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 ... See full summary »
Marcellus is a tribune in the time of Christ. He is in charge of the group that is assigned to crucify Jesus. Drunk, he wins Jesus' homespun robe after the crucifixion. He is tormented by ... See full summary »
President Grant orders Indian fighter MacKay to negotiate with the Modocs of northern California and southern Oregon. On the way he must escort Nancy Meek to the home of her aunt and uncle.... See full summary »
A group of French soldiers during WWII are captured by Nazis troops and sent to a military prison. There they will have to make use of his best resources to keep alive... and sane, while at the same time scheming a way out.
Jean-Paul rebels against his bondage to his uncle, the Marquis de St. Malo, and journeys to the far-off Mayan hills of Guatemala seeking a hidden treasure. He is the rightful heir to his ... See full summary »
A young widower named Sam Crockett returns from Kansas City to his small hometown in rural Texas, bringing with him his feisty grandfather and two young sons, Steve and Yoyo. He tries to ... See full summary »
After serving bravely in WWII, American Paul remains in France and becomes a black marketeer. He meets Christine, an attractive French girl whose husband is in jail for collaborating with ... See full summary »
Antar is sent by Suleiman, head of the Ottoman Empire, to Bagdad to prevent Hammam, Pasha of Bagdad, from purchasing the services of local leader Mustapha to unite the hill tribes and ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
The set of the Christian neighborhood in Rome has previously been used in The Robe (1953) (of which this film is the sequel) as the village of Cana. We can easily recognize the well with old broken columns. See more »
A common misconception was that half the gladiators in the arena would be killed. In actuality there were many times that the losing gladiator's life would be spared. This was partially due to him, or her, giving a good battle. The gladiators were also very valuable to their owner's. Emperor Claudius, who followed Caligula, was known for not showing mercy even when it was a good fight. See more »
Listen to me. The worst sort of life is better than the best kind of death. Forget your religion for just one day. Kill him. He is no good. Your god will thank you for it.
See more »
The box office reception of The Robe for 20th Century Fox exceeded a whole lot of expectations. What to do, but make a sequel to tell of where the rest of some of these characters wound up.
Victor Mature as Demetrius, Michael Rennie as St. Peter, and Jay Robinson as Caligula continue their roles from The Robe. An original screenplay was done with these characters already familiar to the public from the film and from the beloved Lloyd C. Douglas novel. The film starts with a clip from the end of The Robe where Caligula has condemned Richard Burton and Jean Simmons to execution. As they leave Simmons hands Jesus's robe to an unnamed extra and says it's for the big fisherman.
Of course it gets into Michael Rennie's hands, but Jay Robinson has heard rumors about this magical robe the Christians possess. Nobody can get an obsession like Robinson so he finds Demetrius who's now got a girlfriend in Debra Paget. He's sold back into slavery this time as a gladiator.
Mature who was a supporting character in The Robe takes center stage here. He goes through quite a test of faith on many levels, including an affair with the notorious Messalina played by Susan Hayward. She's appropriately tempting and Mature's flesh is definitely weak here if not in the arena.
Michael Rennie who has always played aesthetic upper class gentlemen is really miscast as the rugged outdoor St. Peter. He does what he can with the part, but my conception of St. Peter at various times of his life is better realized by Howard Keel in The Big Fisherman and Finlay Currie in Quo Vadis. These two look like they made a living outdoors, I could never see Rennie out on a commercial fishing boat.
Of course Robinson continues with his well received portrayal of Caligula from The Robe. The difference is that in The Robe he was the spoiled heir to the throne. In Demetrius and the Gladiators, Robinson truly descends into madness as he starts believing he's divine.
Another outstanding performance is William Marshall as Glycon, the gladiator/slave from Ethiopia. Marshall had a tremendous speaking voice, think James Earl Jones and Marshall makes him sound like a soprano. Had he come along a few years later, Marshall would have had the career Mr. Jones had. He's probably best remembered today for both the Blacula films and in an episode of the original Star Trek series as Dr. Dengstom who invents a computer to run the Enterprise.
Some of this ground was covered better in the highly rated I Claudius series from the BBC. But that does not diminish Demetrius and the Gladiators in quality. Both should be seen and evaluated side by side on their own separate merits.
14 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?