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Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  4 November 1954 (West Germany)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,030 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Lucia
...
Paula
Jay Robinson ...
...
...
Glycon
Richard Egan ...
Dardanius
...
Strabo
Charles Evans ...
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Storyline

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 <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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

Taglines:

It begins where "The Robe" left off!

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 November 1954 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Demetrio y los gladiadores  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Claudius and Messalina were interviewing Demetrius on his Christian beliefs, the parrot on the perch next to Messalina's couch was a sulfur crested cockatoo, indigenous to Australia. Australia was unknown to the western world in the first century AD. Therefore such birds would never have left their native habitat, much less be captive pets in Ancient Rome. See more »

Quotes

Caligula: Christian. Do you renounce your false god ? This king of an invisible kingdom... who expects to come back some day and rule the earth ?
Demetrius: [after a long pause] There is no other king but Caesar. There is no power greater than his, in this world, or any other.
Caligula: By the mercy of Caesar, you are a free man.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is a place where men are trained to kill each other like animals!
6 December 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Demetrius and the Gladiators is a sequel to The Robe. It's directed by Delmer Daves and stars Victor Mature as Demetrius, a Christian slave made to fight in the Roman arena as a gladiator ( and ultimately entering into a bigger fight, that of faith), and Susan Hayward as Messalina. Filling out the support cast are Ernest Borgnine, William Marshall, Michael Rennie, and Jay Robinson as the maniacal emperor Caligula. The screenplay is from Philip Dunne (How Green Was My Valley/ The Agony and the Ecstasy} and cinematography comes courtesy of Milton R. Krasner (Academy Award winner Best Color Cinematography for Three Coins in the Fountain 1955).

Following straight on from The Robe, Demetrius and the Gladiators is a safe and enjoyable Biblical picture that doesn't outstay its welcome. Running at just over 100 minutes, the film is far from being epic in its telling. However, and without cramming in, it does contain all the necessary ingredients to make up a sweaty sword and sandals pie. Filmed in CinemaScope, persecuted hero, bonkers villain, sexy babe, huge sets, colourful costumes, and fights, lots of fights. Thankfully the serious dialogue is mostly kept brief, there a few things worse in this genre of film than bloated discourse on religious beliefs and political dalliances. Get in there, let us know what is going on, and move on to the next chapter of the story. This is something that Daves' film does real well, it has an eagerness to entertain with dots of gusto and sexual swagger. The acting is mixed, Mature is solid without ever really convincing as the heroic figure of Demetrius, Hayward and Robinson are camping it up and thus entertain royally, while Borgnine and Rennie earn there pay.

Very much like another Phillip Dunne screenplay genre piece, David And Bathsheba, this one is often overlooked or forgotten in discussion about the sword & sandals genre. That both film's are not in the same league as the likes of Ben-Hur and Spartacus is a given, but both have much to offer the discerning cinephile. Recommended Sunday afternoon fare with a flagon of claret and a roast ox dinner. 7/10


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