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Caligula (1979) More at IMDbPro »Caligola (original title)

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5.3/10   28,451 votes »
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Gore Vidal (original screenplay)
View company contact information for Caligula on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 February 1980 (USA) See more »
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 »
Details the graphic and shocking, yet undeniably tragic story of Rome's most infamous Caesar, Gaius Germanicus Caligula. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A misunderstood classic. See more (288 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Malcolm McDowell ... Caligula
Teresa Ann Savoy ... Drusilla
Guido Mannari ... Macro

John Gielgud ... Nerva

Peter O'Toole ... Tiberius
Giancarlo Badessi ... Claudius
Bruno Brive ... Gemellus

Adriana Asti ... Ennia
Leopoldo Trieste ... Charicles

Paolo Bonacelli ... Chaerea

John Steiner ... Longinus

Mirella D'Angelo ... Livia (as Mirella Dangelo)

Helen Mirren ... Caesonia
Rick Parets ... Mnester (as Richard Parets)
Paula Mitchell ... Subura Singer
Osiride Pevarello ... Giant
Donato Placido ... Proculus
Anneka Di Lorenzo ... Messalina
Lori Wagner ... Agrippina
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Joss Ackland ... Chaerea (voice) (uncredited)

Patrick Allen ... Macro (voice) (uncredited)
Gerardo Amato ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Pino Ammendola ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Fortunato Arena ... Roman (uncredited)
Eduardo Bergara Leumann ... High Priest of Rome (uncredited)
Signe Berger ... Imperial Brothel Worker (uncredited)
Omero Capanna ... Roman (uncredited)
Eolo Capritti ... The Executioner (uncredited)
Antonio Casale ... Roman (uncredited)
Lella Cattaneo ... Roman (uncredited)
Valerie Rae Clark ... Priestess of Isis / Imperial Brothel Worker (uncredited)
Maria Cumani Quasimodo ... Priestess of Isis (uncredited)
Davide ... Caligula's horse (uncredited)
Marcello Di Falco ... Orgy Master (uncredited)
Vittorio Fanfoni ... Consul (uncredited)
Lucky Fellows ... Man in Imperial Brothel (uncredited)
Salvatore Furnari ... Dwarf (uncredited)
Decio Gabin ... Roman (uncredited)
Salvatore Governale ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
Jane Hargrave ... Priestess of Isis / Imperial Brothel Worker (uncredited)
Henrietta Kelogg ... Imperial Brothel Worker (uncredited)
John Francis Lane ... Maitre d' at Proculus' Wedding (uncredited)
Ritva Kaarina Maakorpi ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
Giuseppe Maffioli ... Master of Ceremonies (uncredited)
Donato Mercouri ... Guard drinking Wine (uncredited)
Andrew Lord Miller ... Senator Acesius (uncredited)
Juliet Morris ... Imperial Brothel Worker (uncredited)
Guy Munthe ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
Giuseppe Namio ... Roman (uncredited)
Carolyn Patsis ... Imperial Brothel Worker (uncredited)
Kris Petersson ... Roman (uncredited)
Antonio Prester ... Consul (uncredited)
Susanne Saxon ... Imperial Brothel Worker (uncredited)
Sidney Sheldon ... Transvestite (uncredited)
Daniel Smith ... Master of Ceremonies during Arresting (uncredited)
John Stacy ... Senator (uncredited)
Melanie Sutherland ... Imperial Brothel Worker (uncredited)
Giovanna Tovoli ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
Carlos Alberto Valles ... Roman (uncredited)
Bonnie Dee Wilson ... Imperial Brothel Worker (uncredited)

Directed by
Tinto Brass (principal photography)
Bob Guccione (additional footage) (uncredited)
Giancarlo Lui (additional footage) (uncredited)
Writing credits
Gore Vidal (original screenplay)

Bob Guccione  additional scenes (uncredited)
Giancarlo Lui  additional scenes (uncredited)
Franco Rossellini  dialogue (1984 version) (uncredited)

