6 Spectacular Disaster Movies

As long as Hollywood has been making movies, the threat of impending doom has long been a plot device used by filmmakers to heighten drama. But the genre didn’t really flourish until the 1970s, when the studios churned out movies about looming disaster as frequently as they did screwball comedies in the 1930s, film noir in the 1940s, and sword-and-sandal epics in the 1950s. And just like those other popular money-making genres, the disaster movie reached its apex before dying out due to a string of flops. Here are six great disaster movies spanning five decades.

8 Must-See David Lean Films

Known for his sweeping historical epics, David Lean directed some of the grandest movies Hollywood has ever known and possessed a technical command few were able to master. Lean’s blockbusters of the late 1950s and 1960s made an indelible mark on cinema and won the director two Academy Awards. While few may remember his name, Lean’s iconic movies and the powerful images they conjure remain infused in our collective psyche.

Biblical Epics

While historical epics showcased stories set in antiquity, religious epics drew inspiration from the world’s most popular book, The Bible. Whether depicting the Old Testament or the New, biblical epics were always large in scope and featured some of the day’s state-of-the-art special effects. Though Hollywood stopped making large-scale epics in the 1960s due to massive costs, audience interest has never waned and many remain popular viewing on television, particularly around the Easter holiday.

Biblical Epics

While historical epics showcased stories set in antiquity, religious epics drew inspiration from the world’s most popular book, The Bible. Whether depicting the Old Testament or the New, biblical epics were always large in scope and featured some of the day’s state-of-the-art special effects. Though Hollywood stopped making large-scale epics in the 1960s due to massive costs, audience interest has never waned and many remain popular viewing on television, particularly around the Easter holiday.

What to Watch This Easter on Turner Classic Movies

As one would expect, Turner Classic Movies will showcase several biblical epics for the whole family to watch this Easter Sunday. The holiday starts off just right with an early morning showing of William Wyler’s great Ben-Hur (1959), which stars Charlton Heston as a former prince sold into slavery after being sold out by a childhood friend turned powerful Roman tribune. Turner finishes the morning hours with Nicholas Ray’s depiction of Christ King of Kings (1961). … Read Full Post

Best Picture 1950s

In the 1950s, Hollywood faced its first challenge with supremacy with the advent of television, leading studios to use techniques like Cinemascope and Technicolor to lure audiences back to theaters. Some movies were massive spectacles that could only be seen on the big screen, while others were complex character dramas that reflected the changing social mores of the times. Meanwhile, previously popular genres like the musical and the Western were starting to fall out of favor. Of course, the Academy reflected these changes as giant epics, moody character dramas and lavish adventures were given Oscar.

Best Picture 1950s

In the 1950s, Hollywood faced its first challenge with supremacy with the advent of television, leading studios to use techniques like Cinemascope and Technicolor to lure audiences back to theaters. Some movies were massive spectacles that could only be seen on the big screen, while others were complex character dramas that reflected the changing social mores of the times. Meanwhile, previously popular genres like the musical and the Western were starting to fall out of favor. Of course, the Academy reflected these changes as giant epics, moody character dramas and lavish adventures were given Oscar.

Best Actor 1950s

In the 1950s, Hollywood was forced to face changes in the media landscape with the proliferation of television. Needing to lure audiences from the comforts of their own homes and back into the theaters, studios made massive historical epics and spectacular genre films. But moviegoers also wanted character driven fare and they were richly rewarded with some of the finest dramatic performances of the Golden Era.

Best Director 1950s

In the 1950s, Hollywood suddenly found itself competing with television and sought new innovations to lure audiences back to theaters. As a result, movies became grand spectacles that featured new widescreen formats to showcase massive historical epics, Westerns and adventure movies. But audiences also wanted more realistic character-driven pictures and filmmakers were happy to oblige with dramas that focused on infidelity, youthful rebellion and emotional ennui.

8 Classic Historical Epics

Before computer graphics took audiences back to ancient worlds, Hollywood built massive sets and employed a literal cast of thousands. Fearful of the new medium of television, studios staged these films in order to draw people to theaters. It worked for a time, but by the early 1960s these epics proved too costly to make. Studios shied away from making these epics for decades, and it would take computer generated effects for studios to even think about doing such large scale movies again.