Greatest Ever Heroes

  |  Buy to Own: 27/10/2008
  |  Watch Now: 01/06/2015
  |  643 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC


Collection of five films featuring heroic central characters. In Ridley Scott's Oscar-winning 'Gladiator' (2000), after the death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris), Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) betrays the Emperor's beloved General Maximus (Russell Crowe) and takes the throne for himself. Maximus is sold as a slave and then trained as a gladiator, keeping himself strong with thoughts of revenge. Eventually he is taken to the Colosseum, where he prepares to fight in a contest presided over by the corrupt Commodus. Will he suffer the ultimate humiliation and die for the entertainment of his enemy or will he survive the rigors of the arena and find a way of exacting his revenge? In 'In the Name of the Father' (1993), the true story of the group of Irish men dubbed the Guildford Four, Daniel Day-Lewis plays Belfast wideboy and petty crook Gerry Conlon, who, along with his father (Pete Postlethwaite) and two friends, is forced into a false confession claiming responsibility for a terrorist attack. 'My Left Foot' director Jim Sheridan focuses on the father-son relationship as well as the long-running appeal against their sentences, led by their determined solicitor (Emma Thompson). In 'Catch a Fire' (2006), a tense political thriller set against the backdrop of apartheid-era South Africa, Patrick Chamusso (Derek Luke) is a 31-year-old black South African living the straight life in 1981; foreman at an oil refinery, football coach, family man and upstanding citizen. His calling comes when he and his wife Precious (Bonnie Mbuli) are questioned and blatantly accused of planting a bomb at the refinery where he works. The authorities, primarily one Police Colonel Nic Vos (Tim Robbins), so brutalise them in the process that Chamusso does in fact subsequently join the ANC and volunteer for active service in the shape of planting an actual bomb in the refinery. In 'Philadelphia' (1993), Tom Hanks' Oscar-winning performance as a gay man dying of AIDS brings the modern disease to mainstream Hollywood. Hanks plays Andrew Beckett, a lawyer who is fired when his boss discovers that he has AIDS. He then engages the services of homophobic lawyer Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) to take his company to court. Finally, in 'The Shawshank Redemption' (1994), accountant Andy Dufresne (Robbins) is sent to prison in the 1940s for the murder of his unfaithful wife and her lover, despite protesting his innocence. He slowly comes to terms with the injustices of the corrupt prison system and quietly inspires some of his fellow prison inmates to have a more positive outlook on life. Meanwhile, the Governor of the prison discovers Dufresne's book-keeping talents and recruits him to do a spot of creative accountancy. Fellow inmate, ageing gangster 'Red' (Morgan Freeman), uses his connections to take care of Dufresne's material needs, and narrates the story of his friend's term in jail through to the late 1960s.