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Some of the greatest Historical films

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No matter how far forward we seem to move, humanity will always be obsessed with ancient history. From epic blockbusters, to grand museums, even Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the world’s most famous casino is a tribute to the Rome of old. There have been hundreds of historical epics in Hollywood’s history, but we take a look at some of the biggest, and the best.

The Passion of the Christ

Australian megastar Mel Gibson’s biblical masterpiece cost $30 million to create, but grossed an incredible $612 million at the box office, making it the highest-grossing religious film, the highest-grossing R-rated film in the United States, and the highest grossing non-English-language film of all time. It follows the final 12 hours of Jesus Christ’s life, including his death and resurrection, as well as glimpses and flashbacks of his childhood. The film was said to be cursed, as lead actor Jim Caviezel suffered from both hypothermia, and pneumonia whilst filming, dislocated his shoulder, and was accidentally thrashed during a whipping scene. On top of that, both Caviezel and assistant director Michelini were struck by lightning during the filming of the scene of the Sermon on the Mound.

Gladiator

Ridley Scott’s epic historical drama stars Russell Crowe as the Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed when Commodus, the ambitious son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, murders his father and seizes the throne. Reduced to slavery, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murders of his family and emperor. The film starred Joaquin Phoenix as the power-hungry Commodus, and Connie Nielsen as Lucilla, the former lover of Maximus and the older child of Marcus Aurelius.

Ben-Hur

One of the most important and famous films in history, 1959’s Ben-Hur had the largest budget ($15.175 million) as well as the largest sets built of any film produced at the time. It won a record 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, a record that wasn’t beaten until 1997’s Titanic almost 40 years later. The film follows the character of Judah Ben-Hur, played by Jack Huston as he loses everything after his adopted brother Messala, an officer in the Roman army returns to Jerusalem and accuses the young prince of treason.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

The second Ridley Scott film to feature, this biblical epic follows the story of The Exodus and the defiant leader Moses as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. The film starred Christian Bale as Moses, Joel Edgerton as Ramesses II and Sigourney Weaver as Tuya, Ramesses II’s mother.

Braveheart

Directed by and starring Mel Gibson as William Wallace, 13th-century Scottish warrior rebel who leads an uprising against the English ruler Edward the Longshanks, who wishes to inherit the crown of Scotland for himself. Wallace begins his long quest to make Scotland free once and for all, along with the assistance of Robert the Bruce. The story is inspired by Blind Harry’s epic poem “The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace” and starred Sophie Marceau as Princess Isabella of France, Patrick McGoohan as Edward Longshanks and Angus Macfadyen as Robert the Bruce.

The Ten Commandments

The 1959 biblical epic was directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starred Charlton Heston as Moses. It is a dramatization of the biblical story of the life of Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince who leads the Exodus of the Jews to Mount Sinai, where he receives from God, the Ten Commandments. In 1999, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

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