In the town of Pompeii, 79AD, a few weeks before the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius, a Roman lady Hélène meets and falls in love with a young Greek man Lysias. He is betrothed to another ... See full summary »
Leo Vincey, told by his dying uncle of a lost land visited 500 years ago by his ancestor, heads out with family friend Horace Holly to try to discover the land and its secret of immortality... See full summary »
Marco Polo travels from Venice to Peking, where he quickly discovers spaghetti and gunpowder and falls in love with the Emperor's daughter. The Emperor Kublai Khan is a kindly fellow, but ... See full summary »
Mary Rutledge arrives from the east, finds her fiance dead, and goes to work at the roulette wheel of Louis Charnalis' Bella Donna, a rowdy gambling house in San Francisco in the 1850s. She... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
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 <email@example.com>
Despite all the spectacle, the movie was a box-office flop, and required several re-releases (on a double bill with King Kong (1933)) to earn back its cost. See more »
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 »
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 »
An early mixture of "Ben-Hur" , "The Robe" and other biblical epics...
Although never entirely flawless, THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII ('35) was an ambitious undertaking for RKO to take at that time. The storyline, about a bitter blacksmith who turns gladiator, is really a morality tale wrapped up in biblical settings and given the usual "cast of thousands" publicity by the studio that spent a lot of money in recreating Ancient times.
PRESTON FOSTER was never a particularly charismatic actor, often accused of being "wooden", but there's a sincere element about his performance here that allows the film to work. So too does BASIL RATHBONE, giving some extra dimension to his take on Pontius Pilate.
Interesting to catch a glimpse of WARD BOND as a gladiator--an actor who has appeared in so many classic films it's almost amazing to realize he was kept as busy as he was.
With Max Steiner supplying the score, it's a lesser known gem that makes for enjoyable viewing even if it comes off as a cross between BEN-HUR and THE ROBE and lots of other stories dealing with the effect of the crucifixion on men's lives and their search for the truth.
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