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 »
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 »
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 »
Filmed at almost the same time, this film was a fitting sequel to "The Robe," considering it did not have the star power of the earlier film. None the less it loses some of the reverence of the first film, as Demetrius, so passionate a Christian in the first film, seems to give in and give up on it all too quickly in this one. The tie-in of the final scene from "The Robe" as the opening scene to this movie was a good advertising ploy, and the musical score of Franz Waxman melded well with the earlier Newman themes. The powerful insanity of Caligula is once again handled well by Jay Robinson, who brought the character vividly to life, as I remember from my Roman History studies. If the Rome of those days was as charming as depicted in these films, I would not have minded living there and then.
The performances of the cast, especially the minor characters, was excellent, although Mature was still awfully stiff in his performance. But a good sequel over all.
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