America's 100 Greatest Movies
100 YEARS...100 MOVIES


AFI's 10 Top 10 Film Genres

Part 10 - Epic



Epic Films:
Please see Filmsite's extensive section on Epic Films

AFI described epic films as "a genre of large-scale films set in a cinematic interpretation of the past. Their scope defies and demands—either in the mode in which they are presented or their range across time. A bloody sword fight in an ancient coliseum; carnage on an open battlefield; a country on the eve of revolution. With sweeping interpretations of turbulent times, epics depict characters that, whether nobly heroic or shamefully depraved, are living life on the grandest of scales."

Nominees: 16 movies were war films; 11 movies were based on Biblical events.

Winners: Lawrence of Arabia (1962) (# 1), Ben-Hur (1959) (# 2), Schindler's List (1993) (# 3), Gone With The Wind (1939) (# 4), Spartacus (1960) (# 5), Titanic (1997) (# 6), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) (# 7), Saving Private Ryan (1998) (# 8), Reds (1981) (# 9), The Ten Commandments (1956) (# 10).

Comments: No place for The Birth of a Nation (1915), Giant (1956), or Doctor Zhivago (1965) in the top 10? And why were war films grouped into epic films? -- there should have been an entire genre category for war films (or for Biblical films) instead. Malcolm X (1992) and the war-related Schindler's List (1993) aren't really epic films, by definition -- they are more dramatic biopics. Gone With the Wind (1939) should have been the # 1 Epic Film. And nominee Queen Christina (1933) is no epic, by any stretch of the imagination -- and All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) isn't an epic on the same scale as other nominated films, such as The Big Parade (1925), The Birth of a Nation (1915), Intolerance (1916), and The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).


AFI's 10 Top 10 Film Genres
Introduction | Part 1 - Animated | Part 2 - Fantasy | Part 3 - Gangster | Part 4 - Science Fiction | Part 5 - Western
Part 6 - Sports | Part 7 - Mystery | Part 8 - Romantic Comedy | Part 9 - Courtroom Drama | Part 10 - Epic



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