Some of the best historical costume movies (and TV shows) are romances. Many of us love to watch two people developing a connection and overcoming obstacles in order to find true love — and on the way, a swoon-worthy kiss or two makes our hearts flutter. Let’s count down my top 5 on-screen historical costume kisses and get twitterpated all over again!
Honorable Mention: Brideshead Revisited (2008)
What’s the ONE thing missing from the original adaptation of Brideshead Revisited (1981)? A kiss between Charles (Jeremy Irons) and Sebastian (Anthony Andrews). It’s totally implied, but never actually shown.
Well, the 2008 version helps us out by showing us what that kiss could have looked like. This time around, it’s Matthew Goode (FANS SELF) and Ben Wishaw. They don’t go full-on make-out, but they do us proud with a touching moment:
#5: The Age of Innocence (1993)
What’s upper-crust 1870s New Yorker Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) to do when his life is perfect? He’s rich, he’s cultured, he’s part of the social elite, and he’s engaged to the sweetest thing east of the Mississippi, May Welland (Winona Ryder).
Why, it’s to realize how imperfect and shallow his life is when the tragic yet bewitching Countess Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer) comes to town!
Insert what feels like YEARS of yearning, including marrying that
twit sweet young thing, when finally you get the real hottie alone in a carriage. Everyone else swooned over the unbuttoning the glove/kissing the wrist moment:
But sorry, I like things to get a little bit more … physical!
#4: Outlander (2014-)
Poor Claire Randall. She’s just trying to reconnect with her husband in Scotland after spending most of World War II apart.
As one does, she falls through some standing stones and ends up in the 1740s where she’s forced to deal with Highlanders, avoid being raped, and wear a lot of wool.
Luckily, there’s a hot young Scot named Jamie Fraser hanging around.
In order to avoid the English rapist, Claire is told she must marry Jamie and become a Scot. Sounds fine, right? Until Claire learns that Jamie is a virgin!
Thankfully, she discovers all is not lost as Jamie may be a virgin, but he’s not a monk.
#3: The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Apparently Daniel Day-Lewis is a good kisser, because he’s on this list twice! Despite some latent racism, I’ll take manly yet sensitive Native American-raised Hawkeye over Newland Archer any day. He’s busy attempting to get the American/English colonists to calm the F down during the French and Indian Wars.
Until lovely Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe) and her sister turn up and need an escort to the fort their British colonel father is defending.
Things REALLY don’t go well for Cora and her sister.
Luckily Hawkeye is there to fall in love with, and there’s time to fit in a quick make-out session at the fort. Sadly, it’s very dark, so hard to see exactly what’s happening here, but it’s hot.
#4: Persuasion (1995)
Poor Anne Elliot. Her father may be a baronet, but she’s pretty firmly entered spinsterhood, having turned down the proposal of a young seaman with few prospects years ago. Now she’s stuck with her bitchy sister and toadying hangers-on.
Insert LOTS of Anne yearning for her Captain while he ignores her, and potential other marriages for each, when finally she is able to slip him a big hint and he is ready to catch it.
He manages to get her away from her family and friends and the two share a beautiful kiss in the street, oblivious to everything else going on around them.
#1: A Room With a View (1985)
I will brook no arguments: A Room With a View has the best screen kiss of any historical costume film. Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) is a proper, upper-class, young Edwardian woman off to visit Italy with her aunt (Maggie Smith) as chaperone.
There, she meets hot young middle-class George (Julian Sands) and his overly expressive father.
Lucy tries to walk the proper path, wearing gloves at all times and hanging out with persnickety Aunt Charlotte.
But luckily Lucy gets away from her aunt in a Tuscan field, and George decides to make a gesture.
And oh, what a gesture it is!
Which historical costume screen kisses make you swoon?