Historical Epics

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1. Zulu (1964)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama, History, War

77 Metascore

Outnumbered British soldiers do battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift.

Director: Cy Endfield | Stars: Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Ulla Jacobsson, James Booth

Votes: 33,642

2. It Happened Here (1965)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, War

In 1940, the Nazis invade Britain and transform it into a fascist state where some Britons collaborate and others resist. In 1944, an apolitical Irish nurse becomes a reluctant player in the fight between the two sides.

Directors: Kevin Brownlow, Andrew Mollo | Stars: Pauline Murray, Sebastian Shaw, Bart Allison, Reginald Marsh

Votes: 943

3. The Great Train Robbery (1978)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

In Victorian England, a master criminal makes elaborate plans to steal a shipment of gold from a moving train.

Director: Michael Crichton | Stars: Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Alan Webb

Votes: 14,594 | Gross: $13.03M

4. Cromwell (1970)

G | 139 min | Biography, Drama, History

Oliver Cromwell can no longer tolerate King Charles' policies, and the self-interest of the ruling class, and leads a civil war to install Parliament as the ultimate ruler of England.

Director: Ken Hughes | Stars: Richard Harris, Alec Guinness, Robert Morley, Dorothy Tutin

Votes: 4,423

5. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

87 Metascore

After settling his differences with a Japanese P.O.W. camp commander, a British Colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors, while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 188,646 | Gross: $44.91M

6. Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973)

PG | 108 min | Biography, Drama, History

A dramatization based on eye witness accounts of Hitler's final days in an underground bunker, his military henchmen, and his stormy relationship with Eva Braun.

Director: Ennio De Concini | Stars: Alec Guinness, Simon Ward, Adolfo Celi, Diane Cilento

Votes: 1,226

7. The Passage (1979)

R | 98 min | Action, Drama, War

25 Metascore

During World War II, a Basque shepherd is approached by the underground, who wants him to lead a scientist and his family across the Pyrenees while being pursued by a sadistic German.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Anthony Quinn, James Mason, Malcolm McDowell, Patricia Neal

Votes: 1,409

8. Caravans (1978)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, History

In 1948, at the U.S. embassy in Zadestan, a young diplomat is ordered to find the missing daughter of an influential U.S. Senator.

Director: James Fargo | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Michael Sarrazin, Christopher Lee, Jennifer O'Neill

Votes: 720 | Gross: $1.00M

9. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Approved | 228 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

100 Metascore

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 246,953 | Gross: $44.82M

10. Quo Vadis (1951)

Not Rated | 171 min | Biography, Drama, History

Fierce Roman commander Marcus Vinicius becomes infatuated with beautiful Christian hostage Lygia and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann | Stars: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, Peter Ustinov

Votes: 12,438 | Gross: $24.29M

11. Doctor Zhivago (1965)

PG-13 | 197 min | Drama, Romance, War

69 Metascore

The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during World War I and then the October Revolution.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger

Votes: 65,197 | Gross: $111.72M

12. The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)

Approved | 188 min | Drama, History, War

The death of Marcus Aurelius leads to a succession crisis, in which the deceased emperor's son, Commodus, demonstrates that he is unwilling to let anything undermine his claim to the Roman Empire.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness, James Mason

Votes: 7,550 | Gross: $4.75M

13. Cleopatra (1963)

G | 192 min | Biography, Drama, History

60 Metascore

Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) experiences both triumph and tragedy as she attempts to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Pamela Brown

Votes: 26,919 | Gross: $57.78M

14. The Robe (1953)

Unrated | 135 min | Drama, History

In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Michael Rennie

Votes: 8,418 | Gross: $36.00M

15. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth

Votes: 209,250 | Gross: $52.77M

16. The Last Emperor (1987)

PG-13 | 163 min | Biography, Drama, History

76 Metascore

The story of the final Emperor of China.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ruocheng Ying

Votes: 86,204 | Gross: $43.98M

17. Ben-Hur (1959)

G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History

90 Metascore

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet

Votes: 204,165 | Gross: $74.70M

18. Glory (1989)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

78 Metascore

Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 114,311 | Gross: $26.83M

19. The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

G | 260 min | Biography, Drama, History

An all-star, large scale epic movie that chronicles the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Directors: George Stevens, David Lean, Jean Negulesco | Stars: Max von Sydow, Dorothy McGuire, Charlton Heston, Michael Anderson Jr.

Votes: 8,061 | Gross: $15.47M

20. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

G | 144 min | Action, Drama, History

46 Metascore

In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a preventive strike on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda | Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards, Joseph Cotten

Votes: 29,643 | Gross: $29.55M

21. Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

G | 181 min | Drama, Family, Musical

67 Metascore

In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing anti-Semitic sentiment threatens his village.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon

Votes: 35,712 | Gross: $80.50M

22. Land of the Pharaohs (1955)

Approved | 106 min | Adventure, Drama, History

A captured architect designs an ingenious plan to ensure the impregnability of tomb of a self-absorbed Pharaoh, obsessed with the security of his next life.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Jack Hawkins, Joan Collins, Dewey Martin, Alexis Minotis

