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In 54 B.C. Julius Caesar seeks to solidify his position in Rome by putting down a rebellion in Gaul led by a tribal chieftain named Vercingetorix. Vercingetorix has rallied many tribes to his cause, including one led by the beautiful Queen Asterix and others who'd once pledged allegiance to Rome. At first things go badly for the Romans, complicated by the fact that Vercingetorix has captured and tortured a centurion named Claudius Valerius who's in love with Caesar's ward, Publia, who has also fallen into the hands of Vercingetorix. Eventually a great battle pitting Caesar against the rebellious Gaul decides the fate of all concerned. Written by
dinky-4 of Minneapolis
There's nothing to report here other than for once, before France's commercial film market got all artsy in the 60s and 70s, we had a decent epic film with some action made by the French. It could have been a production right out of Hollywood had it not been for the fact that everyone was speaking French.
As you can guess this film deals with Caesar's forays into Gaul, modern France, and how he overcame the Gaullic leader Vercingetorix. Both sides of the conflict are given flourishes, but there is a dash of fatalism in regards to the acting and story presentation (no surprise as it is a French production).
A little history, Julius Caesar simply went into Gaul/France to bolster his own reputation. There was no real threat at the time, and all he did was exacerbate what tension there already was, and, on to of that, tortured and slaughtered thousands all for the sake of his name. Vercingetroix was one of the toughest foes Rome had ever faced, but he was publicly strangled in the end in Rome before the people.
That part is not in this film, nor are Julius Caesar's bloodier exploits of killing women and children, and not just fighting men. But, being a film of the 1960s, there was only so much violence that could be shown at the time.
The acting is okay, the art direction is quite good. It's decently shot for the time; lots of master shots, few cutaways unless focusing on a different character. And, finally, a little hampered in the action department.
I don't if it's the French version of staging a battle, or whether they just didn't have competent technical people, but the battle scenes seemed a little half baked, and that's putting it kindly. Still, they deliver on the action for a film that had been heavy with dialogue, but are somewhat scattered in terms of staging.
Over all it's an okay film. A product of it's time, it's nothing to write home about, but a decent watch all the same.
See it once.
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