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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
...
Leaster
...
Julia
Frank Conroy ...
Gaius Tanno
...
Cleon, the Slave Dealer
...
Simon, Judean Peasant
...
Warder
...
Calvus
...
The Wise Woman
Edit

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

Much of the music in the battle scenes and the final cataclysm is taken directly from King Kong. See more »

Goofs

As Vesuvius erupts, a large gladiator statue topples in the arena. In the first view, a long shot, the statue cracks open across the chest, at the bottom of the rib cage. In the next view, from the perspective of a man about to be crushed, the torso is intact, and the crack is at the statue's neck. See more »

Quotes

Pontius Pilate: I am innocent of the blood of this just man.
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 Unfathomable Friendship (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Fabulous film w/deep,rich undertones of conscience
7 December 1998 | by (so.pasadena ca) – See all my reviews

I first saw this film when I was a child and the impact it had on me has never faded no matter how many times I watch it, nor at what age. Every time I find some nuance I had not noticed before...it really is an unsung masterpiece. Try to see it with eyes unjaded by years of excess on the movie screen...for its time it had great special effects..a wonderful script, interesting casting...none so much as Basil Rathbone as Pontius Pilate..I have never seen better! Basil imbues Pilate with a sense of duty and conscience that fills the screen with its irony and pain at his dilemma. Marvelous! Preston Foster is often forced and hammy...but it did not distract from the enjoyment of the movie..in fact it was "a style" of acting in the thirties that many leads presented..actors like Fredrick March, etc had the same style...a leftover from the silent age when actors, in order to convey their sentiment used their body more to propel their feelings to the screen. An exaggeration of movement that lasted for a number of years until the realization hit that on the big screen with sound actors could be more subtle with their gestures. The story is , in content wonderful...holds my attention even after all these years of viewing. It is a fascinating story...a progression from a happy, hard working man with everything he could ever want, who loses it all in a very few days for lack of money. Bitter and lost, after having lost not only those he loved but losing his principles too to try to save them, he decides the only thing worth having is money..because it is the only thing that PROTECTS you. In the backround to all of this is the story of the Christ...not meant to be in the foreground but a backdrop to everything that happens to this man struggling with the heavy burden of his reality and his decisions. This is a beautiful film worthy of repeated viewing for its amazing messages...and there are many. This is a thinking man's film, a philosopher's film, a spiritualist's film, and a film for every man and woman searching for answers to the question "why?" What it ultimately leaves you with is HOPE. This is a KEEPER.


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