Votes: 3,339 | Gross: $1.50M

23. David and Bathsheba (1951)

Approved | 116 min | Drama, History, Romance

After King David sees the beautiful Bathsheba bathing from the palace roof, he enters into an adulterous affair which has tragic consequences for his family and Israel.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Raymond Massey, Kieron Moore

Votes: 1,894

24. King of Kings (1961)

PG-13 | 168 min | Biography, Drama, History

The temporary physical life of the Biblical Savior, Jesus Christ.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Hurd Hatfield, Ron Randell

Votes: 6,347 | Gross: $14.48M

25. The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966)

Unrated | 174 min | Drama

Extravagant production of the first part of the book of Genesis. Covers Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood and Abraham and Isaac.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Michael Parks, Ulla Bergryd, Richard Harris, John Huston

Votes: 4,401 | Gross: $34.90M

26. Samson and Delilah (1949)

Approved | 134 min | Drama, History, Romance

When strongman Samson rejects the love of the beautiful Philistine woman Delilah, she seeks vengeance that brings horrible consequences they both regret.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 6,371 | Gross: $28.80M

27. Barabbas (1961)

Not Rated | 137 min | Biography, Drama, History

Barabbas, the criminal that Pontius Pilate induced the populace to vote to set free, so that Christ could be crucified, is haunted by the image of Jesus for the rest of his life.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Silvana Mangano, Arthur Kennedy, Katy Jurado

Votes: 5,194

28. The Lion in Winter (1968)

PG | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

1183 A.D.: King Henry II's three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won't commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him.

Director: Anthony Harvey | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, John Castle

Votes: 27,286 | Gross: $22.28M

29. Becket (1964)

PG-13 | 148 min | Biography, Drama, History

68 Metascore

King Henry II of England comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant Thomas Becket, who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather than the King's.

Director: Peter Glenville | Stars: Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud, Gino Cervi

Votes: 12,806

30. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy

Votes: 54,010 | Gross: $3.27M

31. A Bridge Too Far (1977)

PG | 175 min | Drama, History, War

Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier

Votes: 47,922 | Gross: $50.80M

32. The Longest Day (1962)

G | 178 min | Action, Drama, History

75 Metascore

The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Gerd Oswald, Darryl F. Zanuck | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda

Votes: 49,646 | Gross: $39.10M

33. Khartoum (1966)

Approved | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

In the Sudan, in 1884 to 1885, Egyptian forces led by British General Charles "Chinese" Gordon (Charlton Heston) defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim Army led by a religious fanatic, Mohammed Ahmed el Mahdi (Sir Laurence Olivier).

Directors: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon | Stars: Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson, Ralph Richardson

Votes: 6,150

34. The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)

PG-13 | 139 min | Drama, History, War

In 1854, during the Crimean War, poor planning leads to a British Light Brigade openly charging a Russian artillery position with tragic consequences.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Trevor Howard, Vanessa Redgrave, John Gielgud, Harry Andrews

Votes: 2,804

35. The Guns of Navarone (1961)

TV-PG | 158 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle

Votes: 42,527 | Gross: $28.90M

36. Force 10 from Navarone (1978)

PG | 118 min | Action, Drama, War

42 Metascore

During World War II, several oddly assorted military experts are teamed in a mission to raid and destroy a bridge vital to enemy strategy.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Harrison Ford, Robert Shaw, Edward Fox, Franco Nero

Votes: 15,623

37. In Harm's Way (1965)

Approved | 165 min | Drama, War

A Naval officer, reprimanded after Pearl Harbor, is later promoted to Rear Admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon

Votes: 7,462 | Gross: $4.20M

38. Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Approved | 100 min | Action, Drama, Romance

A dramatization of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara, Forrest Tucker

Votes: 8,787

39. It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)

G | 205 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

59 Metascore

A group of motorists hear about a crook's hidden stash of loot, and race against each other across the country to get to it.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney

Votes: 35,252 | Gross: $46.30M

40. Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)

Not Rated | 178 min | Adventure, Drama, History

In 1787, British ship Bounty leaves Portsmouth to bring a cargo of bread-fruit from Tahiti but the savage on-board conditions imposed by Captain Bligh trigger a mutiny led by officer Fletcher Christian.

Directors: Lewis Milestone, Carol Reed | Stars: Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, Richard Harris, Hugh Griffith

Votes: 13,828 | Gross: $13.68M

41. The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

PG | 129 min | Adventure, History, War

91 Metascore

Two British former soldiers decide to set themselves up as Kings in Kafiristan, a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander the Great.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Saeed Jaffrey

Votes: 41,314

42. A Man for All Seasons (1966)

G | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

The story of Sir Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarry.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw, Leo McKern

Votes: 28,616 | Gross: $28.35M

43. Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

PG | 145 min | Biography, Drama, History

King Henry VIII (Richard Burton) of England discards one wife, Catharine of Aragon (Irene Papas), who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn (Geneviève Bujold).

Director: Charles Jarrott | Stars: Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, Irene Papas, Anthony Quayle

Votes: 6,247

44. Battle of Britain (1969)

G | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the U.K.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews, Curd Jürgens

Votes: 19,345

45. The Sound of Music (1965)

G | 172 min | Biography, Drama, Family

63 Metascore

A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn

Votes: 185,613 | Gross: $163.21M



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