The classical film epic has rarely seen serious critical analysis. The critical apparatus of queer theory and masculinity studies can give special insight into the structure, design and purpose of these films. Using examples of the film epic made between 1914 and 2000, we examine how, in ostensibly hetero-normative film texts, homosexual resistances appear as ways of undermining or sometimes confirming hetero-normative displays. These resistances appear, often unnoticed, in works with no particular heterosexual bias, as well in work which was planned and executed particularly to confirm the privileged position of heterosexual congress. The nature of the classical mis-en-scène leads itself in particular to displays of homo-erotica, which creates internal stresses which conventional critics have struggled to explain. This discourse on queer resistances should be of interest to film theorists and historians generally, and to queer theorists in particular.