Greatest "epic" film you've ever seen

Yeah, but it’s too intimate, you’re in this small town, doesn’t have that grand, sweeping scale, you don’t see it on a national or global level.

Contrast that with Bondarchuk’s brilliant adaptation War and Peace, where yes, you have these intimate, human interactions, but the story is opened up - the locations, the effects of the war, the large battles, the cost in life, the way the camera moves over that battlefield… you see and experience it all in a very epic way.


Would I be out of line by adding John Woo’s pre-Hollyweird work? The Killer is a bloody, over the top masterpiece at being a bloody, over the top masterpiece in my opinion.

Personally, my favorite Woo is Hard Boiled (thanks to my former bartender Flounder for telling me about this one. Long story).

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Dictionary definition of ‘epic’ - a long film, book, or other work portraying heroic deeds and adventures or covering an extended period of time. [italics mine]

So It’s a Wonderful Life would qualify as it covers George’s lifetime.


Also note that it says “or”. Then work in the vagueness of “heroic” and “adventures” and just about anything can be epic. Heh.

I usually go on feeling, and I feel like I’ve practically lived my grandparents’/great-grandparents’ lives by the end of that movie. Capra movies are like that. It Happened One Night has an epic feel though it doesn’t take place over a long span of time, there are many adventures and you travel a long way. Or Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, which takes place in one room (the Senate), practically, but feels epic.

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I get your point. But doesn’t it have a grand, sweeping scale? Isn’t the point of the whole movie that instead of going out and having adventures, George Bailey brings all the epic adventures home? By getting a group of people to see past their own nose, he creates scale where there isn’t any?

Think about it, won’t I?

Again, it’s too intimate, the idea might be sweeping, but it’s not actually taking us out of this small scale location. It’s too confind. For example, a chamberpiece can discuss BIG ideas, “No Exit” has epic ideas, but it’s all locked in this this very small room, with a handful of people. It’s a drama, not an epic.

The details can at times, be difficult to define, the wiki piece adresses that.

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You sir, have good taste. I also love spaghetti westerns. Damn good sub genre.

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Thank you very much, brother, and right back on over to you!

AND YES. As sub genres go, the spaghetti western rules. They have a spark and an energy about them that’s irresistible.

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It has a sweeping scale. Takes place over the course of a wonderful life. Not sure how old he was when he fell through the ice saving his brother, but it’s got to be over 30 years.

Folks, we’ll have to agree to disagree. Not gonna budge on that one, not an epic.

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I’m liking the choices for movies I wouldn’t have thought of: Touch of Zen is (IMHO) absolutely an epic, as well as a beyond-exceptional movie.

Just thought of now: I’d propose Sha Po Lang aka Kill Zone. If some of the American gangster/mob movies count, then this one surely does. Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen. Just formidable. I’m not acknowledging the two sequels, though.

Also, Renoir’s Grand Illusion counts. Maybe even The Rules of the Game as well.

I’m liking the suggestion above of Hawks’s Red River: I don’t hear that much talk of that picture among westerns everyone raves about, but it’s one of my favorites. “Take 'em to Missouri, Matt!” But, certainly The Searchers as well.

Once Upon a Time in the West as well.

I spent a lot of time wondering if it’s because it imprinted on me at an early age. At this point, I’ve seen so, so many movies, the best and worst. So, I revisited it many times and each time I get more out of it. At this point I’m confident and steadfast in saying…

Star Trek: The Motion Picture is my favorite movie.

It seems like all the criticisms of it are why I love it most. Does it feel like Trek based on the work before and after? Maybe not, but it feels like a mature, almost novelistic work of sci-fi. In its slow pacing and excesses it aims for a sense of pageantry we don’t see often in SF cinema. Almost literally, “space opera.”

The players act in a naturalistic, 70s style. Sure, their interactions are chilly but the stakes are high and they have bigger fish to fry than bonding with old buddies. Everything about the production is what you get when you hire professionals at the top of their trade and throw a (relatively) infinite amount of money at them. The Enterprise and other vessels are designed as real objects where people live and work, unlike the cynical Abrams reboots where they try to shove the Budweiser brewery into the engineering section (though the shuttle bay as filmed is too large, but anyway…). I doubt anyone will find issue with Goldsmith’s score, which works standalone as a gorgeous piece of neoclassical concert music, made even more so by its ridiculously excessive orchestration.

Sure, the plot takes a lot from Nomad but I think that misses the point. Stories steal, but they become their own. The asteroid sequence near the beginning makes no sense unless you know something about warp field geometry.

It’s incredibly dry and nerdy, and I love it.


I got 3 free movies from Vudu, and I knew I wanted ST III and IV, but I was torn between Khan and TMP, and I ended up getting TMP.

A lot of the problems with TMP are because the effects house they hired spent $8 million and only produced one effect, so they had to call in Douglas Trumbull to do the rest, and they were literally splicing in the effects sequences the night before the film had to go out.

But I still love the long, drawn out set pieces, because I don’t watch SF for the action. If I want action, I’ll watch an Errol Flynn movie. I watch (and read) SF for the ideas.

(And to be perfectly frank, that Goldsmith score was what tipped me over to TMP. I could listen to that Klingon theme all day)


Does Raiders of the Lost Ark count? Because Raiders.

Like Peter Jackson, the '33 King Kong remains my favorite movie ever, and I enjoyed his remake because his love of the original is all over it.

Unlike Peter Jackson, I would have included more NYC smashing, much less annoying Jimmy subplot, and zero ice skating. But it’s not my movie.

Thank you! Honestly, this scene is the one that has freaked me out the most in any movie I’ve seen as an adult.

I think the thing you’re talking about is an extra on the 33’ Kong DVD in the box set with Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young, which was sold around the time that Jackson’s remake came out. There’s a whole chapter in the extras about the lost spider pit sequence, and they decided to get the WETA people to recreate it from the storyboards and concept art and stills, using stop-motion animation, figured out exactly from where in the film it was cut out, and reinserted it in b&w (not into the actual film). It’s really fascinating if you’re into that sort of thing, and really fun to watch Alex Funke from WETA totally geek out over doing stop-motion.

John Carpenter’s The Thing.

I’m going to have to play Ricky Bobby on this one and declare it the best movie ever. I mean, it’s not, but it really made horror an accessible genre for me.

There’s something about the nature of the beast that is infinitely fascinating for me, and the remoteness of a snowy wasteland is just so… mind bending in and of itself.

There’s no sex appeal, no significant side story, just a pervasive tension.

Besides, everyone already named the obvious choices.


I watch ‘Throne of Blood’ every year on Valentine’s Day.


Two questions for this thread because I don’t think I’m good at starting new threads but I can post in existing ones. :slight_smile:

  1. Would David Lynch’s Dune count as an epic? It certainly has sweeping themes even if it also contains some intimate and personal moments. …and it’s really bizarre but the imagery is impressive.

  2. Has anyone seen the new Dune movie that’s opening this week? I’ve already seen two Dune adaptations and I’m trying to decide if I should watch a third attempt. :slight_smile: It does appear to be trying to be an epic film.

  1. Yes.
  2. No. I just recently saw the 1984 Dune because I know some people who are gaga for it. I recommend watching “Jodorowsky’s Dune” instead.