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Action-packed look at the beginnings of the fall of the Roman Empire. Here is the glory, the greed and grandeur that was Rome. Here is the story of personal lust for power, and the shattering effects of that power's loss. Here is the tale of the plight of a people living on the brink of a political abyss. Written by
Historic and epic film with big budget produced by Samuel Bronston
The movie deals about Marco Aurelio(Alec Guinness)of the dynasty of Antoninos, constituted by : Nerva,Trajano,Adriano,Antonino Pio,Marco Aurelio and Commodo(Christopher Plummer),after that, there happens many riots and coups d'etat until Diocleciano, who imposed peace and order with the tetrarchy. Being dead Marco Aurelio, succeeded his son Commodo, a nutty and gladiator emperor, he'll take on his sister Drusilla(Sophia Loren) and Livio (Stephen Boyd). They'll have to fight against German barbarians(commanded by John Ireland) and Persians(ruled by Omar Shariff).
In the picture there are struggles,epic events, a love history and is very interesting, in spite of the fact that the runtime is overlong: two hours and half. Alec Guinness as a stoic and thoughtful philosopher emperor and craving the ¨pax Roman¨ is top notch. Christopher Plummer interpretation as the nut-head son is first rate, while Stephen Boyd and Sophia Loren are a bit wooden . James Mason as the broody and good Marco Aurelio's adviser is excellent. Colosanti and John Moore production design is breathtaking .Battles staged by Yakima Canutt are incredible. Scenarios are overwhelming: the Roman Forum ,Roman Capitol, the temples...the sets are spellbound. Colorful cinematography by Robert Krasker is awesome, similar to fascinating and romantic Dimitri Tiomkim's music. Anthony Mann's direction in his last film is spectacular and outstanding. The motion picture didn't obtain success in the box office and was a real flop and collapsed Samuel Bronston's empire . Rating : Well worth Watching. Very Good.
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