5.3/10
28,931
290 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:

(original screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
1,132 ( 14)

Watch Now

From $4.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Salon Kitty (1976)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Kitty runs a brothel in Nazi Germany where the soldiers come to "relax". Recording devices have been installed in each room by a power hungry army official, who plans to use the information to blackmail Hitler and gain power himself.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Helmut Berger, Ingrid Thulin, Teresa Ann Savoy
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A troubled college professor becomes obsessed with the idea that his emotionally distant wife is having an affair with his invalid father.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Katarina Vasilissa, Francesco Casale, Cristina Garavaglia
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Four fascist libertines round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to one hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Paolo Bonacelli, Laura Betti, Giorgio Cataldi
Monella (1998)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Set in the 1950s Italian countryside, the film tells the story of Lola and Masetto, a young couple whose views on premarital sex differ drastically.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Anna Ammirati, Patrick Mower, Max Parodi
Fallo! (2003)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Tinto Brass - The maestro of Italian erotica is back! Lies, subterfuge, betrayal and mischief - FALLO! is a collection of six stories based on the joys of sexuality and the eroticism of a new generation of women.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Sara Cosmi, Massimiliano Caroletti, William De Vito
Tra(sgre)dire (2000)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

While scouting out apartments in London for her Venetian boyfriend, Carla rents an apartment that overlooks the Thames. There she meet the lesbian hyper-horny real estate agent Moira.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Yuliya Mayarchuk, Jarno Berardi, Francesca Nunzi
9 Songs (2004)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

In London, England, love blooms between an American college student, named Lisa, and an English glaciologist, named Matt, where over the next few months in between attending rock concerts, the two lovers have intense sexual encounters.

Director: Michael Winterbottom
Stars: Kieran O'Brien, Margo Stilley, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Paprika (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A young country girl comes to town and works in a brothel in order to help her fiance get the money to start his own business. "Paprika" is the name given to her by the madam.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Debora Caprioglio, Stéphane Ferrara, Martine Brochard
Caligula's Spawn (Video 2009)
Action | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The beautiful and dangerous slave trader Druscilla practises all the customs of Ancient Rome - everything in Excess. But even excess can have its limits and the punishments can be very ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd A. Simandl
Stars: Rena Riffel, Lena Drásova, John Comer
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A happily married 24-year-old woman who experiences an inexplicable, rather restless craving to finally live her life intensely, retells her extra-marital escapades to her husband intending to spice up their marriage.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Claudia Koll, Paolo Lanza, Franco Branciaroli
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

This film is a series of letters, photos and video cassettes which women often send in to certain newspapers. By visualizing their story-telling (the name given by the psychologists to ... See full summary »

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Tinto Brass, Cinzia Roccaforte, Cristina Rinaldi
Caligula (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
Director: Sándor Cs. Nagy
Stars: Szabolcs Hajdu, Károly Safranek, Éva Rózsáné Zsolnay
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Guido Mannari ...
...
...
Giancarlo Badessi ...
Bruno Brive ...
Adriana Asti ...
...
...
...
...
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:

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:

 »
Edit

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

During the film's production, Malcolm McDowell took members of the production to dinner at an expensive restaurant to celebrate England's win in a football match against the Italian team. He left the choreographer to pay for the meal, saying he had forgotten to bring enough money. See more »

Goofs

Naevius Sutorius Macro committed suicide in 38 AD after his arrest, and would not have been executed as depicted. 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

Referenced in Midnight Heat (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Montagues Et Capulets (Dance of the Knights)
from the ballet Romeo and Juliet
by Sergei Prokofiev
Intro/Credit-music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
THE CLASH OF AN ARTIST AND A PERVERT: The Results Could Only Mean A Huge Disaster.
17 August 2004 | by (Denver, Colorado) – See all my reviews

What started out as a massive, haunting and disturbing look at the corruption of bureaucracy ended up as a mere flesh flick, consisting mainly of outtakes and only two types of opinions from the viewers; "this movie is crap" and the infamous "I love the sex in that movie! It gives an erection every time I see it." All of these travesties, and more, are a major insult to the many talents involved in this production of "Caligula."

From what one can tell, it would have been an excellent film. Malcolm McDowell gives a performance of a lifetime, portraying an Emperor whose dedication to exposing the senate for what they are, a corrupt bunch of spineless bastards, ultimately leads to his descend into madness. Helen Mirren gives an interesting performance as Caligula's seductive wife, Caesonia and Teresa Ann Savoy is great as the cute and sweet Drusilla, the only voice of reason in the time of madness. The supporting cast is also top notch. Sire John Gielgud gives an awesome portrayal a stoic Roman aristocrat Nerva and Peter O'Toole is a true jaw dropper as Tiberius, the old emperor, a completely mad sex addict, plagued with syphilitic lesions. The rest of the supporting cast are unknown Italian actors, except for the B-movie god John Steiner, who plays the two faced Longinus, Caligula's treasurer.

The much talked about sex in the film was never meant to be in any way arousing. If one looks closely, he can see that most of the nudity and sex is handled in a very clinical, unappealing fashion. Tinto Brass did an awesome job showing how the Ancient Rome was so used to perversity, that a few people romping in a corner was just not a big deal in those days. Same can be said about the gore and violence in the film.

From the small hints remaining in the film, "Caligula" was well on its way to become a moody piece of paranoia, corruption and deep character study. There are some truly chilling and atmospheric moments. For example, when Caligula puts on the royal ring, you can actually see him losing soul, thanks to Malcolm McDowell's awesome facial expressions. Also, there is a haunting scene of Caligula asking the dying Nerva, who lies in a bath tub filled with blood, about the afterlife. And the humorous scenes of Caligula "judging" a land dispute between two whiny senators and one where a Senator says he would give up his life to cure Caligula's to fever, only to realize that Caligula has excepted his proposition.

But sadly, none of the points I made can be seen to a naked eye. When Tinto Brass got fired, the film's producer, Bob Guccione (yes, *that* Bob Guccione), tried to splice the film together himself, although he had no idea what he was doing. What ended up was a pathetic mishmash of truncated and misplaced scenes, out takes, rehearsal footage and some dull extra sex inserts with the Penthouse Pets, shot by Bob himself after the filming has wrapped, designed simply to promote the magazine. All the important subplots and story lines were deleted, making the film lose most of its plot and meaning, the pace is ruined due to endless pauses and there are maddening zooms that are obviously just raw footage of camera operators adjusting the lens. The movie is simply unwatchable because it is mostly cut together from the blurry, shaky outtakes. In other words, Bob Guccione stole a masterpiece and turned it into his own little wet dream.

Everyone who dealt with this film disowned it after seeing the finished result and rightfully so.

So, next time you watch the film and notice how bad it is, don't blame the actors, Tinto Brass or Gore Vidal. Blame Bob Guccione and the botched editing.

For what it could have been, I give the film a 10/10. For what it ended up, it receives a 2/10.


220 of 291 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?