Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Lord Of The Rings joins epics list

Sir Ian McKellen starred as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings

The Lord Of The Rings trilogy has joined the likes of Lawrence Of Arabia and Gone With The Wind in a list of the 10 greatest movie epics.

Broadcaster and film journalist Barry Norman compiled the top 10 for the Radio Times.

The Lord Of The Rings trilogy (2001-03) are the most recent films on the list, while Napoleon (1927) is the oldest.

Other movies in the top 10 include Apocalypse Now (1979), Ben-Hur (1959), Spartacus (1960) and Doctor Zhivago (1965).

Norman said the epic, "along with stories about sex and crime", was one of the oldest movie genres.

He said Charlton Heston, whose credits include Ben-Hur, El Cid, Moses in The Ten Commandments, and Michelangelo In The Agony And The Ecstasy, was the "greatest of epic movie stars".

Norman said purists who believed that films, such as Life Of Pi and Ridley Scott's Prometheus, that rely heavily on CGI could not be called epics should "get a life".

"CGI animation is as good as and often much more vivid than work produced by the original method and an epic doesn't necessarily require vast crowds anyway...," he said.

"The main ingredient of an epic movie is size. It has to tell an extraordinary tale - whether Biblical, historical or totally fictional - on a grand scale, filling the screen with outstanding imagery while doing so."

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