buccanneers is also a great miniseries.

Personally, I love the BBC/Masterpiece Theatre movies. The Jane Eyre that came out last year with Toby Stephens was phenomenal. Much more "romantic" than other versions that I've seen.

Also, I would heartily recommend "Rebecca" with Laurence Olivier and "Possession" with Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart. Possession takes place in modern time (England) but there are two scholars investigating secret love letters. There are flashbacks to the lovers in the 19th century (Jennifer Ehle and Jeremy Northam) and the romance is AMAZING. Plus, Aaron Eckhart is SO sexy in this one.

Last but not least is "Emma" with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam (I see a trend...). There is no blatant sex, but the story is very romantic.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2009 2:15:54 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2009 2:18:38 PM PST
K.O says:
MelissaO: I'm totally with you -- love all the BBC productions (pretty much own all of them because I love to watch them over and over (obsessed I think. LOL!)). Have you checked out the newer productions of all Jane Austin's novels? I LOVED the new Sense and Sensibility so much more than the previous movie (which was also very good). But the new BBC version was, of course (because it was a mini-series so had more time) closer to the book, and the girls were SO much closer to the age they were supposed to be in the novel (Thompson - way to old to play a 19-year old Eleanor). Anyway check it out if you haven't and also the new BBC "Persuasion" and "Northanger Abbey." I like both of these as well. (The new "Mansfield Park -- not so much IMO; the prior movie was better to me).

Thanks for the heads up on both "Rebecca" (I might have seen that, but I'm not sure); and "Possession" which I haven't seen yet, but will definitely be checking out (sounds really good). Agee totally again on "Emma" another good one, for sure. Re: your comment about "blatant sex" in films, funny how I don't care for a completely closed door on my romance novels, but am perfectly fine not "seeing" it on the screen. It should be interesting to see how I feel about it in the one ("Partition") noted by RiRi. Maybe I prefer my own "visualizations" when it comes to matters that intimate? We'll see if it takes "the romance" out of it. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2009 6:35:15 PM PST
MelissaO says:
Hi K - YES! I saw all of the new Jane Austen's on Masterpiece. I agree with you about your assessment, especially Mansfield Park. I do not like the actress in that one at all, and the male lead is just so-so.

As for the blatant sex on screen issue, I am like you. If the acting is good, you really don't need it! None of the movies I recommended have any of the scenes, come to think of it...

BTW- Have you seen the Scarlet Pimpernel series from A&E/BBC? That is VERY romantic. I love the chemistry between Richard E. Grant and Elizabeth McGovern. Based on your recommendations, you probably have heard of it or seen it already, but it's worth a mention:)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2009 7:04:27 PM PST
I guess one of the best known is Gone With the Wind. Even though it was made in 1935, I believe , it still is a great movie about the south prior to and during the civil war and the reconstruction that followed. Still holds up after all these years.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2009 7:18:25 PM PST
K.O says:
MelissaO: I haven't seen "The Scarlet Pimpernel" series!?! [<-- K. very cited here about a new A&E/BBC series :)] I wonder how I missed this? Maybe it was when everyone kept referring to the hero (in the book) as such a "fop," it kept turning me off to it. (hmm.?) But it was just a disguise, right? I'm running (not walking) to check this out! I have been overly focused lately on novels and not movies, so maybe that's why I'm so in the dark. :D Thanks so much MelissaO (yeah!).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2009 7:46:00 AM PST
MelissaO says:
Oh, K! You will LOVE them. Sir Percy Blakeney disguises himself as a fop, so no one will catch on that he is an English spy during the French Revolution. At first, he and his wife are on the outs bc he doesn't tell her, but then they start working together, and it's great! Very funny and romantic!

If you haven't read the Lauren Willig "The History of the Pink Carnation" series, I would also recommend those books. Sir Percy (Scarlet Pimpernel) is the advisor to the "new" British spies. It is a romance series ultimately, but very entertaining.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2009 4:50:41 PM PST
Lance Oren says:
I believe this will probably will be made into film very soon.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2009 6:43:24 PM PST
If you like sexy/romantic BBC dramas, I recommend The Forsyte Saga. The romance is not between the main male and female character (in fact it is the opposite) but she does fall for Ioan Gruffud and there dance is sexy. Warning: there are some disturbing scenes relating to obsessive/possessive love.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 1:17:50 AM PST
M. Ferrer says:
Firelight with Sophie Marceau it is maybe the nearest to a romance novel made into a film. Beautiful music, classic governess story, and yes there is sex. In fact it is quite important.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 6:11:24 AM PST
MelissaO says:
Fluff - I have seen the Forsyte saga, and really enjoyed it. I love the actor who plays the obsessed/controlling husband. He was the star of Band of Brothers, but I can't remember his name right now...

