IMDb > The Last Days of Pompeii (1935)
The Last Days of Pompeii
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The Last Days of Pompeii (1935) More at IMDbPro »

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The Last Days of Pompeii -- In ancient Pompeii, a blacksmith becomes a champion gladiator during turbulent times leading up to the fatal eruption of Vesuvius. Starring Preston Foster and Basil Rathbone.


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Down 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
James Ashmore Creelman (story) and
Melville Baker (story) ...
View company contact information for The Last Days of Pompeii on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 October 1935 (USA) See more »
In the doomed Roman city, a gentle blacksmith becomes a corrupt gladiator, while his son leans toward Christianity. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Positive review of the merits of Last Days of Pompeii See more (25 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Preston Foster ... Marcus

Alan Hale ... Burbix

Basil Rathbone ... Pontius Pilate
John Wood ... Flavius, as a Man

Louis Calhern ... Prefect (Allus Martius)
David Holt ... Flavius, as a Boy
Dorothy Wilson ... Clodia
Wyrley Birch ... Leaster
Gloria Shea ... Julia
Frank Conroy ... Gaius Tanno
William V. Mong ... Cleon, the Slave Dealer
Murray Kinnell ... Simon, Judean Peasant
Henry Kolker ... Warder
Edward Van Sloan ... Calvus
Zeffie Tilbury ... The Wise Woman
John Davidson ... Phoebus, Runaway Slave
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Betty Allen ... Woman (uncredited)
Reginald Barlow ... The Janitor of the Slave Market (uncredited)
Maurice Black ... Attendant in Gladiators' Training Room (uncredited)

Ward Bond ... Murmex of Carthage, a Gladiator (uncredited)
Tom Brower ... Runaway Slave (uncredited)
Curley Dresden ... Cato the Gladiator (uncredited)
Helen Freeman ... Martha (uncredited)
Winston Hibler ... Marcellus (uncredited)
Thomas E. Jackson ... The Lanista (uncredited)
Bruce King ... Scythian Prisoner (uncredited)
Marc Loebell ... Lucius (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Pompeii Nobleman (uncredited)

Edwin Maxwell ... The Augur, a Pompeii Official (uncredited)
Margaret McWade ... Calvus' Wife (uncredited)

Jack Mulhall ... Citizen of Pompeii (uncredited)
John T. Murray ... Pilate's Servant (uncredited)
Ole M. Ness ... Drusus, Runaway Slave (uncredited)
Marie Osborne ... Extra (uncredited)
Jason Robards Sr. ... Tax Gatherer (uncredited)
Jim Thorpe ... Spectator Tossing Coins (uncredited)
Hannah Williams ... Citizen of Pompeii (uncredited)

Directed by
Ernest B. Schoedsack 
Merian C. Cooper (uncredited)
Writing credits
James Ashmore Creelman (story) and
Melville Baker (story)

Ruth Rose (screenplay)

Boris Ingster (collaborator for adaptation)

Jerry Hutchinson  contributor to treatment (uncredited)
G.B. Stern  contributor to treatment (uncredited)

Produced by
Merian C. Cooper .... producer
Original Music by
Roy Webb 
Cinematography by
J. Roy Hunt 
Jack Cardiff (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Archie Marshek  (as Archie F. Marshek)
Art Direction by
Van Nest Polglase 
Costume Design by
Aline Bernstein 
Makeup Department
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Howard Smit .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ivan Thomas .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Byron L. Crabbe .... art technician (as Byron Crabbe)
Alfred Herman .... associate art director (as Al Herman)
Thomas Little .... set dresser
Aloys Bohnen .... art work (uncredited)
Sound Department
Walter Elliott .... sound effects
Clem Portman .... sound recordist
Special Effects by
Harry Redmond Sr. .... special effects (as Harry Redmond)
Vernon L. Walker .... photographic effects (as Vernon Walker)
Harry Redmond Jr. .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Marcel Delgado .... miniatures (uncredited)
Yakima Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
Buster Wiles .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Eddie Linden Jr. .... photographic technician (as Eddie Linden)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Philip Faulkner Jr. .... music recordist (as P.J. Faulkner Jr.)
Maurice De Packh .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Bernhard Kaun .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Bernhard Kaun .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Max Steiner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Roy Webb .... musical director (uncredited)
Other crew
Willis H. O'Brien .... chief technician (as Willis O'Brien)
John Speaks .... production associate
Russell Lewis .... director: dance numbers (uncredited)
Elizabeth McGaffey .... researcher (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
96 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Australia:PG | USA:Approved (certificate #1263) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

If you listen closely during the African scene, you can hear several "words" used by Noble Johnson in King Kong.See more »
Anachronisms: 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in An Unfathomable Friendship (2003) (V)See more »


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19 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Positive review of the merits of Last Days of Pompeii, 21 February 2001
Author: ( from Florida, USA

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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