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The story picks up at the point where "The Robe (1953)" ends, following the martyrdom of Diana and Marcellus. Christ's robe is conveyed to Peter for safe-keeping, but the emperor Caligula wants it back to benefit from its powers. Marcellus' former slave Demetrius seeks to prevent this, and catches the eye of Messalina, wife to Caligula's uncle Claudius. Messalina tempts Demetrius, he winds up fighting in the arena, and wavers in his faith. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Twice jailed for drug use, Jay Robinson once had the dubious honor of being recognized by his fellow inmates when this film was played for the convicts. See more »
Near the end of the movie when Peter goes to the house of Messalina to see Demetrius, Messalina throws wine on Peter. The wine stains Peter's under garment on his shoulder and drips on his draped outer toga on his chest. When the camera cuts to another angle, Peter now has a smaller wine spot only on his shoulder with no dripping stains on the chest of the outer toga. When the camera switches back, Peter again has both stains (shoulder and chest) prominently along the front of his outfit. See more »
We traveled here together from Galilee, persuading people to give up their lives for a beautiful dream.
[he attempts to hand a goblet of wine to Peter]
Take it Peter. It's real... hot spiced, with cinnamon and cloves.
[chuckles and looks towards Messalina]
Did you know that Jesus could turn water into wine? And that was only one of his tricks.
Yes, only one. Anything that was base, He could make noble. He found a leper and made him clean. He found death and He made life. He found you a slave, and...
[...] See more »
A sumptuous musical score, in the tradition of Miklos Rosza's Ben-Hur,greets the movie goer who sees "Demetrius and the Gladiator." This 1954 film was a sequel to 1953's Oscar nominated "The Robe."
Victor Mature plays a Christian who denounces his religion when his beloved is killed or so he thinks. Susan Hayward, as beautiful as ever, is the evil Massalina married to an emperor in this film. Ultimately falling for Mature, she will give him up to rule with her husband at film's end for the glory of Rome.
The real acting kudos go to Jay Robinson who portrays Caligula. He is the very embodiment of evil and gives a tour-de-force performance in the tradition of Peter Ustinov's Nero in 1951's Quo Vadis? You feel and almost understand Caligula's insanity which will stop at nothing to achieve his quest of obtaining the religious robe. "Take hostages," he screams to his commanders. He even kills with the robe in his hands in order to see if it works.
Fresh from his sadistic Fatso in "From Here to Eternity," Ernest Borgnine appears as Strabo, a bull-like head of the gladiators school.
In certain respects, this film is far better than the sequel. Hayward shows her usual gutsiness far more than a subdued Lady Diana (Jean Simmons) in the original. Mature is quite appealing, especially in his denunciation scenes of his faith. His ultimate redemption is truly remarkable as well.
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