The American Film Institute accepted nominations for the ten best films in each of ten categories, then conducted an international poll of the world’s greatest film authorities. Here are the top ten EPIC films:
1. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
2. Ben-Hur (1959)
3. Schindler’s List (1993)
4. Gone with the Wind (1939)
5. Spartacus (1960)
6. Titanic (1997)
7. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
8. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
9. Reds (1981)
10. The Ten Commandments (1985)
Business Lesson: Think BIG but meanwhile focus on the details and nail the fundamentals.
In all of these films, the scale is vast (hence the term “epic”) in terms of the number of characters involved, the span of years covered, the scope of the primary objective, the perils while pursuing it, and the implications of failing to do so. With the exception of Titanic, each of the films is somehow associated with either a war or major social upheaval. It is understandable why many characters feel overwhelmed by the events they observe. The same is true of certain situations in the business world. For example, trying to achieve what Jim Collins calls a “BHAG,” a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal.” In the current economy for many companies, that BHAG is survival. On the screen and in life, the best strategy when thinking big (to win a war or locate a private) is to concentrate on the details of what must be done as well as when and how it must be done. Step by step, piece by piece. After the Japanese invasion in 1937, that is how China moved almost all of his industrial capabilities (dismantled and carried by hand or in carts) more than 1,000 miles to the interior where entire factories were reassembled, brick by brick and piece by piece.
You can check out the wealth the resources provided by the American Film Institute and the Internet Film Database. Here are links to their Web sites:
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