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AFI's Top 10 Epic Movies

AFI's Top Ten Epic Movies.

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    During the rule of Rameses I in Ancient Egypt, the pharaoh is informed that the Hebrew slaves believe that a recently seen star portends the arrival of a deliverer who will free them. Wanting to subvert the deliverer, yet unwilling to kill all the Hebrew slaves, Rameses I theorizes that the deliverer must be newly born and so orders the death of every male, Hebrew infant. Jewish slave Yochabel, along with her young daughter Miriam, prepares an ark of bulrushes and places her infant son... More at

  • #9. REDS

    Political drama about the stormy romantic partnership of journalist-revolutionary Jack Reed, author of "Ten Days That Shook the World," and writer-artist Louise Bryant, set against the backdrop of World War I and the Russian Revolution... More at


    James Ryan, who has parachuted into France during the Allied invasion of Europe, has just lost three brothers in combat. Government policy dictates that he should return home lest his family be deprived of all its male offspring. A team of soldiers, led by Captain John Miller and fresh from the beaches of Normandy, is assembled to find and save Private Ryan... More at


    Paul Bäumer, a young German schoolboy, along with his friends, is inspired by his schoolmaster to "save the Fatherland" and joins the Kaiser's forces. Their illusions are soon dispelled, however, by the cruel realities of battle, relieved only by a brief romantic interlude with some French farm girls and the humorous interjections of Katz and Tjaden. When Paul, the only survivor of the group, returns home, he finds the professor still haranguing his young scholars to join the conflict... More at

  • #6. TITANIC

    After winning a trip on the RMS Titanic during a dockside card game, American Jack Dawson spots the society girl Rose DeWitt Bukater who is on her way to Philadelphia to marry her rich snob fiance Cal Hockley. Rose feels helplessly trapped by her situation and makes her way to the aft deck and thinks of suicide until she is rescued by Jack. Cal is therefore obliged to invite Jack to dine at their first-class table where he suffers through the slights of his snobbish hosts. In return, he spirits... More at


    During the last century of the Roman Empire’s rule, thousands are born enslaved to either the privileged class known as patricians or the wealthiest of the commoners, known as plebeians. One exceptionally strong slave in the rock mines of Libya, Spartacus, is regularly whipped for displaying his intelligence and pride. One day, Batiatus, who trains slaves to become gladiators, purchases Spartacus and several other slaves for his training camp in Capua. There, Batiatus announces that each man will... More at


    In 1861, Scarlett O'Hara, the headstrong sixteen-year-old daughter of wealthy Georgia plantation-owner Gerald O'Hara, is sick of hearing talk about going to war with the North. She much prefers to have beaux like Brent and Stuart Tarleton talk about the next day's barbeque at Twelve Oaks, the neighboring Wilkes plantation. When the twins reveal the “secret” that Ashley Wilkes is planning to marry his cousin Melanie Hamilton from Atlanta, Scarlett refuses to believe it because she is in love with... More at


    Oskar Schindler is a German businessman in Poland who sees an opportunity to make money from the Nazis' rise to power. He starts a company to make cookware and utensils, using flattery and bribes to win military contracts, and brings in accountant and financier Itzhak Stern to help run the factory. By staffing his plant with Jews who've been herded into Krakow's ghetto by Nazi troops, Schindler has a dependable unpaid labor force. For Stern, a job in a war-related plant could mean survival for... More at

  • #2. BEN-HUR

    During the reign of the emperor Tiberius, the Roman officer Messala arrives in Jerusalem as the new Tribune, head of the Roman garrison. Having spent much of his boyhood in Jerusalem while his father was provincial governor of Judea, Messala became close friends with Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince from a rich and influential family. On the night of his return, Messala is visited by Judah, and the two men warmly reminisce about happy times of their boyhood...More at


    In 1916 British Intelligence supports the Arab rebellion against the Turkish-German alliance. Dryden, a civilian member of the Arab Bureau, selects Lieut. T. E. Lawrence, an enigmatic 29-year-old scholar, to evaluate the Arab revolt. Enthusiastically undertaking this assignment, the officer contacts Prince Faisal, a rebel leader, and persuades Faisal to lend him a force of 50 men. With this skeleton band, accompanied by Sherif Ali, Lawrence crosses the Nefud Desert... More at