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Roman Scandals (1933)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 389 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 3 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.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Eddie / Oedipus
The Goldwyn Girls ...
Slave Girls
...
Olga
...
Princess Sylvia
...
David Manners ...
Verree Teasdale ...
Empress Agrippa
...
Majordomo
Jack Rutherford ...
Manius (as John Rutherford)
Willard Robertson ...
Warren Finley Cooper
Lee Kohlmar ...
Storekeeper
Edit

Storyline

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


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 December 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escândalos Romanos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Lucille Ball's autobiography, often the slave girls were left chained up high in the rotunda in between shots and retakes. One day while feeling ill, Lucille fainted, her fake chains gave way, and she fell, almost hitting and getting burned by the lights. Another extra playing a slave driver caught her, and she was unharmed. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Remake of Vamping Venus (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

Keep Young and Beautiful
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Performed by Eddie Cantor with chorus
Danced by chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
ROMAN SCANDALS (Frank Tuttle, 1933) ***
13 April 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This very funny spoof on Roman-era epics (I had previously watched it one morning some 18 years ago on Italian TV) is considered to be star comedian Eddie Cantor's best vehicle - though I must say that it's the only one I've managed to catch up with myself over the years (but do own his debut film, WHOOPEE! [1930], on VHS).

The 'modern man dreaming himself in another era' plot line is a favorite comedy theme - an idea dating back to Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court". The film boasts a remarkable line-up of writers (George S. Kaufman, Robert E. Sherwood, Nat Perrin, Arthur Sheekman and George Oppenheimer), many of whom had worked with contemporaneous comedy acts - notably the Marx Bros.; though the star's personality doesn't lend itself to quite that level of lunacy, the script provides a satisfying balance of sight gags and one-liners (often commenting on the basic difference between the two ages). Alongside the humor are the musical sequences - virtually a requisite of the period - highlighting not only a couple of good tunes for Cantor (one of them sung in blackface!) but also Busby Berkeley's choreography featuring The Goldwyn Girls (among them Lucille Ball), including an outrageous number in which they're chained nude to revolving walls! Typical of Goldwyn's output, the production values are impeccable - with cinematography by the legendary Gregg Toland and the impressive set design of Richard Day.

The cast, too, is notable - with Eddie (amusingly dubbed Oedipus while in Ancient Rome) being flanked by the likes of David Manners and Gloria Stuart (supplying the romantic interest), Edward Arnold (the Emperor) and Alan Mowbray (as Cantor's prime foil, a Roman General); Arnold's favorite slave girl is played by Ruth Etting in one of her irregular film appearances: she was the chanteuse/gangster's moll later portrayed by Doris Day in the musical biopic LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME (1955)! The film's best gags include: Cantor cracking a whip and 'catching' Mowbray; an alligator flipping upside down in reaction to poisoned food given it by Cantor (appointed by Arnold as his personal food-taster); the prison scene in which Arnold and a couple of guards are exposed to laughing gas while torturing Cantor; Eddie demonstrating the correct moves in a fistfight on Mowbray. Incidentally, the wordplay gag involving the poisoned dish was re-used by Danny Kaye for his classic THE COURT JESTER (1955). Still, the undoubted highlight of the film remains the uproarious (and quite spectacular) chariot chase at the climax - supervised by Ralph Cedar.


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