The bio pic is a favorite of Hollywood with everyone from warlords and kings to scientists and scholars to musicians and artists getting a chance to have their story shine on the big screen. Not all do justice to the subject, but every so often one comes along that does it right, entertaining while educating. Today’s Here’s 5 are Award-winning, epically-long movie biographies.
The story of William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the fight for independence against King Edward I of England took a few liberties with the real story but its production and grand scale, not to mention the stirring performance and direction from the film's star, Mel Gibson, made this a favorite with Academy voters, earning it 5 Oscars, including Best Picture. One word: FREEDOM! Run time: 2hr 58mins
The harrowing courage and bombastic personality of Word War II general and military strategist George Patton (played by George C. Scott) is an epically long, brilliantly made production made the war hero a huge theatrical draw, earning 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Scott himself won for Best Actor but refused the honor, citing his disagreement with acting a competitive profession. Run time: 2hrs 52mins
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
The life of T. E. Lawrence (played by Peter O'Toole), a British author, archaeologist, and soldier is one filled with high adventure, as he orchestrated a union among Arabs tribes in a war against the Turks. One of the most celebrated performances and films of all time, this epic production won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture. Run time: 3hrs 36 mins
The life story of an 18th-century classical composer might not seem like something that would gain huge audience appeal, but this rousing and deeply emotional production based on the life of Mozart (played by Tom Hulce) was a huge hit, winning no less than 8 Oscars, including Best Picture. Fan or no fan, this one makes opera on film a truly riveting experience. Run time: 2hrs 40mins
The inspiring true-life story of India's acclaimed pacifist Mohandas Gandhi (played by Ben Kingley), who led the country's non-violent, non-cooperative independence movement against the United Kingdom's long-standing rule is an epic tale that dramatizes bits but remains a faithful and entertaining account, winning 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Run time: 3hrs 11mins