According to "The Epic that Never Was", Director Josef von Sternberg
asked the Costume Designer John Armstrong
to prepare a briefing on the Vestal Virgins for him. Armstrong reported the factual details on the Virgins, that there were about six of them and that they dressed modestly. Von Sternberg told him that would not do for his picture, and instructed him to prepare sixty extras to be Vestal Virgins, in what appear to be bikinis, and Armstrong also provided each a semi-transparent circular veil to cover themselves. The resulting scene is quite striking and beautiful and fits in well with the film's intended "epic" proportions. But it is historically inaccurate, by order of the director. See more
Grandmother, you remember my dear Uncle Claudius who prefers the society of pigs to that of the court?
I have asked Claudius to be present at these ceremonies, and to be my guest at dinner tonight.
But grandmother, think of his table manners.
Be silent, you impudent puppy. You take your uncle for a fool, but he's not. I sometimes think he pretends to be one, so as to make fools of us. Far from being a fool, he's the last decent man left alive in Rome. One can rely on him. If he makes a promise ...