Spartacus, The Robe and many others were the Hollywood answer to the threat of Television.
In the Iron Curtain countries the Epic was based in historical fact with implied reference to World War 2
In 1960 this Epic from Poland was released and I can assure readers of my reviews that this film is more than on a par with the epics of the west.
Teutonic Knights are leaving a terrible mark on the people of Poland in the 14th century ,they are stealing ships full of grain and kidnapping the women of the valiant Polish knights.
When are local warlord is captured and tortured by the Knights it can only lead to battle and on Grunwald field both sides will face each other in a final pitched battle.
The film is worthy of and epic but the film also has the sense to focus on the intimate stories of love and honour at its heart.
The battle scenes when they arrive are expertly staged and despite the films length the story maintains you interest with all the plotting and intrigue.
Criminally underrated,Aleksander Ford's storytelling focuses on the landscapes' pain rather the character's felicities and the astounding dialog is a bonus,based on the Sienkiewicz novel.Forgive me for saying this but the Grunwald massacre pumped me up!
The film is around 3h long but I didn't get bored. It culminates with one of the biggest battles that medivial Europe could ever see - Battle of Grunwald in 1410. Germans got beaten and Polish / Slavic won :)