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Caligula (1979)

Unrated  |   |  Adult, Drama, History  |  15 February 1980 (USA)
5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 25,324 users  
Reviews: 283 user | 126 critic

Details the graphic and shocking, yet undeniably tragic story of Rome's most infamous Caesar, Gaius Germanicus Caligula.

Directors:

, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

Writer:

(original screenplay)
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Title: Caligula (1979)

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Teresa Ann Savoy ...
Guido Mannari ...
...
...
Giancarlo Badessi ...
Bruno Brive ...
...
Leopoldo Trieste ...
Paolo Bonacelli ...
John Steiner ...
...
Livia (as Mirella Dangelo)
...
Rick Parets ...
Mnester (as Richard Parets)
Paula Mitchell ...
Subura Singer
Edit

Storyline

The rise and fall of the notorious Roman Emperor Caligula, showing the violent methods that he employs to gain the throne, and the subsequent insanity of his reign - he gives his horse political office and humiliates and executes anyone who even slightly displeases him. He also sleeps with his sister, organises elaborate orgies and embarks on a fruitless invasion of Britain before meeting an appropriate end. There are various versions of the film, ranging from the heavily truncated 90-minute version to the legendary 160-minute hardcore version which leaves nothing to the imagination (though the hardcore scenes were inserted later and do not involve the main cast members). Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What would you have done if you had been given absolute power of life and death over everybody else in the whole world? See more »

Genres:

Adult | Drama | History

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caligula  »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,669 (USA) (17 September 1999)

Gross:

$23,438,120 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated) | (recut) | (re-release) | (original)

Sound Mix:

(re-release: 1999)| (original release)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Film opened at #1 in the Box Office in both Italy and US, grossing $20 Million in a week, until it was removed from theaters due to public petitions, according to Bob Guccione, it would have entered in box office history if it wasn't removed. See more »

Goofs

There is a huge map of Europe and the Mediterranean on the wall. It is a modern, extremely precise map, much more precise than available at the time. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Caligula: I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Due to numerous pending lawsuits and settlements at the time of the film's release, no one is technically fully credited for writing and directing the finished film. See more »

Connections

Featured in 60 Minutes: High Jinks/The Venom Hunters/The Dame (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Adagio Of Spartacus And Phrygia
Aram Khachaturyan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A misunderstood classic.
8 March 2000 | by (San Diego, Ca) – See all my reviews

CALIGULA is a terribly misunderstood film. I believe too many people think of it as a cheap porno, and bash it due to that. "All porn is bad," right?

CALIGULA was a daring film experiment incorporating big-name, established talent, and the raw energy of under ground film techniques. What results is nothing short of a fascinating product.

All of the acting is very good. Malcolm McDowell plays psychotic villains so well, one can't help but think he's like that in real life. His portrayal of Gaius Caligula just drips with maniacal megalomania. The little-known Teresa Ann Savoy is convincing as Drusilla, Caligula's sister. And Peter O'Toole's Tiberius Caesar, whose diseased face is rotting away, is truly an oddity to behold...put he pulls it off well. The acting in general is all very good.

The use of music is also to be noted. There are original, evocative pieces written for the film by Paul Clemente, no doubt a talented composer.

While some of the photography is stilted in this film, for the most part it's gorgeous. A lot of people say the colors are "dark" and "washed out", but I think that lends to the grittiness of the film.

Danilo Donati's sets are big and well designed, it kind of shocks you to see someone getting a blow job in them. They look like they belong in a run-of-the-mill Hollywood produced film. Aren't all pornos supposed to be filmed in the director's back yard?

And that right there is the point of the film. To shock you; you can't believe you're seeing what you're seeing. Beyond the violence and the sex is a well written, acted, and photographed film.

I have spoken!


312 of 419 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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