Night at the Movies, A: The Gigantic World of Epics (2009)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
The second entry in TCM's series is slightly better than the previous one but once again, trying to fit hundreds of movies into 60-minutes isn't really a good idea. In the documentary we start off learning that D.W. Griffith created the epic (not totally true) and then Cecil B. DeMille carried the torch until the likes of David Lean and up to Kevin Costner. This series, so far, has been extremely hit and miss and again I think trying to fit an entire genre into such a short running time is going to cost all sorts of problems. Here we have countless films and filmmakers being overlooked while others get too much of the spotlight. GONE WITH THE WIND, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI and DeMille's remake of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS get the most attention, which is fine considering these are classic films but we also miss out on hearing about countless others. In fact, unless you don't know what an epic is then I doubt you're going to learn too much from this thing as it's pretty simple and straight-forward to the point where I'm sure most film buffs are going to know the stories being told here and perhaps seen the majority of the films. Steven Spielberg, Kenneth Branagh, Omar Sharif, Melvyn Stokes, Rudy Behlmer and John Milius are a few of the people interviewed as well as the children or relatives of Charlton Heston, DeMille and Anthony Mann.
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