Based on the Edward Bulwer-Lytton novel. Set in the shadows of Mt. Vesuvius just before its famous eruption, the film begins with Glaucus, a Roman legionnaire, returning to his home from ... See full summary »
This costume series portrays aspects of life in Pompeii, a coastal luxury resort near Naples catering for the very rich of imperial Rome, mainly before but culminating in the eruption of ... See full summary »
When British officer Harry resigns from his regiment, he is labeled a coward by his family and friends. Harry receives four white feathers as a mark of a coward. In order to redeem himself ... See full summary »
Anthology film about three owners of a yellow Rolls-Royce. A British diplomat buys the car for his French wife. A mobster's girlfriend has an affair in Italy. A US woman drives a Yugoslav partisan to Ljubljana on the eve of Nazi invasion.
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 »
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 »
What do you keep behind these locks and bolts?
My fortune, excellency. It's a safe place.
Would the prefect like to inspect the barbarians - the Britons who are to fight tomorrow?
[to the prefect]
Captives from Agricola's campaign.
I wonder why we Romans trouble ourselves with that wretched island? After it's conquered, what good is it?
Don't you believe we can ever civilize the Britons?
Those people? They'll always be barbarians. What will they ever do?
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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 »
The team that produced King Kong for RKO Pictures, writer Meriam C.
Cooper and director Ernest B. Schoedsack, decided to emulate Cecil B.
DeMille in giving us The Last Days Of Pompeii. It's not a bad film, but
it nearly bankrupted RKO so prohibitive was the cost for that small
The film bears a distinct resemblance to DeMille's eye filling, but now
incredibly campy The Sign Of The Cross. Our protagonist here is Preston
Foster who plays Marcus the Blacksmith, but before the film is done
goes through more reinventions of character than you would find in good
and bad Russian literature. As a content, but happy blacksmith a bit of
good fortune has him and wife celebrating. But she's accidentally
injured and dies for lack of medical care, not that medical care was
all that good back in those days to begin with. Foster decides that all
that matters in life is the money you can accumulate for a rainy day.
Foster is constantly reassessing life throughout the film.
Foster gets to go to Judea and is on the scene of the crucifixion and
before that has Jesus heal his adopted son David Holt who grows up to
be John Wood. Foster also meets Basil Rathbone as Pontius Pilate who
also does some major reassessing after presiding over the trial of
If the Oscar for Special Effects was in existence in 1935 it would have
been interesting to see either The Last Days Of Pompeii or Mutiny On
The Bounty would have won the award. Those scenes of the volcanic
eruption of Versuvius are what guaranteed this film would not show a
profit. They do rival what DeMille was capable of, but DeMille had a
far bigger studio and more financial security in Paramount.
Also in the cast are Louis Calhern as the Roman consul and Alan Hale as
Foster's number two man. They give their usual good performances.
As for RKO Studios and Preston Foster, they got some Oscar recognition
for another film that Foster did for them that year. It was the low
budget, but incredibly powerful Irish story, The Informer where Victor
McLaglen won for Best Actor. A much better film than The Last Days Of
Still the spectacle of this film can still awe you, even on the small
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