Woman Crush Wednesday: Samantha Morton


Samantha Morton has been in so many great period films in the last 20 years (and a good deal of great non-period films, as well!). She’s played the ingenue and the bawd and everything in between. Let’s take a look at her resume of historical flicks!

Emma (1996) – Harriet Smith


Jane Eyre (1997) – Jane Eyre


The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997) – Sophia Western


Dreaming of Joseph Lees (1999) – Eva


Sweet and Lowdown (1999) – Hattie


Pandaemonium (2000) – Sara Coleridge


The Libertine (2005) – Elizabeth Barry


The River Queen (2005) – Sarah O’Brien


Lassie (2005) – Sarah Carraclough


Elizabeth the Golden Age (2007) – Mary, Queen of Scots


Miss Julie (2014) – Kathleen


Cider with Rosie (2015) – Annie Lee


Rillington Place (2016) –  Ethel Christie


Harlots (2017 – ) – Margaret Wells



About the author

Sarah Lorraine

Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Clothing & Textile Design and a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture, with an emphasis on fashion history. When she’s not caught in paralyzing existential dread, she's drinking craft cocktails and writing about historical costume in film and television. She's been pissing people off on the internet since 1995.

15 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    I am going to have to re-watch these films as the only two I remember and that is a vague memory are The Libertine and Emma. Also I’m waiting for the DVD for Harlots or PBS whichever comes first.

  2. SaucyMarla

    Does anyone know where I can obtain History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997)? I’d never even heard of it! :(

  3. Karen K.

    I will always love Samantha Morton as the voice of Ruby in Max and Ruby — I loved that cartoon! But of the historical I think my favorite was Emma though she’s a perfect Jane Eyre.

  4. Kathleen Norvell

    I am enjoying watching Samantha Morton in Harlots. And I love the fact that she seems to have maybe 3 dresses. The part is gritty and she’s wonderful.

  5. Maria Kleopatra

    I know it sounds weird, but there’s just something about her face that “works” for me… I remember seeing her in Minority Report, and I had an instant crush. It always surprises me she’s not a bigger, better-known actress.

    • Constance

      I don’t think her face is “period” though…at least not for prior 20th century…

  6. SunMoonTalia

    Samantha is my headcanon for older Mary Queen of Scots, mainly because she was the 1st Mary I saw in a movie. The movie portrayed as an embittered, but still charming schemer and that’s how I imagine Mary in her captive years, so far away from the lovely peacemaker Queen who arrived to Scotland… Mary’s costumes in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” were not great, but when Samantha was on screen, she reigned over everything and everyone!

  7. themodernmantuamaker

    My favourite Jane Eyre! Samantha Morton was fabulous (like her better as Jane than as Harriet in Emma, though it’s one of my fave Emma versions) and had such fabulous chemistry with the totally swoon-worthy Ciaran Hindes…mmmmmmm…….

  8. Damnitz

    Samantha Morton was perfect for the innocent Hariet Smith, but her best performance was in “Tom Jones”. I could not believe that there is somebody who could do the role better. Poor Max Beesley – no chance along with such a cast!