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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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>
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 »
Caligula is depicted in this movie and its prequel "The Robe" as persecuting Christians. However, he reigned from 37 to 41 (he's killed near the end of this movie), while Christianity was still a nascent religion with most of its followers in the eastern Mediterranean. The first mention of Christians from the perspective of the Roman government, according to the Roman historian Suetonius, wasn't until the reign of his successor Claudius (reigned 41-54). The first major incidents of persecution of Christians did not occur until the reign of Nero (reigned 54-68). See more »
I have the power of life and death over every being in the empire! My power is as great as any god's! True?
Why should I have to die? Who should I have to suffer death like any plebeian, any slave? Is that logical? Is it?
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If made today, they'd call this The Robe II. Mostly a beefcake fest and spectacle rather than a first class religious drama--which is what "The Robe" was. This one has lots of gladiator fights in the arena and "a day in the life " at gladiator school stuff. The action is quite excitingly staged, but lessened by the handicap of early Cinemascope, where close ups and even medium closeups looked distorted and were very seldom used.
Susan Hayward is fun to watch as a sexually ravenous and manipulative noblewoman. Victor Mature confirms his acting chops (see "My Darling Clementine") by making a the struggling hero part believable, in a part that could have been cardboard rendered by many an action hero actor.
The video quality on this DVD is disappointingly mediocre; Fox obviously didn't spend any money on restoration, as they do with many of their titles from the 1950's. Colors are muddy, and the print, while perfectly watchable, is scratched. Stereo sound is so-so, and at least on my system, I didn't hear any surround sound, which this movie certainly had (this was a significant aspect of early Cinemascope presentations).
The actor playing bad guy Caligula gives one of the most hammy, over the top performances I can remember; he seems to have studied at the Simon Legree school of melodrama.
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