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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>
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 »
Do you see her Claudius ? The Goddess Diana. Every night she comes to me. My arms. There there she goes. Now do you see her ?
Why not ?
Only you gods are privileged to see each other.
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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