THE LEOPARD (1963)

I was floored by this Italian epic about the fall of the aristocracy, written by a prince and directed by a Marxist, starring, of all people, Burt Lancaster.

LA NOIRE DE… (1966)

The first film from Sub-Saharan Africa to make a big splash in Europe and the US, its story about the toll of colonization is very relevant even today.

SPARTACUS (1960)

As epics of Roman battles go, Spartacus is the thinking-man’s version. It also helped break the Hollywood Blacklist.

THE APARTMENT (1960)

Winning performances set against stark corporate modernism highlight a fun comedy, albeit one with a surprising amount of attempted suicides.

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)

Maybe the most epic epic ever made, about a weird guy in the desert.