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The Last Days of Pompeii (1935)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama | 18 October 1935 (USA)
In the doomed Roman city, a gentle blacksmith becomes a corrupt gladiator, while his son leans toward Christianity.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Burbix
...
John Wood ...
Flavius, as a Man
...
Prefect (Allus Martius)
David Holt ...
Flavius, as a Boy
Dorothy Wilson ...
Clodia
Wyrley Birch ...
Leaster
...
Julia
Frank Conroy ...
Gaius Tanno
...
Cleon, the Slave Dealer
Murray Kinnell ...
Simon, Judean Peasant
...
Warder
...
Calvus
...
The Wise Woman
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Storyline

Peaceloving blacksmith Marcus refuses lucrative offers to fight in the arena...until his wife dies for lack of medical care. His life as a gladiator coarsens him, and shady enterprises make him the richest man in Pompeii, while his son Flavius (who met Jesus on a brief visit to Judaea) is as gentle as Marcus once was. The final disaster of Marcus and Flavius's cross purposes is interrupted by the eruption of Vesuvius. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 October 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Untergang von Pompeji  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the book The RKO Story, this film cost $237,000 more than it grossed in its original release, but finally broke even with the box office from a 1949 re-release, paired with She (1935). See more »

Goofs

The central subplot of the meeting with Jesus is impossible, as Pompeii was destroyed after his death in 79 A.D. Given these dates, Flavius would have been a middle aged man, clearly not the youth in his 20's as portrayed in the film. See more »

Quotes

Pontius Pilate: My boy, I've heard such ideas, a long time ago. They are dreams - beautiful dreams, I know, but dreams nonetheless.
Flavius, as a Man: Was it a dream that once I knew a man who said "Love thy neighbor as thyself"?
Marcus: There never was such a man, I tell you.
Pontius Pilate: Don't lie to him, Marcus. There was such a man.
Flavius, as a Man: What happened to him?
Pontius Pilate: I crucified Him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The foreword at the beginning of the film is a disclaimer stating that this film is not based on Bulwer-Lytton's novel at all. (It does not use the novel's plot, nor does it have any of the novel's characters.) However, the disclaimer goes on to say that the filmmakers are indebted to him for the description of the destruction of Pompeii. See more »

Connections

Referenced in An Opera of Violence (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Positive review of the merits of Last Days of Pompeii
21 February 2001 | by (Florida, USA) – See all my reviews

I first saw this movie years ago as a child and it had quite an impact on me. I loved the acting. Preston Foster as the disillusioned blacksmith, David Holt, as the sweetest little boy one could possibly imagine, and John Wood as the older Flavius, so idealistically touched by his experience at the hands of Jesus. But I must reserve the greatest praise for Basil Rathbone. His portrayal of Pontius Pilate, so fine, so sure, is unparalleled. His nuances of effect and strength of personality are superbly matched to this role. You can almost taste the turmoil roiling within him as you watch the splendid emotional battle waged on his wonderfully expressive face. Walt Disney once said, "First you begin with a story." It is true. The story here is classic. A man searching the world for the key he holds within his own heart. Preston Foster, so disillusioned in his flight from poverty, that he fails to see the significance of events around him, Flavius, as the boy grown to manhood touched by a higher calling and Basil Rathbone as Pontius Pilate, probably the second most reviled figure living at that time. Wonderful, wonderful historical novel, acted brilliantly as only the actors of that time could do.


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