Are there epic foreign movies?

In the US, of course, we don’t get that much foreign film to begin with, but I was under the impression that overseas film industries are typically on a smaller scale than American ones. Are there any recent epic foreign movies - ones on a scale like Gladiator, Lord of the Rings, or the Star Wars movies.

Some recent Chinese epics:

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
House of Flying Daggers
Curse of the Golden Flower

Some of Kurosawa’s later stuff was pretty epic. Ran (His version of King Lear), for example.

There is a Chinese trilogy called “Infernal Affairs”. It was remade by Hollywood as the movie “The Departed”. The original was much better, and much deeper.

Ran, Kagemusha, and many others in Japanese cinema from Kurosawa and others. Eisenstein’s The Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky, and his Ivan The Terrible, Part I & II. Numerous examples from German cinema prior to WWII. Most of the conventions of Epic cinema actually came from abroad before being integrated and commericalized in the form of the Hollywood blockbuster.

Modern epics are more limited because of the domination of American cinema and the difficulty in getting comperable budgets, but it’s hardly an American innovation.


It doesn’t get more epic than the seven hour long Russian version of War and Peace.

There are plenty of “epic” movies, depending on how you define them. Last January I watched much of the Indian “Bollywood” Superhero epic Krissh, and had to leave before the end. The damned thing is Loooooong!

The Battleship Potemkin (1925) comes to mind.

As does Alexzander Nevsky (1938)
darn good movies.

Wim Wenders Bis ans Ende der Welt (“Until the End of the World”) (1991) was shot in 15 cities in 7 countries on 4 continents. There’s a director’s cut, not often seen, that runs almost five hours.

I’d say that’s pretty epic.

As a contemporary example, there is Night Watch . The Russian epic vampire trilogy.

Takashi Miike’s the Great Yokai War was pretty insanely epic.

Indochine certainly seemed to go on for ever.

One could argue that LotR itself is a non-American movie, being, as it was, made by a New Zealand director, with a largely New Zealand crew, and shot almost entirely in New Zealand.

Depending on your definition, there’s L’enfants du paradis. Certainly of epic length, with a large cast, though no battles.

Hmm, I think the movie “Hero” can be called a somewhat epic movie. Lots of battles, big casts, etc, though it falls in the short area for something truly epic.

Other than that, the Watch (Night/Day/Dusk) movies from Russia are both good, deep, long and feature big battles. Some of the European WWII movies also count, I suppose.

Bob and Doug’s *Strange Brew * qualifys, I think.

Hear hear. One of the most–I cannot improve upon your terminology, V–*insanely *entertaining movies I have ever gleefully subjected myself to.

Also enthusiastically seconded.

I can’t mention any specifics because I’m not too knowledgeable in this area, but it seems like there are a ton of epic Bollywood movies out there. I remember one recent one that I didn’t see called Eklavya, The Royal Guard that seemed to be a period adventure about the defense of some fort – looked pretty epic.

There are many epic Bollywood movies. One recent example, Asoka, is about the historical emperor.

Princess Mononoke, and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds.