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The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  26 March 1964 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,515 users  
Reviews: 90 user | 28 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
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Verulus
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Ballomar
...
Sohamus
...
Eric Porter ...
Julianus
...
Senator
Andrew Keir ...
Douglas Wilmer ...
Niger
George Murcell ...
Victorinus
Norman Wooland ...
Virgilianus
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Storyline

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 filmfactsman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Magnificent Re-Creation . . . Of An Ancient Empire . . . Launches A New Epoch In Motion Pictures . . .

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 March 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La caída del imperio romano  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1970 re-release)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm optical prints)| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Harris was originally cast as Commodus. He withdrew because of artistic differences with the director. See more »

Goofs

When Commodus and Livius are holding the torch during Marcus Aurelius' funeral pyre, their hands move further away from the flame between shots. See more »

Quotes

Timonides: Men of Rome, men of Rome! Do not touch these people, they have become your brothers. They're Roman now. The whole Northern people will answer with fire and blood, their hatred will live for centuries. Men of Roman blood will pay for this. You will make nations to kill us all. Let us live in peace!Peace!
[Timonides is killed with a javelin in the chest]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
High Drama
18 December 2000 | by (Berkeley, CA) – See all my reviews

It's particularly interesting to compare this movie with Gladiator (2000), as both take the same historical event as a starting point. While the fight scenes are more exciting in Gladiator, and while Gladiator is probably the superior film overall, this film does have three distinct advantages.

First of all, the armies and crowds are better here - it's real people and not computer generated icons. Some of the marching scenes were a bit lengthy for my tastes, but the soldiers, the horses, the armor, the swords and spears, all of it, were very authentic and impressive. Second, as the armies look more realistic, so do the sets. We do not see the coliseum in this film, but we do see the palaces, pools, forts and throne rooms. Very exciting. Third, and perhaps most importantly, this film has superior acting. Christopher Plummer is probably the best thing here - his Commodus is at once more dastardly and more likeable than that of Gladiator; again, this means more realistic. James Mason is also in top form, here; for once, he does not play a slippery philanderer.

There is something flawed about this film that I can't quite put my finger on. It does not reach the heights of other 50s and 60s epics such as The Ten Commandments or Ben-Hur. Still, it is a dramatic and at times moving film. It does convey the gravity (some might say tragedy) of the Empire's fall and the pax romana that never was.


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