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Best Top Epic Movies and Films List
What Is an Epic Film?
The story telling in an Epic film is extravagant, majestic, and full of grandeur focused around a heroic figure. Epic movies follow an adventure. They include movies about:
- War Films (Saving Private Ryan)
- Medieval Films (Robin Hood)
- Biblical Films (The Ten Commandments)
- Historic Films (Schindler's List)
- Mythical Films (Avatar)
- Legendary Films (Gone With The Wind)
An epic film focuses on a grandiose visual and auditory feeling or movement and not always staying true to the authentic history being portrayed. Costumes are often lavish, music scores worthy of an Academy award, action scenes are on a massive scale and the cast is many to depict depth in the story. Thousands of men a line for war. Thousands of men gather in an arena in Rome. Thousands of storm troopers a line for an epic battle of good versus the dark forces.
Epics have always been a movie genre from the beginning of American Film History including:
- The King of Kings
- Lawrence of Arabia
Top Epic Films
Epics captivate the viewer. In the1997 film Titanic, the viewer becomes part of the story by listening to the story-teller. As the ship sinks, the viewer also hopes for survival.
In epics, empathy, fear, courage and love are transferred from hero to movie goer. Tears of sadness evoke from untimely deaths, hearts swoon when love captures, eyes flinch when war fought for a nobel cause, gripping chairs viewers immerse into something greater.
An epic movie can depict an average human doing extraordinary events. The situation and turn of events that develop the main character's heroic persona stirs hope, courage and triumph within the movie viewer.
Additional noteworthy epic movies include:
- Lord of the Rings
- Harry Potter
- Empire of the Son
- Last of the Mohicans
- Shashank Redemption
- Prince of Persia
- The Godfather
- Raiders of the Lost Arc
- The Last Emperor
- Kingdom of Heaven
- How The West Was Won (rcrumple commented below this epic was overlooked)
How is this list? Thorough including the other movies I mentioned in the introduction? I am sure I missed some, perhaps a favorite of yours. Think about your top 5 favorite movies hold them in your mind's eye and take the quiz below.
What are your top five epic movies?view quiz statistics
What do all these Epic Films Have in Common?
All of these epic movies discussed above have one thing in common. They all have a strong male hero as the main focus of the movie. If you research epic movies most of them would depict strong male oriented roles and stories.
Sure there are women in the story lines, but they are not the main focus of the movie. Often the women in these epic films are depicted as someone who needs saving from heinous lustful men, needs romantic love, fought for, and for a man to earn redemption by fighting for her namesake. She plays a key role in the epic movies. However, she does not play the main role as a heroine. She is not the one in the gladiator arena or on the war field. Of coarse women would not partake in those roles during that time era. However, a women's role in history, or a futuristic movie about women can also tell a story worthy of being on an epic scale.
10 Min Epic Film Tribute...Not One Woman.
Epic Heroine Movies
Without a sword fight or a crusade noteworthy of making a million dollar epic movie, does that mean women's stories in history or projection of their persona in the future are not worthy of being made into an epic film? Are epic films about a woman less interesting because she is not on the front lines to battle a cause?
There are exceptional epic movies that focus on the heroine's courage and struggles as the main element in the movie. Women have multi demensions beyond a passionate lover, seductrices and needed to be protected.
Epic heroine movie roles:
Below are twelve epic films to consider a heroine as the main protagonist.
Hearing a radio call and interrupting it as an S.O.S call, Ellen Ripley and a crew of six more land to offer support only to find out the call was a warning signal not to come. She is not listen too when she demands they quarantine one of the crew members due to having an alien parasite growing on him. The alien begins to attack the crew. After everything begins to fall a part she leads the crew to dispel the alien.
"That's the only way. We'll move in pairs. We'll go step by step and cut off every bulkhead and every vent until we have it cornered. And then we'll blow it the fuck out into space! Is that acceptable to you?"
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games
The heroine Katniss Everdeen volunteers to save her sister from being summon to partake in the Hunger Games on Reaping day. On Reaping day one male and one female is called from each of the 12 districts to fight to the death in an arena. Those called can be anywhere in the age range of 12 to 18. Katniss must prove her intellect and sharp survival skills to compete in the Hunger Games. At age 16, she is forced to make impossible decisions regarding death and humanity, love and life.
“Winning means fame and fortune.
Losing means certain death.
The Hunger Games have begun…”
Lara Croft is a futuristic archeologist collecting ancient artifacts from ruins. Her passion to raid tombs brings her to dangerous combat situations. Skilled in hand to hand combat, weapons training and foreign languages Lara is a strong heroine. A society called the Illuminatia captured a key from Lara's collection to control time.
Lara was first introduced through the gaming world in 1996. She continues to be a strong female protagonist on film and in the gaming community.
"Well we can do it my way, or we can all come back in time for the next allignment and you're welcome to try to kill me then, in oh, say, another 5,000 years?"
