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  • Gracie Carmichael

7 Classic Springtime Period Dramas to Watch this Season

The robins are trilling, the violets are nodding in the dewy, fresh-scented grasses...and Spring is here at last! With April currently bringing me the dues of rainy afternoons and long, light evenings, my heart is hankering again after a few of my favorite period dramas with the change of seasons in mind. I talked a little last month about my fondness for seasonal reading, and let it be known, I'm a bit of a seasonal watcher as well. Spring would not be complete for me if I didn't watch Anne of Green Gables (1985) while the zinnias and nasturtiums are beginning to bloom, or Howard's End on a cool, rainy May night...


Whether or not you're a seasonal watcher, like me, or you're currently feeling the yearning for calm, beautiful stories reminiscent of the joyful rebirth of Spring, I've compiled a list of Seven Springtime period dramas to watch this season.

1. The Secret Garden (1993)

Image: Warner Bros. Studios

The ultimate springtime period drama comes sparklingly to life in this, my personal favorite adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved classic about orphaned Mary Lennox and the magical garden that healed the broken hearts of all it touched. A film that will make an audience of age-fives and over-fifties alike shed tears of pure heart-aching delight, and one that I'm certain will be remembered for years to come as a springtime staple.

2. All Creatures Great and Small (2021-)

This year's adaptation of James Herriot's delightful book series follows a young veterinarian in the late 1930s as he moves to the magnificent Yorkshire Dales, and recounts his humorous escapades with the farm animals and their owners. I'm personally ecstatic to watch this series this spring and I mean to read the book(s) before I do...so there will certainly be an expanded review of both here on the blog in the coming months! ;)

3. Howard's End (2018)

Image: PBS Masterpiece Theater

Based on the novel by E.M. Forster, this gorgeous, perfectly cast and costumed adaptation leaves little wanting. Following sisters Margaret (Hayley Atwell) and Helen Schlegel, their relationship with the Basts and Wilcoxes, and the house that brings them all together, Howards End is one you'll think about for weeks on end after you've finished the 4-part mini-series.

4. Cinderella (2015)

Image: Walt Disney Pictures

This gorgeous, heart-touching live-action depiction of the beloved Cinderella story is given a breath of new life...and reminds us why the old classic fairy-tales will never leave us, no matter how old we grow. A flawless film through-and-through, this adaptation manages to make Cinderella more beautiful and poignant a story than ever, fit with a stellar cast and breathtaking costume and production design.

5. Anne of Green Gables (1985)

Image: Sullivan Entertainment

The definitive adaptation of L.M. Montgomery's classic Anne of Green Gables, this beloved adaptation will never go out of style through the years, no matter how many newer, flashier versions have followed it. Faithful to the book purist's expectations and fit with a bewilderingly perfect cast, Megan Follows stars as the titular character and proves that nobody has yet bettered her performance for the greatly-adored Anne Shirley.

6. Emma (2020)

Autumn de Wilde's fresh take on the Jane Austen story is a dazzling, pastel-hued carnival of spring colors, as breathtakingly gorgeous as it is delightful to watch. No matter how many times we've seen the story told, this one feels every bit as exultant and exciting as if we'd never seen it before, and are seeing Emma Woodhouse's matchmaking pitfalls for the very first time... You can find my review here! :)

7. Miss Potter (2006)

Image: Momentum Pictures.

Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor star in this early 20th-Century bio-pic about the life of children's book writer, artist and naturalist, Beatrix Potter. An absolutely delightful, touching film that covers real-life events from the author's life, from the joys and heartbreak of life, love, and death, and the turning-points that shaped one of the most beloved storytellers of her time.

Those are seven of my favorite springtime period dramas to enjoy this season! Hopefully you've found something new to add to your watchlist, and perhaps even a few old favorites that you're in need of a re-watch! :) As always, I would love to hear from you if you fancy leaving a comment below and telling me what you're watching this Spring! :)


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Until next time,

-Gracie