Did You Know?
, despite giving a splendid performance, had a great deal of difficulty getting into the role, and director Josef von Sternberg
was not very sympathetic or helpful. So when co-star Merle Oberon
was injured in a car crash during filming, he used it as an excuse to abandon the film, which was nowhere near completion. All the filmed footage survives, however. See more
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 ...
Edited into The Epic That Never Was