7.0/10
6,707
72 user 25 critic

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 16 October 1966 (USA)
Trailer
1:57 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
A wily slave must unite a virgin courtesan and his young smitten master to earn his freedom.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An inept British WWII commander leads his troops to a series of misadventures in North Africa and Europe.

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Michael Crawford, John Lennon, Roy Kinnear
The Producers (1967)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Estelle Winwood
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

In May 1943, two American soldiers, Joe and Frank, of Italian descent are searching the North African desert for a German general called Von Kassler, when they are captured by Von Kassler ... See full summary »

Director: Luigi Scattini
Stars: Franco Franchi, Ciccio Ingrassia, Buster Keaton
Free and Easy (1930)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A bumbling manager tries to get a small town beauty contest winner into the movies.

Director: Edward Sedgwick
Stars: Buster Keaton, Anita Page, Trixie Friganza
Rhinoceros (1974)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A boozing young man in love with his co-worker finds that everyone around him, even his pompous and condescending best friend, is changing into a rhinoceros.

Director: Tom O'Horgan
Stars: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Karen Black
The Pirate (1948)
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A girl is engaged to the local richman, but meanwhile she has dreams about the legendary pirate Macoco. A traveling singer falls in love with her and to impress her he poses as the pirate.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Walter Slezak
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

An astronaut goes into space with a chimpanzee. When they return to Earth after their orbit, it is discovered that the chimp has the brains of the astronaut, and the astronaut has the brains of the chimp. Complications ensue.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Frankie Avalon, Deborah Walley, Cesar Romero
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In New York, a gambler is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but they fall for each other, and the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An impractical widower tries to hang onto his Miami hotel and his 12-year-old son.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Eleanor Parker
Summer Stock (1950)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A small-town farmer, down on her luck, finds her homestead invaded by a theatrical troupe invited to stay by her ne'er-do-well sister.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Air Force Sgt. Joe Fitzpatrick meets and marries a beautiful model, Maggie Putnam, on the eve of being shipped off to Spain. When the new Mrs. Fitzpatrick waits to join her husband, she ... See full summary »

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Glenn Ford, Debbie Reynolds, Eva Gabor
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Hero
...
...
...
Leon Greene ...
...
Gladiator Instructor
Alfie Bass ...
Gatekeeper
...
Roman Chief Guard
Pamela Brown ...
High Priestess
Patricia Jessel ...
Domina
Beatrix Lehmann ...
Domina's Mother
...
Roman Sentry
Edit

Storyline

Pseudolus is the laziest slave in Rome and has but one wish, to purchase his freedom. When his master and mistress leave for the day he finds out that the young master has fallen in love with a virgin in the house of Lycus, a slave dealer specializing in beautiful women. Pseudolus concocts a deal in which he will be freed if he can procure the girl for young Hero. Of course, it can't be that simple as everything begins to go wrong. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Something for Everyone!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 October 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Toll trieben es die alten Römer  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Leon Greene (Miles Gloriosus), Peter Butterworth (Roman sentry), and Ronnie Brody (Roman soldier) all appeared in director Richard Lester's 1976 farce THE RITZ. See more »

Goofs

Lycus disguised himself as a woman in a yellow gown, but the gown changes to white during the chase scene and remains white for the remainder of the film. See more »

Quotes

Erronius: These tired old eyes fill with tears at the sight of the little they see...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits depict a Roman orgy; however finally an animated character lifts up the MPAA seal which brings an immediate stop to the orgiastic revelry. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Comedy Tonight
(reprise)
Written by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Zero Mostel, Michael Crawford, Annette Andre, Patricia Jessel,
Michael Hordern, Leon Greene, Buster Keaton, Jack Gilford',
, Phil Silvers and the ensemble
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Mostel, Silvers, Gilford, and Michael Crawford!
23 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Very funny film version of the smash Broadway musical, but minus most of the music. Sort of a bawdy tribute to slapstick comedy and vaudeville, the film is uniformly wonderful, the pace fast, and the jokes funny. This show was a major success on Broadway for Zero Mostel and decades later for Nathan Lane.

The plot is zany and convoluted and the style of comedy is similar to 60s slapstick used in everything from Tom Jones to Lock Up Your Daughters. Director Richard Lester uses film technique to keep the few musical numbers from stopping the pace of the film, and it works surprisingly well. And the fond look at slapstick (speeded up film, drag, pratfalls, etc.) is especially apt here considering the great Buster Keaton is in the cast.

Mostel reprises here as the wily slave who drives the manic action. He wants to be free. Mostel is just wonderful and gets to use his full bag of tricks as a comedian as well as sing "Comedy Tonight." Equally good is Phil Silvers, who sells slave girls next door to the snooty matron (Patricia Jessel) her husband (Michael Hordern), and their innocent son Hero (Michael Crawford---yes THAT Michael Crawford).

The great Buster Keaton (in his final film) plays Erronius, an old man seeking his long-lost children. Jack Gilford plays a fellow slave, Leon Greene plays the pompous Roman general looking for his bride. Then there are all those slave girls — Annette Andre as the virgin; Inga Neilsen as the mute. Michael Hordern is a surprise as the old lecher and gets to sing, "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid." Jessel is a scream as the hag wife. Lots of scantily clad girls and horny old men.

Hilarious jokes (Mostel as the soothsayer) and sight gags abound. Mostel, Silvers, and Gilford are masters of this sort of broad comedy, and Silvers and Gilford make truly ugly women. Crawford (decades later The Phantom of the Opera) is really funny as the dopey Hero and does most of his own stunts. Greene is also very funny as the overblown general.

Lots of other good performances in small parts: Beatrix Lehman as the 104- year-old with no working organs, Peter Butterworth as the Roman soldier, Frank Thornton (Are You Being Served?) as a Roman citizen, the grunting Janet Webb as Fertilla, Roy Kinnear as the trainer, Alfie Bass as the sentry, Ronnie Brody as the short soldier.

There's so much action here you have to watch this several times to catch all the background jokes. The final madcap chariot race is hilarious. Great fun. And flies everywhere!


13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Sondheim Sucks! CAWA
Buster myersangl7
Terrible mi_superstar
Phil Silvers and his Eyeglasses spastino-1
Suggested for mature audiences? forgetaboutme
Wonderfully funny film!! emma_crawfordgreene

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?