Julius Caesar (1970)
The growing ambition of Julius Caesar is a source of major concern to his close friend Brutus. Cassius persuades him to participate in his plot to assassinate Caesar but they have both sorely underestimated Mark Antony.
- In 44 BC, Julius Caesar returns to Rome in triumph, having defeated the sons of his archenemy, Pompey the Great. A Soothsayer warns him of the possibility of trouble and to "beware the Ides of March." Caesar ignores him and proceeds to enjoy his triumph.
Conspirators (which include Cassius), are envious of Caesar's popularity and begin to plot against him. They enlist Caesar's good friend, Marcus Brutus, as a member of their group. The conspirators believe he can easily be swayed to join them by convincing him that Caesar is a threat to the good of Rome and Cassius begins to plants seeds of doubt in Brutus by telling him stories that portray Caesar as being weak and vulnerable. Brutus feels he has a moral obligation to protect Rome against such leadership and after much deliberation, decides it would be in the best interests of Rome if Caesar were to be killed before problems have time to develop.
Aides to Caesar try to convince him that there are conspirators plotting to kill him. Caesar refuses to listen, believing himself to be invulnerable. He proceeds to the Senate House, where his "friends" surround him and stab him to death. Brutus delivers the final blow. When he is recognized by his dying friend, Caesar utters in total disbelief the famous phrase, "Et tu, Brute?" (And you too, Brutus?)
At Caesar's funeral, Brutus tells the citizens that Caesar has been killed because his ambition was a threat to their liberties and based upon their approving reaction makes way for Antony to give his eulogy. Antony convinces the crowd to turn against the conspirators, reminding them of Caesar's goodness and telling them Caesar left them each a sizeable inheritance. The army of conspirators has to flee the city in order to escape the wrath of the mob.
Antony allies himself with Caesar's heir, Octavius, and with Aemilius Lepidus. The three men declare themselves the Second Triumvirate of Rome and propose to jointly rule in the wake of Caesar's reign. Almost immediately, they try to out-maneuver one another to gain more power. They also declare a civil war against Brutus, Cassius, and the conspirators. Further manipulation and blood shed ensue, but in the end, Caesars murder is avenged and order is restored to Rome.