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Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  4 November 1954 (West Germany)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,117 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 26 critic

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 »



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Title: Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)

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Complete credited cast:
Jay Robinson ...
Richard Egan ...
Charles Evans ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

messalina | caligula | arena | robe | faith | See All (73) »


It begins where "The Robe" left off!


Action | Drama | History


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 November 1954 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Demetrio y los gladiadores  »

Box Office


$4,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Jay Robinson (Caligula), the break in principal photography between The Robe (1953) and this film was only three weeks. This would account for "The Robe"'s opening shot of the gladiatorial arena, a scene lifted from its sequel. The scene features Victor Mature and Robinson, in addition to Ernest Borgnine, William Marshall, Richard Egan and Susan Hayward; these last four were not in "The Robe". See more »


Caligula was emperor of Rome from 37 to 41 CE. The apostle Peter is known to have been incarcerated by Herod Agrippa, who reigned from 40 to 44 CE. When he came to Rome is unknown but this must have been later, only after there were followers of the new religion there (after 50 CE). So, Caligula and Peter were never in Rome at the same time. See more »


Glycon: 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 »


Follows The Robe (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

An encompassing drama of what happened to "The Robe"
28 December 1999 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

The film opens with Emperor Caligula (Jay Robinson) calling for his guards to find him the robe to bring him eternal life… Caligula stakes his life on the loyalty of the Praetorian Guards… So if they can keep him alive at all, why not forever?

Peter (Michael Rennie) gave Demetrius of Corinth (Victor Mature) their master's robe to keep for him… As we all remember, Demetrius took the robe from the foot of the cross before Jesus died…

By order of Caligula, 20 pieces of gold were authorized to pay for information concerning the robe that Jesus wore to the cross… Defending Lucia (Debra Paget) from malicious attack of a Praetorian Decurion, Demetrius is caught and sentenced to train as gladiator in the Claudian school…

Being fully a Christian entails having a commitment: Demetrius, obviously, is condemned to death because he can't take a man's life… Puzzled by his religion, and fascinated by his magnificent physique, and wanting to find out if Demetrius will kill or not his opponent, Messalina asks to be put in the arena against the king of swordsmen the Nuban Glycon (William Marshall).

The dramatic moment of the film comes when Lucia (Debra Paget)—Demetrius' sweetheart—sneaks in and is attacked by Dardanius (Richard Egan) and other gladiators... His faith shaken, Demetrius makes several kills, renounces his god, and succumbs to Messalina's charms...

Susan Hayward looked gorgeous as the wicked Messalina… The part, however, was not developed... It might have been an ideal role for this beloved actress... This was Hayward's second movie with the radiant Debra Paget, who was still considered a promising starlet, but, again, they were never together in a scene...

Future Academy Award winners Ernest Borgnine and Anne Bancroft had small parts... Michael Rennie and Jay Robinson were excellent in their respective roles... Julie Newmeyer was one of the dancing girls, long before she became Julie Newmar and played Howard's rival in "The Marriage-Go-Round."

"Demetrius and the Gladiators" is a lively, efficient sequel to "The Robe," with emphasis less on religiosity than on the brutality of the arena…

32 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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