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Frankly, my dear, it's the best epic.

A scene from the 1939 classic Gone with the Wind has been voted the best epic movie moment of all time. Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler are seen escaping in the American Civil War classic against a blazing Atlanta skyline.

Sets of the 1933 King Kong movie were set alight to create the inferno, and 15,000 gallons of water were used to douse the flames.

The chariot race between Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd in the 1959 film Ben Hur came second in the poll, carried out by UCI Cinemas to mark the forthcoming release of the latest epic, Troy. The train wreck from Lawrence of Arabia was voted third.

Despite their big budgets and use of special effects, the list of top 10 films shows the old classics are still the best at creating epic moments.

Only two movies from the past 10 years have made it on to the list, Russell Crowe's fight scene in Gladiator (2000) came fourth, while the scene in which the luxury liner descends into the waters in Titanic (1997) came ninth.

The groundbreaking effects used for the spectacular parting of the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments came fifth.

UCI Cinemas' Lianne Butterfield said, 'The greatest epics throughout movie history have all had things in common - big budgets, lavish sets, captivating storylines, top stars, and that one breath-taking moment that rounds off the whole cinematic experience.

'Some of the grandest scenes in our list make the film worth watching just for that defining moment.':Top ten:1 Gone With The Wind (1939) - Scarlett and Rhett escape the spectacular Atlanta blaze 2 Ben Hur (1959) - the exhilarating chariot race between Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd

3 Lawrence Of Arabia (1962) - the jaw-dropping train-wreck scene

4 Gladiator (2000) - Maximus faces an onslaught from man and beast in the Coliseum

5 The Ten Commandments (1956) - Charlton Heston's Moses parts the Red Sea

6 Spartacus (1960) - the thousands-strong Roman battle sequence

7 Gandhi (1982) - 300,000 mourners congregate for Gandhi's funeral

8 Cleopatra (1963) - Egyptian Queen Elizabeth Taylor arrives in Rome

9 Titanic (1997) - the mammoth luxury liner splits into two parts and descends into the icy Atlantic waters 10 The Last Emperor (1987) - thousands of courtiers bow down to their three-year-old spiritual leader
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 14, 2004
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