Young, naïve and vulnerable, Elizabeth takes her thrown when England is bankrupt, has no army, and is under serious threat from abroad. To secure her realm she quickly gains wisdom and confidence. She learns to trust her own truth and knowledge above all else. Especially after she is betrayed by her lover.
"I may be a woman, Sir William, but if I choose I have the heart of a man! I am my father's daughter, and I am not afraid of anything."
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Elizabeth's reign continues, she is pressured and sought after to be married. She refuses to marry. Plots to assassin her, betrayal from her closest allies, religious tension between Catholics and Protestants tests her resolve. Elizabeth truly prevails through all her personal and countries obstacles. She is the Queen mother to her English people and gives birth to the Golden Age.
"Let us not fear shadows in the dark and courage when the day of danger truly dawns."
Cleopatra lures Julius Caesar to forge an alliance with Rome and Egypt. Unfortunately, Caesar, her confidant, is stabbed to death. Cleopatra then seduces his successor Mark Anthony. Her ability to charm and bait Mark Anthony causes Rome to retreat during a battle with Egypt. Drama continues that eventually leads to the founding of the Roman Empire.
"My breasts are full of love and life. My hips are round and well apart. Such women, they say, have sons."
Million Dollar Baby
Maggie has a tenacious spirit and will not give up. At age 31 she proves she is not too old for boxing. Her persistent will to fight is seen in the boxing ring and out.
Problem is, this the only thing I ever felt good doing. If I'm too old for this then I got nothing. That enough truth to suit you?
Million Dollar Baby
Atonement is about two sisters each showcasing their fortitude in coming to terms with a happening that was confusing and misunderstood. Due to the tragedy each sister's heroism is experienced by how they cope with life after the trauma and mature into adults. Both become separated as Britain is also dealing with its own trauma due to war.
"I am very, very sorry for the terrible distress that I have caused you. I am very, very sorry."
La Femme Nikita
Nikita is a convicted felon. She is given a new identity and trained as a top-secret assassin, instead of going to jail. With humanity and action the movie is intriguing, as Nikita's passion gives her heroine qualities.
"...you've got it backwards. Its not death you have to be afraid of, that's the easy part. Its life that you have to worry about."
La Femme Nikita
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
A teenage nobleman's daughter, Yu, finds herself in a middle of a quest to find a stolen sword. As she is coming of age she blurs the bounds of childhood into adulthood. Her youth and innocence find her in the middle of a love triangle. The action packed sequence finds our heroine scaling walls, jumping from roof tops and almost flying on top of bamboo trees. The epic part of this movie is fought with aerial skills instead of hand to hand ground combat.
"You want to know who I am? I am... I am the Invincible Sword Goddess, armed with the Green Destiny that knows no equal! Be you Li or Southern Crane, bow your head and ask for mercy! I am the dragon from the desert! Who comes from nowhere and leaves no trace! Today I fly over Eu-Mei. Tomorrow... I topple Mount Wudan! "
Bill is a leader of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and lover to the character called 'The Bride.' With child she decides to escape from her life as a killer. She settles down with a young man and at their weedingrehearsal he was murdered by a jealous vengeful Bill and she ends up in a coma for four years. Her fiancé is dead and her baby is gone, she seeks revenge upon the five people who destroyed her life.
"But I am gonna ask you questions. And every time you don't give me answers, I'm gonna cut something off. And I promise you, they will be things you will miss. Give me your other arm! "
Memoirs of a Geisha
Memoirs of Geisha
At nine years old, Chiyo is sold to a geisha house. Her father, a poor fisherman, can no longer take care of her now that his wife is deceased. As she comes of age she learns about the art of becoming a geisha. Her beauty stands out among the other girls and attracts vindictive jealous. Trained in all the artistic and social skills of a geisha she becomes a master to survive in her society.
"Remember, Chiyo, geisha are not courtesans. And we are not wives. We sell our skills, not our bodies. We create another secret world, a place only of beauty. The very word "geisha" means artist and to be a geisha is to be judged as a moving work of art."
Balance is the Key
On a Sunday afternoon, I enjoying watching a good epic movie, or series like Lord of the Rings. I can cheer with the men on the battlefields and remember notable quotes like this one from Gladiator.
"My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."
Just like eating mindlessly, we can mindlessly be subject to story telling with a strong male protagonist and women being the ones needing saved or avenged for. The subject is not wrong, however, if that is all we are consuming over time these stories become a part of us. They become our beliefs unknowingly.
Having a balance view benefits girls coming of age as well as boys. Both sexes in movies show impeccable strength and vulnerabilities. I believe Hollywood is changing epic films to depict more women as the main protagonist. It will serve all of us to have a more balanced concept of heroic figures being both men and women.
Has your view changed?view quiz statistics
© Copyright Carly Sullens 2012. All Rights Reserved.