Also, if you like Ioan Gruffudd, have you seen the Horatio Hornblower series. That is one of my ALL-TIME favs! Wouldn's necessarily classify it as romantic, but it is a fantastic series for anyone.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 7:33:29 AM PST
M. Ferrer says:
No I haven't But Ioan has a film made in the 90's in the stylke of Romeo and Juliet set in Wales, and spoken in Welsh that I have read could be exactly the kind of film RiRi is looking for. Unfortunately it seems difficult to find.

I liked the old film with Gregory Peck. The scene when they kiss for the first time is beautiful.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 7:33:29 AM PST
M. Ferrer says:
No I haven't But Ioan has a film made in the 90's in the stylke of Romeo and Juliet set in Wales, and spoken in Welsh that I have read could be exactly the kind of film RiRi is looking for. Unfortunately it seems difficult to find.

I liked the old film with Gregory Peck. The scene when they kiss for the first time is beautiful.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 12:28:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2009 3:12:10 PM PST
for me, the best historical romance novel ever made into a movie is The Count of Monte Cristo. 2002 (The story was written in 1846 by Alexandre Dumas- Also the author of The Three Musketeers.)
This story has everything - love, hope, justice, vengeance, mercy and forgiveness.
I personally love, love, love the story and the movie was fantastic!
P.S. James Caviezel was heart-pounding, knee-weakening handsome as the Count.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 10:48:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2009 11:05:23 PM PST
C. Young says:
Hum...this discussion reminded me of a made-for-TV movie I saw back in the 80s. I don't remember much about it since I saw it so long ago but it might fit the bill of being a movie made from a mainstream romance, not classics like Pride and Prejudice or North and South. It's called "A Hazard of Hearts". It's based on a Barbara Cartland novel and stars a very young Helena Bonham Carter. The storyline is a bit cliched, about a man who gambled away his daughter's hand in a game of cards, but sometimes tried and true plots like this is just like comfort food.

Which also reminds me, if you like romantic movies and have not seen "A Room with a View", I heartily recommend it. It's based on a E.M. Foster novel and stars Helena Bonham Carter and Julian Sands. In addition to the engrossing love story, it also features beautiful scenery shot in Italy and a very good operatic sound track.

If you don't mind black and white movies, there's also the movie adaption of Dragonwyck, an Anya Seton novel about a young woman who's hired as a paid companion to a distant relative's daughter. I guess it can be categorized as Gothic romance and stars Gene Tierney, whom I thought resembled a young Catherine Zeta Jones.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 11:01:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2009 11:56:02 PM PST
K.O says:
MelissaO: Okay - I've checked out A&E's SP here, but it's a tad spendy (couldn't find it as a "stand-alone") so I'm going to go check and see if it's on U-tube. In the meantime, you need to go watch "The Incredible Journey of Mary Riley" on U-tube yourself, if you haven't. It's an Australian made mini-series that stars the gal (name escapes me, but I know you will know who I'm talking about - first name Romola[SP?]) from Daniel Deronda. It's a great mini-series and free for your viewing on U-tube. You'll find it through the search feature. Not exactly a romance but has some romance in it, but just an overall great historical (prison ships) story, and well made production. Let me know if you've seen this -- I happened upon it on U-tube while just surfing around for stuff, and ws just totally caught up in this story.

Re: Lauren Willig -- I had forgotten about this rec. I had received from someone on the AAR boards (quite a while back). They were a Quinn reader (like me), and really loved her as well. If I recall -- you are not a Quinn fan . . . but maybe Willig is our "fine medium" of meeting in the middle with our book reads(?) I'll check it out. Thanks for all your recs. Keep them coming if you think of anything else. ("Count of Monte Cristo" like Shannon B. says -- another goody!)

EDITED TO ADD: Yeah! MelissaO: Found the series of SP on U-tube! :) K.

THE U-TUBE ADDRES FOR INCREDIBLE JOURNEY OF MARY RILEY (PART 1) (copy and paste into your browser anyone who is interested :):

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 11:04:25 PM PST
K.O says:
C. Young: Re: "A Room With a View," yes, beautiful scenery, including Julian Sands in full frontal right out of the pond! ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 11:14:18 PM PST
C. Young says:
K. ODocharty: Julian in full frontal... yes, I had forgotten about that :)

I just found a clip on Utube. Helena Bonham Carter and Julian Sands actually did a beer commercial in Japan as the characters in the movie.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2009 7:11:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2009 7:13:45 AM PST
MelissaO says:
K - Thanks for the rec. I'll check it out when I get home! Yes - I love that actress from Daniel Deronda (not to mention Hugh Dancy - Hot!)

Let me know what you think of the Willig series! I like the mixture of modern historian romance with the historic figures connected to the scarlet pimpernel. And you are right, I am not a Quinn fan, but happy to find some common ground:)

Hope you like SP! The chemistry between the two leads is amazing!
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Discussion in:  Historical Romance forum
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Initial post:  Jan 5, 2009
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