Historical period drama
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The term historical period drama (also historical drama, period drama, costume drama, and period piece) refers to a work set in a past time period, usually used in the context of film and television. It is an informal crossover term that can apply to several genres and is often heard in the context of historical fiction and romances, adventure films, and swashbucklers. A period piece may be set in a vague or general era such as the Middle Ages or a specific period such as the Roaring Twenties. A religious work can qualify as period drama but not as historical drama.
Some works attempt to accurately portray historical events or persons, to the degree that the available historical research and the length of the work will allow. These types of works are also known as docudrama, examples being Cinderella Man, Schindler's List, and Lincoln. Other works are fictionalized stories based on actual people or events, such as Braveheart and Les Misérables.
Film and television examples of period pieces include Marie Antoinette (1938), Barry Lyndon (1975), Amadeus (1984), The Age of Innocence (1993), Last Man Standing (1996), Shakespeare in Love (1998), and The Young Victoria (2009).
Examples of television series include Robin Hood (1953), Middlemarch (1994), Pride and Prejudice (1995), The Tudors, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, Deadwood, Halt and Catch Fire, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Father Brown, Stranger Things, The Americans, Little House on the Prairie, That '70s Show, The Get Down, Another Period, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
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