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Roman Scandals (1933)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Musical  |  29 December 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 428 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 4 critic

A kind-hearted young man is thrown out of his corrupt home town of West Rome, Oklahoma. He falls asleep and dreams that he is back in the days of olden Rome, where he gets mixed up with court intrigue and a murder plot against the Emperor.



(original story), (original story), 4 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Eddie / Oedipus
The Goldwyn Girls ...
Slave Girls
David Manners ...
Verree Teasdale ...
Empress Agrippa
Jack Rutherford ...
Manius (as John Rutherford)
Willard Robertson ...
Warren Finley Cooper
Lee Kohlmar ...


A kind-hearted young man is thrown out of his corrupt home town of West Rome, Oklahoma. He falls asleep and dreams that he is back in the days of olden Rome, where he gets mixed up with court intrigue and a murder plot against the Emperor.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 December 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escândalos Romanos  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (edited)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The chorus girls - among them Lucille Ball - chained to the wall in the "No More Love" number are actually nude. The number was filmed during the night, when no studio bosses were around on the lot, with a minimum of technicians involved. See more »


On commonly available reissue prints of this film all the cast and credits are reprinted, with the following spelling errors: Songwriter Al Dubin's surname is spelled Dublin. Chariot sequence director Ralph Ceder's surname is spelled Cedar. Actress Verree Teasdale's first name is spelled Veree. See more »


[first lines]
Mayor of West Rome: As mayor of West Rome, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you and to introduce our first citizen, Warren Fenwick Cooper!
Warren F. Cooper: Thank you, mayor. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. Heh, heh, you see I know my Roman history.
See more »


Referenced in Lucy (2003) See more »


All of Me
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Gerald Marks
Lyrics by Seymour Simons
Partially Sung a cappella by Eddie Cantor
See more »

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User Reviews

Building A Little Home in Rome
10 May 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I recently read an account of the creation of Roman Scandals and the miracle is the film got made at all. A whole lot of creative minds butted creative heads.

Sam Goldwyn had it in mind to make a film version of Androcles and the Lion starring Eddie Cantor and I think Cantor would have been perfect in the title role. Unfortunately George Bernard Shaw thought there would be more Cantor than Shaw in the finished product and he nixed that idea with Goldwyn quick.

The idea of a story in ancient Rome had really taken hold with Goldwyn so he then hired George S. Kaufman and Robert Sherwood to write a screenplay. They did come up with the story outline you see on films, but got into problems with Cantor who insisted he wanted the lead role more personalized along with the gags that went with it. Kaufman and Sherwood quit on Goldwyn.

Sam got a few more writers and gave Cantor more creative input into the film and the result is Roman Scandals. Admittedly Roman Scandals is one of the best showcases for the talents of Eddie Cantor.

Eddie plays one of his usual meek little schnooks who turns the tables on those oppressing him. He's the curator of a small museum in West Rome, Oklahoma and uncovers evidence of corruption by the local bigwigs who give him the bum's rush out of town. He soon finds himself walking on a road leading out of ancient Rome and gets involved in the political situation there.

Co-starring with Cantor are Gloria Stuart, David Manners, and as the Emperor Edward Arnold who is playing one of his early villains. Cantor uses both Arnold and his chief henchmen Alan Mowbray to great effect in several gags. My two favorite scenes are his avoiding the Emperor's poisoned food by feeding it to the royal crocodile and Cantor being sold at the slave market with the bidding done by people who want him for all kinds of purposes.

Ruth Etting who co-starred on Broadway with Cantor in Whoopee has a part and a real good torch song number No More Love. Busby Berkeley gave it and other songs sung by Cantor a big production number. Etting of course was the subject of bio film Love Me or Leave Me with Doris Day playing her. Roman Scandals is your opportunity to see the real deal and what a talent she was.

Gloria Stuart who was on loan from Universal could not believe the lavishness of a Sam Goldwyn film, she was used to more cost conscious operations at her home studio. But if you hire Busby Berkeley lavish comes with the territory. Two of Cantor's numbers Build a Little Home and Keep Young and Beautiful got the lavish treatment and they were good.

Eddie Cantor an entertainer of amazing talent should be seen and studied today. I can't think of anything better to start with than Roman Scandals.

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