Did You Know?
, despite giving a splendid performance, had a great deal of difficulty getting into the role, and director 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
I now honor this noble house by appointing Incitatus, the greatest race horse in the Empire, a member of the Senate.