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The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) Poster

Trivia

Richard Harris was originally cast as Commodus. He withdrew because of artistic differences with the director.
Sophia Loren's salary for the film was $1,000,000. She was the second actress, behind Elizabeth Taylor, to receive that amount for a single film.
Budgeted at about $20 million, this was Paramount's biggest flop of 1964. Its failure cost producer Samuel Bronston his Spanish production facility.
Kirk Douglas turned the film down, even though he wanted to work with Sophia Loren.
Alec Guinness admitted that he never saw more than twenty minutes of the completed film.
Stephen Boyd blamed the massive commercial failure of The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) for ruining his movie career.
Filming the outdoor scenes proved very difficult due to the harsh winter of 1962-63.
At 1312 by 754 feet, the Roman Forum still holds the record as the largest outdoor set ever built for a film.
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The film was originally intended to be made after El Cid (1961) and to reunite Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren. The set for the Forum Romanum was being built when Heston rejected the script and expressed an interest in 55 Days at Peking (1963) instead. Samuel Bronston immediately ordered that the work on the Forum be stopped and the landscaping and foundation work be adapted for the Peking set. After filming, the Peking set was torn down and replaced by the Forum. If you look carefully, both sets share a very similar topography.
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The Price Is Right (1956) gave the role of an extra in this film away as a bonus prize. The winner was a man named Robert Reynolds, and he appears in the background of an arena scene.
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First cinema film of Eric Porter.
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The symbol Timonides wears around his neck is a staurogram, an early symbol of Christianity. It is the only mention of Christianity in the film.
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Christopher Plummer was 33 at the time of filming, although his character Commodus became Emperor at the age of 19.
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