Lawrence of Arabia tops list of Greatest Movie Epics

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Steve Christou, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Another fun list for your perusal: Total Film's 50 Greatest Movie Epics.


    01) Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
    02) Ben-Hur (1959)
    03) Star Wars (1977-83)
    04) Lord of the Rings (2001-03)
    05) Gone With The Wind (1939)
    06) Godfather Part II (1974)
    07) Spartacus (1960)
    08) Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
    09) Ran (1985)
    10) Malcolm X (1992)

    11) Apocalypse Now (1979)
    12) Little Big Man (1970)
    13) Barry Lyndon (1975)
    14) La Reine Margot (1994)
    15) Napoleon (1927)
    16) Glory (1989)
    17) Braveheart (1995)
    18) Dances With Wolves (1990)
    19) Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
    20) Man Who Would Be King (1975)

    21) Gladiator (2000)
    22) The Killing Fields (1984)
    23) The Deer Hunter (1978)
    24) Les Enfants Du Paradis (1945)
    25) Heat (1995)
    26) Last of the Mohicans (1992)
    27) Intolerance (1918)
    28) Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
    29) The Ten Commandments (1956)
    30) The Longest Day (1962)

    31) King of Kings (1961)
    32) Empire of the Sun (1987)
    33) The Vikings (1958)
    34) Reds (1981)
    35) Gandhi (1982)
    36) The Right Stuff (1983)
    37) Heaven’s Gate (1980)
    38) Out of Africa (1985)
    39) Quo Vadis (1951)
    40) Ivan the Terrible (1946)

    41) Mountains of the Moon (1989)
    42) El Cid (1961)
    43) Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
    44) Doctor Zhivago (1965)
    45) Hoop Dreams (1994)
    46) Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
    47) Henry V (1944)
    48) Ivanhoe (1952)
    49) 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968)
    50) The Last Emperor (1987)


    I don't think there'll be that many complaints about Lawrence topping the list. I'm quite happy my two favorite films are holding the top two positions, although I would have had Ben-Hur at numero uno, in my opinion the epic of epics.

    There are some good choices in there, and I see a few films in the list I wouldn't consider epic in any sense of the word. And also a bit of silliness has crept in... Monty Python and the Holy Grail more epic than The Ten Commandments and Gladiator? [​IMG]
     
  2. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I'm glad to see that Heaven's Gate is staging a comeback in terms of respect.

    Along with MP&HG, isn't 2001 mischaracterized? It's not an epic in the traditional sense.

    Odd how they picked up two of the three films in the Lean trilogy, leaving off Bridge......
     
  3. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Where is this list from?

    I'd like to know what their criteria is for determining if a film is an Epic. I've always thought of an Epic as a story told over a long period of years.

    Just an example but Heat (which I really enjoyed) just isn't an Epic to me.

    LOA is a good choice at #1
     
  4. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    [bugs bunny voice]"He don't know me very well, does he?[/end bugs voice]

    [​IMG]

    I for one would consider many films better epics. No doubt that LOA is an epic film, it may even be one of the most epic films, but it's certainly not the greatest film which is an epic, IMO.

    I'm sure Rob Tomlin will fully agree with me. [​IMG]
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I presume "Total Film" is the name of a magazine.
     
  6. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    I whole-heartedly agree with the #1 pick. It is the finest epic ever. There is Lawrence of Arabia then everything else.

    Love the inclusion of Les Enfants Du Paradis (Children of Paradise)(1945), it should have placed much higher though.


    Hey Steve, Let's have an HTF Epic film challenge. I'm up for watching all these.


    I'm with Dennis, I'm suspect with labeling some these epics. Some fine films, but the list's composition is a bit clumsy. Heat above 2001? uh...no.



    I still need to get out to Rob's and view this on his monster 104"

    Dennis, leaving off BOTRK is a bit sad.
     
