In AD 180, Spanish-Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius leads the Roman army to a decisive victory against the Germanic tribes near Vindobona, ending a long war on the Roman frontier and winning the favor of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Maximus, weary of battle, decides to retire at his Spanish farm estate at the Emperor's behest, but the Emperor tells him that his son and heir to the throne, Commodus, is unfit to rule and thus appoints him as regent to help save Rome from corruption. Before he makes his decision, Commodus is confronted by his father who tells him that he will not be emperor. Burdened by grief and believing he was never valued by his father, Commodus kills him.
In Texas 1858, the Speck brothers, Ace and Dicky, drive black slaves on foot. Among the shackled slaves is Django, sold off and separated from his wife, Broomhilda von Shaft. The Speck brothers are stopped by Dr. King Schultz, a German ex-dentist and bounty hunter from Düsseldorf, Prussia. Schultz asks to buy one of the slaves; when he questions Django about his knowledge of the Brittle brothers, for whom Schultz is carrying a warrant, Ace becomes irritated and aims his shotgun at Schultz. Schultz quickly kills Ace and leaves Dicky at the mercy of the newly freed slaves, who shoot Dicky in the head.
On the eve of the American Civil War in 1861, Scarlett O'Hara lives at Tara, her family's cotton plantation in Georgia, with her parents and two sisters. Scarlett learns that Ashley Wilkes—whom she secretly loves—is to be married to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton, and the engagement is to be announced the next day at a barbecue at Ashley's home, the nearby plantation Twelve Oaks.
In 2029, aboard the United States Air Force space station Oberon, Leo Davidson works closely with primates who are trained for space missions. His favorite simian co-worker is a chimpanzee named Pericles. With a deadly electromagnetic storm approaching the station, a small space pod piloted by Pericles is used to probe the storm. Pericles's pod heads into the storm and disappears. Against his commanding officer's orders, Leo takes a second pod and goes in pursuit of Pericles. Entering the storm, Leo loses contact with the Oberon and crashes on a planet called Ashlar in the year 5021. He discovers that the world is ruled by humanoid apes who can speak human language and treat human beings as slaves.
In 1935, Indiana Jones - Indy (Harrison Ford) narrowly escapes the clutches of Lao Che (Roy Chiao), a crime boss in Shanghai. With his 11-year-old Chinese sidekick, Short Round (or Shorty) (Jonathan Ke Quan), and the nightclub singer Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) in tow, Indy flees Shanghai on an airplane that, unknown to them, is owned by Lao. While the three of them sleep on the plane, the pilots parachute out, and they leave the plane to crash over the Himalayas while dumping its fuel. Indy, Shorty, and Willie discover this and narrowly manage to escape on an inflatable raft and ride down the slopes into a raging river. They come to Mayapore, a desolate village in northern India, where the poor villagers believe them to have been sent by the Hindu god Shiva and enlist their help to retrieve the sacred Sivalinga stone stolen from their shrine, as well as the community's children, from evil forces in the nearby Pankot Palace. During the journey to Pankot, Indy hypothesizes that the stone may be one of the five fabled Sankara stones that promise fortune and glory.
In January 1865, President Abraham Lincoln expects the Civil War to end within a month. However, he is concerned that his 1863 Emancipation Proclamation may be discarded by the courts once the war has concluded and that the Thirteenth Amendment be defeated by the returning slave states. Lincoln feels it is imperative to pass the amendment by the end of the month, thus removing any possibility that slaves who have already been freed may be re-enslaved. The Radical Republicans fear the amendment will be defeated by some who merely wish to delay its passage; the support of the amendment by Republicans in the border states is not yet assured either, since they prioritize the issue of ending the war. Even if all of them are ultimately brought on board, the amendment will still require the support of several Democratic congressmen if it is to pass. With dozens of Democrats having just become lame ducks after losing their re-election campaigns in the fall of 1864, some of Lincoln's advisors believe that he should wait until the new Republican-heavy Congress is seated, presumably giving the amendment an easier road to passage. Lincoln, however, remains adamant about having the amendment in place and the issue of slavery settled before the war is concluded and the southern states readmitted into the Union.
