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The Pagans (1953)

Il sacco di Roma (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History | 1 June 1958 (USA)
Rome, 1527. Massimo Colonna is in love with Angela, a member of the Orsinis, the Colonnas'arch enemies. As she is officially engaged to Tancredi Serra, the latter, a faithless individual, ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (story) | 6 more credits »

On Disc

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Credited cast:
Pierre Cressoy ...
Massimo Colonna
Angela Orsini
Vittorio Sanipoli ...
Tancredi Serra
Luigi Tosi ...
Annamaria Bugliari ...
Alfredo Varelli ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bruno Baschiera ...
Lina Battaglini ...
Nora Bellinzaghi ...
Eleonora Orsini
Aldo Bettoni ...
Antonio Orsini (as Gian Aldo Bettoni)
Mimo Billi ...
Colonel Frundsberg
Mariolina Bovo
Bettina Metcalf Bugnano ...
Maria-Luisa Orsini
Maurizio Di Nardo ...
Ottavio Orsini
Fanfulla Da Lodi


Rome, 1527. Massimo Colonna is in love with Angela, a member of the Orsinis, the Colonnas'arch enemies. As she is officially engaged to Tancredi Serra, the latter, a faithless individual, has Massimo accused of the murder of Prince Orsini whereas he himself has woven it. Massimo is rejected by an outraged Angela and banned from Rome.Meanwhile the Eternal City has to face a brutal attack by armed invaders from Spain. The Spaniards are about to storm Rome when Massimo and his troops appear. The invading forces are defeated and Massimo is acclaimed by the crowd. After clearing his name, he can marry Angela. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sack of rome | See All (1) »


The Rape of Rome by the Barbarians See more »


Drama | History


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 June 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Barbarians  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 15069 delivered on 19 September 1953. See more »

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User Reviews

THE BARBARIANS aka THE PAGANS (Ferruccio Cerio, 1953) **1/2
5 April 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is an obscure early i.e. monochrome Italian spectacle with unimposing credentials, but which proves surprisingly decent in the long run. It deals with Romeo and Juliet-like vicissitudes, albeit set in Rome, at the time of famed 16th century sculptor Benvenuto Cellini – on the strength of which I will be watching presently two loose biopics, one emanating from 1930s Hollywood and another likewise from the "Euro-Cult" stable but made a decade later and filmed in color, as part of my Easter Epic marathon!

Incidentally, both English-language titles of the film under review are misleading: the original, in fact, translates to THE SACKING OF ROME (a real historical event – the oppressors being the Spanish armada of King Charles V – that was also dealt with by the cinema in 1910 and 1920). Shot on authentic locations, THE BARBARIANS looks quite good…making up for a hackneyed script and some rather stiff swordplay (with the participants invariably coming across as if they were attending fencing classes instead of being engaged in a duel to the death!); on the other hand, the climactic siege is competently-enough staged.

The acting, too, is hardly classy but the two leads are perfectly acceptable under the circumstances: Pierre Cressoy seemed to thrive within the genre, while Helene Remy (surprisingly displaying a prominent cleavage throughout!) would later star in a seminal – albeit minor – Gothic Horror entry i.e. Renato Polselli's THE VAMPIRE AND THE BALLERINA (1960). Also on hand in a supporting role is Franco Fabrizi, who would soon be elevated to leading man status himself and eventually corner the market in shady character actor parts.

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