5.3/10
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291 user 135 critic

Caligula (1979)

Caligola (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, History | 15 February 1980 (USA)
Details the graphic and shocking, yet undeniably tragic story of Rome's most infamous Caesar, Gaius Germanicus Caligula.

Directors:

, (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writer:

(adapted from an original screenplay by)
Reviews
Popularity
1,022 ( 28)

On Disc

at Amazon

2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Guido Mannari ...
...
...
Giancarlo Badessi ...
Bruno Brive ...
Adriana Asti ...
Ennia
...
Charicles
...
...
...
Livia (as Mirella Dangelo)
...
Rick Parets ...
Mnester (as Richard Parets)
Paula Mitchell ...
Subura Singer
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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:

The most controversial film of the 20th century is now the most controversial film of the 21st century. See more »

Genres:

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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,669, 19 September 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$23,438,120
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(original release)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.95:1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to the popular beliefs, the infamous 210 minute pre-release version of the film never existed. The mix-up came from an erroneous film program printed for the first public screen of "Caligula" at the Cannes Trade Festival (not to be confused with the Cannes Film Festival that occurs around the same time of the year) that stated that the entirety of the "Caligula Screening" runs 210 minutes. What it forgot to say, however, was that both the film (in its 156 minute edition) and the one hour making-of featurette were shown back to back that night, thus creating the three and a half hour running time. See more »

Goofs

Charea proclaims Claudius emperor after killing Caligula and his family. In reality, it was another Praetorian who proclaimed Claudius as emperor; Charea had been planning to kill Claudius as well to eliminate the entire imperial family. 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.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits are shown over a bleeding coin. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: At Long Last Love (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Adagio
from Spartacus (1960)
Written by Aram Khachaturyan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A misunderstood classic.
8 March 2000 | by 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!


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