A film done on a large scale, involving massive set pieces, big-budget production values, and a cast of thousands. The emphasis tends to be on large events of historical importance, myth or heroic figures, and the setting is usually ancient times. The early years of cinema favored the epic, allowing directors like D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille a canvas to play out their most extravagant visual fantasies. With the development of Cinemascope in the mid 1950s, the epic became a way of luring viewers away from their TV sets and back into the movie theaters, with such films as The Robe and Ben-Hur taking advantage of the larger screen format that only the cinema could offer. In the 1960s, the epic became the cornerstone of much Hollywood filmmaking and produced some of the screens most memorable moments (the Russian Army sweeping across the snow-swept plains in Doctor Zhivago, the Egyptian empire in Cleopatra, the desert warfare of Lawrence of Arabia). As budgets spiraled out of control on films like Apocalypse Now and Heaven's Gate, studios became more reluctant to invest money in epics, and the genre faded from the screens, with only the occasional sweeping tale (notably The English Patient and Titanic) reviving the widescreen glory of the epic of yesteryear.