In 1300 BC, Moses, a general and member of the royal family, prepares to attack the Hittite army with Prince Ramesses. A High Priestess of Sekhmet (the war goddess) divines a prophecy from animal intestines, which she relates to Ramesses' father, Seti I. He tells the two men of the prophecy, in which one (of Moses and Ramesses) will save the other and become a leader. During the attack on the Hittites, Moses saves Ramesses' life, leaving both men troubled. Later, Moses is sent to the city of Pithom to meet with the Viceroy Hegep, who oversees the Hebrew slaves. Upon his arrival, he encounters the slave Joshua, who is the descendant of Joseph, and Moses is appalled by the horrific conditions of the slaves. Shortly afterwards, Moses meets Nun, who informs him of his true lineage; he is the child of Hebrew parents who was sent by his sister Miriam to be raised by Pharaoh's daughter. Moses is stunned at the revelation and leaves angrily. However, two Hebrews also overhear Nun's story and report their discovery to Hegep.
In 1821, Don Diego De La Vega (Anthony Hopkins) fights against the Spanish in the Mexican War of Independence as Zorro, a mysterious swordsman who defends the Mexican peasants and commoners of Las Californias. Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson), the governor of the region, learns of De La Vega's alter ego, and attempts to arrest him. De La Vega's wife is killed during the scuffle. Montero imprisons De La Vega and takes his infant daughter, Eléna, as his own. Twenty years later Montero returns to California as a civilian, alongside Eléna (Catherine Zeta Jones), who has grown into a beautiful woman. Montero's reappearance coincides with De La Vega's escape from prison. He encounters a thief, Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas), who, as a child, once did Zorro a favor. De La Vega decides that fate has brought them together, and agrees to make Alejandro his protégé, grooming him to be the new Zorro. Murrieta agrees to undergo De La Vega's training regimen in order to be able to take revenge on Captain Harrison Love (Matt Letscher), Montero's right-hand man, who was responsible for killing Murrieta's brother, Joaquin.
In Ancient Egypt, Yocheved and her two children, Miriam and Aaron, watch as newborn Hebrew boys are taken and ruthlessly killed as ordered by Pharaoh Seti I, who fears that an increase of Hebrew slaves could lead to rebellion. Fearing for her own newborn son's safety, Yocheved places him in a basket afloat on the Nile. Miriam follows the basket to the Pharaoh's palace and witnesses her baby brother safely adopted by Queen Tuya, who names him Moses.
In 1841, Solomon Northup is a free African-American man working as a violinist, who lives with his wife, Anne Hampton, and two children, Margaret and Alonzo, in Saratoga Springs, New York. Two men, Brown and Hamilton, offer him a two-week job as a musician if he will travel to Washington, D.C., with them. Once there, they drug Northup and deliver him to a slave pen owned by James Burch.
Adam Ewing, an American lawyer, has come to the Chatham Islands to conclude a business arrangement with Reverend Horrox and his father-in-law. While in Horrox's plantation, he witnesses the whipping of a Moriori slave, Autua, who later stows away on the ship. Autua confronts Ewing and convinces him to advocate for Autua to join the crew as a free man. Dr Henry Goose slowly poisons Ewing, claiming it to be the cure for a parasitic worm, to steal Ewing's valuables. As Goose administers the fatal dose, Autua saves Ewing. Returning to the United States, Ewing and his wife Tilda denounce her father's complicity in slavery and leave to join the abolition movement.
Pharaoh Rameses I of Egypt has ordered the death of all firstborn Hebrew males after hearing the prophecy of the Deliverer, but a Hebrew woman named Yoshebel saves her infant son by setting him adrift in a basket on the Nile. Bithiah, the Pharaoh's daughter, who had recently lost her husband and the hope of ever having children of her own, finds the basket and decides to adopt the boy even though her servant, Memnet, recognizes the child is Hebrew and protests.
The NDR series robot "Andrew" (Robin Williams) is introduced in 2005 into the Martin family home to perform housekeeping and maintenance duties. The family's reactions range from acceptance and curiosity, to outright rejection, and deliberate vandalism by their surly older daughter, Grace (Lindze Letherman), which leads to the discovery that Andrew can both identify emotions and reciprocate in kind. When Andrew accidentally breaks a figurine belonging to "Little Miss" Amanda (Hallie Kate Eisenberg), he carves a replacement out of wood. The family is astonished by this creativity and “Sir” Richard Martin (Sam Neill) takes Andrew to his manufacturer, to inquire if all the robots are like him. The CEO of the company sees this development as a problem and wishes to scrap Andrew. Angered, Martin takes Andrew home and allows him to pursue his own development, encouraging Andrew to educate himself in the humanities.
Wizard of the Mounds
Conan the Barbarian is a film about a young barbarian's quest to avenge his parents' deaths. The story is set in the fictional Hyborian Age, thousands of years before the rise of modern civilization. The film opens with the title card, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger", a paraphrasing of Friedrich Nietzsche, followed by a voice-over that establishes the film as the story of Conan's origin.