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I, Claudius (1937)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Emlyn Williams ...
Flora Robson ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alan Aynesworth ...
Asiatacus, Senator
John Clements ...
Valente
Leonora Corbett ...
Roy Emerton ...
Gina Evans ...
Vestal Virgin
Frank Forbes-Robertson ...
Lupus, captain of the guard
Basil Gill ...
Morland Graham ...
Halotus, master of Livia's household
Everley Gregg ...
Domita, Messalina's mother
...
Allan Jeayes ...
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Io, Claudio  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Laughton, 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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Caligula: Grandmother, you remember my dear Uncle Claudius who prefers the society of pigs to that of the court?
Livia: I have asked Claudius to be present at these ceremonies, and to be my guest at dinner tonight.
Caligula: But grandmother, think of his table manners.
Livia: 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 ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hamlet (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Laughton vs Von Sternberg: Genius vs Tyrant
30 April 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I was amazed to have read previous comments especially that last one on 'Laughton not being able to develop the character'. Well you must be blind to think that Laughton didn't understand the character and his suffering. As so often before Laughton dug deep to find every emotion, to feel every fiber of the Claudius character.

Unlike Dieterle , Boleslawski and Leo Mc Carey (directors of other Laughton films) , Von Sternberg wasn't prepared to follow his genius as he was not in for the 'thinking actor' approach.

He was used to have it his way or no way and was looking for a way out. Luckily for him and for Korda, whose company had already spent a zillion dollars on the project, Merle Oberon (who adored Laughton) had her car accident. What remains is proof of Laughton's genius and the greatness of the whole project. Derek Jacobi's portrayal, is equally masterful and both actors in my mind where examples of perfect casting.

Emlyn Williams comments on Laughton are sufficiently clear, praising his colleague and Merle Oberon who featured with Laughton in Korda's 'the private life of Henry VIII' was positive too.

Von Sternberg lost his touch around that time and never really recuperated turning him into an interesting but frustrated teacher at American film schools. One last thing : of course Laughton was not flawless himself and sometimes when he really put his teeth into a role he could be painstakingly meticulous and full of self-doubt even when he had mastered the whole character but the results were almost always worth the pain.

Ps.: It was Von Sternberg (still very frustrated) that didn't like Laughton 30 years on.


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