The second in a trilogy of movies about Elisabeth "Sissi" of Austria, the film chronicles the married life of the young empress as she tries to adjust to formal and strict life in the palace and an overbearing mother-in-law.
Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia in Rome and falls in love. But she is Christian and doesn't want anything to do with him. Marcus decides to kidnap her but Ursus, her bodyguard, catches Marcus. ... See full summary »
Returning to Rome after 3 years in the field, General Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia and falls in love with her. She is a Christian and doesn't want to have anything to do with a warrior. Though she grew up Roman, the adopted daughter of a retired general, Lygia is technically a hostage of Rome. Marcus gets Emperor Nero to give her to him for services rendered Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
One immediate problem they encountered with the lions was that when they were released from their cages, they found the arena so hot, they'd immediately retreat back into their cages to cool down. Director Mervyn LeRoy overcame this problem by having several costumes stuffed with raw meat and strewn around the ground. This made them appear to audiences to be "people", and the raw meat attracted the lions, who "attacked" and devoured them. See more »
Chess was unknown in Europe until at least the seventh century, yet we see soldiers playing. See more »
[none of his closest men will die for him in light of the mob's anger over Rome's burning]
I'm surrounded by eunuchs!
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Superb set and costume design. Ustinov outstanding.
I first saw this film as a re-run in 1964--on the big screen. Much is lost, I think, when viewing it on television. Peter Ustinov's portrayal of the emperor Nero raises the bar for anyone else who is ever cast as an unbalanced and corrupt Roman emperor. Certainly, we don't see this style or quality of acting in newer films such as "Gladiator." I focus on the "Nero" character more than others because Ustinov was truly able to get inside the role, and appeared to stay very focused. Robert Taylor was fine in the movie, but his role could have been handled by nearly any leading man of the time. Ditto for Deborah Kerr. The remaining cast was very, very good. The set designs and costumes were sheer artistry and the score was effective and complimentary. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in spectacles and studying fine acting techniques (i.e., Ustinov's).
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