6.1/10
548
15 user 7 critic

Androcles and the Lion (1952)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy | 9 January 1953 (USA)
Story of a Christian in ancient Rome who befriends a lion.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(adaptation), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1st century Rome, Christian slave Demetrius is sent to fight in the gladiatorial arena and Emperor Caligula seeks Jesus' robe for its supposedly magical powers.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Victor Mature, Susan Hayward, Michael Rennie
Major Barbara (1941)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young and idealistic woman, who has adopted the Salvation Army and whose father is an armament industrialist, will save more souls directing her father's business. A comedy with social commentary.

Directors: Gabriel Pascal, Harold French, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Wendy Hiller, Rex Harrison, Robert Morley
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China, U.S. Marine Major Matt Lewis, aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson, devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Guy Green
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The last eighteen years in the life of Jesse James, showing his home life in Missouri, his experiences with Quantrill's raiders, his career of banditry with his brother Frank and the ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, Hope Lange
The Egyptian (1954)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In eighteenth-dynasty Egypt, Sinuhe, a poor orphan, becomes a brilliant physician and with his friend Horemheb is appointed to the service of the new Pharoah. Sinuhe's personal triumphs and... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Gene Tierney
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

While on holiday in Rhodes, Athenian war hero Darios becomes involved in two different plots to overthrow the tyrannical king, one from Rhodian patriots and the other from sinister Phoenician agents.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Rory Calhoun, Lea Massari, Georges Marchal
Hot Blood (1956)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Stephen Torino (Wilde), who is tricked by his brother Marco (Adler) into an arranged marriage with tempestuous Annie Caldash (Russell). Annie is willing to give the union a go, but Torino wants none of it.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Jane Russell, Cornel Wilde, Luther Adler
The Robe (1953)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature
The Lusty Men (1952)
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Retired rodeo champion Jeff McCloud agrees to mentor novice rodeo contestant Wes Merritt against the wishes of Merritt's wife who fears the dangers of this rough sport.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Robert Parrish
Stars: Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Bob Ford murders his best friend Jesse James in order to obtain a pardon that will free him to marry his girlfriend but is plagued by guilt and self-disgust.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Preston Foster, Barbara Britton, John Ireland
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Louisiana wedding of debutante Phoebe Ann Naylor to Don Andrea de Baldasar, El Duce de la Casala is stopped by the Cavalry over a matter of honor. Don Andrea flees across the river to ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: Dean Martin, Alain Delon, Rosemary Forsyth
Apache (1954)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Refusing to let himself be re-settled on a Florida reservation,Massai,an Apache warrior,escapes his captors and returns to his homeland to become a peaceful farmer.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Noel Willman ...
...
Cato
...
Lowell Gilmore ...
...
The Lion
Edit

Storyline

Androcles is a Christian who follows that religion's teachings even as they apply to the treatment of animals. Seeing a lion in pain, he removes a huge thorn from the beast's paw, creating a friend for life. Androcles and a number of other Christians are evenutally arrested and condemned to death in the arena. They are to die by being eaten by lions. Is it too much to hope that one of the lions may have a paw that has healed recently and might remember who helped heal it? Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Barbaric Revalry to fire the senses of the world...in the story of history's most sin-swept era! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 January 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bernard Shaw's Androcles and the Lion  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Newspapers reported that both Rex Harrison and George Sanders were considered for the role of Caesar. Sanders was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts. See more »

Goofs

The Christians sing "Onward, Christian Soldiers" - a hymn published in 1871. See more »

Connections

Features The Last Days of Pompeii (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Onward, Christian Soldiers
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Words by Sabine Baring-Gould
sung by the marching Christian martyrs
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Watered down for the box office
13 August 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This 1952 film was the first film version of a George Bernard Shaw play produced after the playwright's death, and the compromises are already obvious.

Shaw had had artistic control over three films produced from his plays-- the 1938 "Pygmalion", "Major Barbara" (1941) and "Caesar and Cleopatra" (1945), and his influence had clearly been felt, some would say for both good and bad. He had had absolute final say-so over the casting, and, after his experience with "Pygmalion", Shaw became somewhat more demanding and insisted that not a word be cut from both "Major Barbara" and "Caesar and Cleopatra", a decision that resulted in both of these excellent films being flops. "Androcles and the Lion" clocks in at less than two hours.

The casting suffers without Shaw's influence. Because this is an RKO release directed by Chester Erskine, a not especially distinguished American director, the cast features two American actors in major roles, and the clash between their style of acting, and that of the British actors who HAVE had experience with Shaw, is apparent. Some other American actors can be seen in bit roles.

In a blatant effort to court the average movie audience who wouldn't recognize a Shaw play if it hit them in the face, movie hunk Victor Mature (yes, the very same actor who appeared in "The Robe" and "Samson and Delilah") is cast in the somewhat demanding role of a Roman captain trying to understand the Christian martyrs. An actor like James Mason or Stewart Granger might have been perfect and would have had the necessary acting ability, but Mature, although apparently trying hard, comes close to wrecking the film and destroying its Shavian flavor. And he gets second billing!

Alan Young, whom most people will remember as Wilbur from the "Mr.Ed" TV series, is also American, but is a far better actor than Mature, and although his style sometimes seems as if it straight out of a sitcom rather than a Shaw play, Young does quite a good job in the all-important lead role of Androcles. But was it the Hollywood adaptors, or is it REALLY Shaw who gave the lion the endearing name of "Tommy"? Or is that just another sop to the movie-going crowd who loves animals with cute names?

The rest of the cast is just fine--Jean Simmons excellent, and not syrupy, as a devout woman willing to face martyrdom in the arena, Robert Newton, hilarious as a hulking strongman converted to Christianity who can barely be kept from singlehandedly demolishing his enemies, Noel Willman, Elsa Lanchester in the brief role of Androcles' wife, and, in his best screen performance, Maurice Evans (Dr. Zaius in the 1968 "Planet of the Apes") as the Roman emperor. They make this film exactly what it should be.


8 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?