Epic

Anthony Mann – The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)

Quote:
Intent on securing peace and prosperity throughout the mighty Roman Empire, the wise diplomat, Emperor Marcus Aurelius, calls together the local governors from all over the Empire, after conquering the Germanic tribes. With this in mind, Marcus has decided to turn over his crown and the much-coveted imperial throne to General Livius, instead of choosing his corrupt son and logical successor, Commodus. As a result, high treason and blind ambition lead to the death of Aurelius by poisoning, paving the way for a new era of oppression, endless machinations, and rapid decline. Now, as darkness prevails on the outskirts of the Empire where the Roman legions struggle to subdue the invading hordes, delusional Commodus declares himself a god, and no one is safe; not even Aurelius’ daughter, Lucilla. Can anyone stop the fall of the Roman Empire? Read More »

Alessandro Blasetti – Ettore Fieramosca (1938)

Freely excerpted from Wikipedia:
In 1503, the French and the Spanish fight over the region surrounding the Sicilian castle of Morreale. Giovanna, the beautiful castellan, yearns to free herself from the foreign yoke and for this she wants to marry a brave knight. Graiano d’Asti deceives her by letting Ettore Fieramosca fight in his place and then bragging with Giovanna about the feat, thus managing to convince her to marry him. Read More »

Martin Hellberg – Thomas Müntzer [+Extras] (1956)

Thuringia, 1525: The south of Germany experienced one of the few great popular movements in German history – the Peasants’ War. This opulent historical film describes the fate of the priest Thomas Müntzer, who becomes the leader of the revolt and the Reformation in Germany. He boldly advocates the teachings of Martin Luther, but while the latter turns away from the masses, Müntzer is active as their advocate. But even he can not avert the fateful defeat… Read More »

Giorgio Simonelli – I baccanali di Tiberio AKA Tiberius (1960)

Imdb:
Cassio, a tourist guide, and Primo, his bus driver, are taking a bus load of tourists to visit villa Jovis, at Capri island. Close to the Salto di Tiberio (Tiberius Fall…) they have an accident, and they knock their heads hard, losing conscience. They come awake in Tiberius villa, in the midst of an orgy, complete with a group of British dancers, mostly blondes, who are performing for the emperor. Soon, they are wise to an attempt on the emperor’s life by his Secretary, who plans to bring the blame on Cassio and Primo’s heads. The two men dress up as dancers and try to mix with the British dancers, who are led by Cinthya O’Connor. Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Atti degli apostoli aka Acts of the Apostles (1969)

from the imdb comments:

The second in a series of historical films begun by Roberto Rossellini in the late 1960’s was this sublime movie for Italian television which traces the spread of Christianity in the thirty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, according to the accounts of Luke. Most of the first part deals with the successes and failures of Peter in spreading the good news of Jesus and presents an almost documentary view of the first Christian community, the trials before the Sanhedrin, the martyrdom of Philip and Stephen. Most of the second half of this five-hour+ film follows Paul from his conversion en route to Damascus, his work with Barnabas in Antioch of Syria, his debates on the old law versus the new, his arrest. The film ends with his imprisonment in Rome. Read More »

Youssef Chahine – Adieu Bonaparte AKA Farewell Bonaparte (1985)

Quote:
In 1798, Napoleon lands his army in Egypt, defeats the Mameluke warlords (the remnants of Ottoman rule), and goes on to Cairo. Three brothers, who are Egyptian patriots, chafe under Mameluke rule and reject the prospect of French domination. Bakr, the eldest, is a hothead, quick to advocate armed rebellion; Ali is more philosophical and poetic; Yehia is young and impressionable. One of Napoleon’s generals, the one-legged intellectual Caffarelli, wants to make Frenchmen out of Ali, Yehia, and other Egyptians, opening a bakery where their father works, becoming a tutor, and declaring his love for them. Is tragedy the only resolution of these conflicting loyalties? Read More »

Mircea Dragan – Columna AKA The Column (1968)

The Roman Emperor Trajan has just murdered all the local men of Dacia and holds a military stronghold in what will later become Rumania. He places a Roman centurion in his place to occupy his latest conquest. After lopping off the head of the Dacian warlord, the soldier uses his blood-stained hands to dine on cheese and bread, unable to suppress his laughter. The centurion has a change of heart when he is put in charge of the region, freely dispensing justice and forgiveness to the conquered inhabitants. When the peace is threatened by marauding barbarians in masks of fur, the locals help the Romans fend off the invasion. Read More »