  7. Chazz_S

    Chazz_S Supporting Actor

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    Once Upon a Time in the West making #8 is a surprise, and kinda cool. Hardly matters though, I could give two s***s about lists.
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Dennis, while I understand your point about 2001, it's hard not to view a film that has as its thrust the entire sweep of human evolution as anything but an "epic." Of course, it's not "traditional," which is why I'm not miffed that it didn't rank higher in this newest list brought to us by Captain Testy. [​IMG]
     
  9. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Here's the beeb on this story:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3645937.stm

    Jack, it would be more of an "epic" if the director hadn't inadvertently left off the rocket motor sounds from the soundtrack, and if the guys on the ship packed blasters or lightsabers....... Imagine Dave walking up to one of Hal's red eyes and firing his blaster into it: "take that, you worthless piece of semiconductor!"
     
  10. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Bridge on the River Kwai definitely deserves to be in there, so does How The West Was Won and The Wind and the Lion.

    Star Wars fans can rejoice, it's beaten the more epic Rings trilogy (by one place).[​IMG]

    Well after seeing Return of the King on the big screen I would not have been surprised or shocked to see it at number one on this list.
     
  11. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Well there are only 8 of the 50 I haven't seen Zen me lad.[​IMG]

    Total Film is a British movie magazine which comes up with lists like this one from time to time.
     
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I sure hope Jack has health insurance. He may have a heart attack reading my post above.
     
  13. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I'm surprised the Shawshank Redemption, the Bridge on the River Kwai, the Seven Samurai or the Patriot is not on the list, but I'm not really an expert on what an epic film is. I do agree with most of the list though.
     
  14. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    [​IMG] Zen, it's Lord of the Rings not Battlefield Earth, big difference, or maybe if you actually saw it... than again it's not Bring it on is it? [​IMG]
     
  16. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Yup, saw it, and I own the "Super-Shane Limited Ohhh Sam Editions" Just will never forgive myself for actually buying into it. One of the few true evils that have happened in my life. Only at the end did I view myself in the mirror and realize what a tramp I had become. Jackson had been pimping me all along.
     
  17. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    [​IMG] oookaaay [backs away slowly]
     
  18. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    LOA is one of my all time favorite films, that said, I always think it's a silly game to rank films. It's totally fine to have a "50 greatest", but ranking 1,2 3... is just not my cup of tea.
    Don't know what exactly the criteria for "epic" is, but am surprised that film such as Cleopetra, Seven Samurai, Birth of a Nation, Wings(29), Patton.. not making the list.
     
  19. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    That's right, because my ninja skill is superior to your kung-fu.
    Don't fret me lad, or ever take me too serious. I just don't hold that LOTR and Star Wars are the best thing ever made. Focus on the other 99% of stuff we do agree on. Or not, and draw your fookin' sword.


    [​IMG]
     
  20. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    And Steve once again brings his version of a modest proposal to the forum. [​IMG]

    To begin, let us be reminded of the definition of ‘epic’: …an extended narrative poem, (usually) simple in construction, but grand in scale, with a protagonist who performs heroic deeds., or …an extended narrative poem with a hero who is engaged in actions of vast significance. etc.

    So which of these films does not fit the mold (given that we are considering movies, not poems)?

    I suggest the following (with some explanations):

    ·The Godfather, Part II: no heroes or heroic deeds here.
    ·Monty Python and the Holy Grail: “accidental’ does not fit the heroic mold.
    ·I don’t think that Watterson’s character in The Killing Fields meets the test of hero either.
    ·Les Enfants Du Paradis does not have a hero. The action all revolves around Garance, who really does nothing heroic. If anything, some of the men (especially the mime) occasionally act heroic, but nothing consistent—and they are not the center of the story.
    ·Hoop Dreams for me, does not fit the ‘vast significance’ test.

    Could it be that ‘epic’ is one more word that has lost its meaning? Epic poems would beThe Iliad, The Odyssey, Paradise Lost, The Waste Land and The Faerie Queen.
     

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