Produced by
Bob Guccione .... producer
Franco Rossellini .... producer
Franco Rossellini .... line producer (uncredited)
Jack H. Silverman .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Bruno Nicolai  (as Paul Clemente)
Renzo Rossellini (1984)
Cinematography by
Silvano Ippoliti (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Nino Baragli 
Enzo Micarelli (1984 version)
Russell Lloyd (uncredited)
Casting by
Paolo Heusch 
Roberto Tatti 
Art Direction by
Danilo Donati 
Costume Design by
Danilo Donati (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Giuseppe Banchelli .... makeup artist (as Guiseppe Banchelli)
Iole Cecchini .... hair stylist (as Jole Cecchini)
Production Management
Mario Di Biase .... production manager
Sergio Galiano .... unit manager
Augusto Marabelli .... production supervisor
Alessandro Mattei .... production supervisor
Franco Rossellini .... post-production supervisor (1984 version)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Piernico Solinas .... first assistant director
Luca Ronchi .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Gianpiero Grassi .... property master
Domenico Mancino .... blacksmith
Giovanni Natalucci .... architect
Luigi Urbani .... set dresser
Franco Velchi .... architect
Sound Department
Marco Di Biase .... boom operator
Gerry Humphreys .... dubbing mixer
Archie Ludski .... dialogue editor
Claudio Maielli .... sound engineer
Giuliano Maielli .... boom operator
Stefano Morandi .... sound mixer (1984 version)
Robin O'Donoghue .... dubbing mixer
Winston Ryder .... supervising sound editor
Roger Van Engel .... sound editor
Special Effects by
Franco Celli .... special effects
Marcello Coccia .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Eddie Adams .... special photographer
Jerry Bauer .... special photographer
Giuseppe Di Biase .... camera operator (as Pino Di Biase)
Alessio Gelsini Torresi .... assistant camera
Bob Guccione .... cinematographer: additional scenes
Giancarlo Lui .... cinematographer: additional scenes
Stan Malinowski .... special photographer
Claudio Patriarca .... special photographer
Enrico Sasso .... camera operator
Mario Tursi .... unit photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gloria Musetta .... wardrobe mistress (as Gloria Picone Mussetta)
Gregorio Simili .... wardrobe master
Editorial Department
Peter Krook .... assistant editor
Giancarlo Lui .... post-production director
Enzo Natale .... post-production coordinator (1984 version)
Stuart Urban .... assistant editor
Music Department
Bruno Nicolai .... conductor (as Paul Clemente)
Bruno Nicolai .... orchestrator (as Paul Clemente)
Other crew
Walter Alford .... unit publicist
Ferruccio Amendola .... dubbing director (1984 version)
Carla Cipriani .... continuity
Bruno Di Bartolomei .... accountant
Leslie Jay .... assistant to producers
Tito LeDuc .... choreographer (as Tito Le Duc)
Giuseppe Maffioli .... consultant: gastronomy
Giuseppe Pennese .... choreographer (as Pino Pennese)
Franco Rossellini .... director: additional scenes (1984 version)
Maria Ruhle .... unit publicist
Louise Vincent .... dialogue director
Masolino D'Amico .... translator (uncredited)
Vittoria Febbi .... voice dubbing: Helen Mirren (uncredited)
Sergio Graziani .... voice dubbing: Peter O'Toole (uncredited)
Paula Mitchell .... researcher (uncredited)
Glauco Onorato .... voice dubbing: Guido Mannari (uncredited)
Roberto Villa .... voice dubbing: John Gielgud (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Caligola" - Italy (original title)
See more »
156 min | Spain:137 min | USA:102 min (R-rated version) | Italy:123 min (recut version) | USA:148 min (re-release) | 115 min (original version)
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby (re-release: 1999) | Mono (original release)
Argentina:18 | Australia:R18+ (cut) | Australia:RC (original rating) | Australia:X18+ (uncut) | Belgium:16 (DVD rating) | Belgium:KNT (original rating) | Belgium:16 (video rating) | Brazil:18 | Canada:R (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:(Banned) (Nova Scotia) (original rating) | Canada:(Banned) (Ontario) (original rating) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia) (re-rating) (2007) | Denmark:16 | Denmark:15 (DVD rating) | Finland:K-18 (uncut) (2001) | Finland:K-18 (heavily cut) (1981) | France:16 | France:X (DVD release) | Germany:BPjM Restricted | Germany:18 (SPIO/JK) (cut) | Hong Kong:III | Iceland:16 (cut) | Iceland:(Banned) (original rating) | Italy:VM18 | Japan:R-18 | Malaysia:(Banned) | Mexico:D | Netherlands:16 | Netherlands:18 (orginal rating) | New Zealand:R18 | Norway:18 | Peru:18 | Portugal:M/18 (DVD rating) (uncut) | South Korea:18 (cut) | Spain:X | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating: 1980) (cut) | UK:18 (uncut version) | USA:Unrated | USA:R (heavily cut) | USA:X (self applied MA for "Mature Audiences") | USA:Unrated (uncut) | West Germany:18 (nf)

Did You Know?

When Nino Baragli and Bob Guccione cut the film together, several scenes were truncated and cut into the film in a seemingly random order. A few examples of scenes made fragmented in editing: - The opening is a fragment of a scene that was meant to occur immediately following Tiberius's death (this is why Caligula is clean shaven in this scene, but has a beard in the next). It was supposed to depict Caligula and Drusilla enjoying their new freedom as they no longer need to worry about being seen by Tiberius's informers. The scene is almost certainly shorter than it was intended to be, and thus is now a meaningless fragment. - The scene that was meant to be the opening is cut in half and moved around. In the final cut, the first half of this scene (which depicts Caligula worrying to Drusilla about Tiberius killing him) occurs between Caligula's tour of the grotto and Nerva's suicide. The second half of the scene (where Caligula and Drusilla fool around and are caught by Macro) now immediately follows the opening credits. - When Caligula and Nerva walk down the path to Tiberius's pool, we can hear people being tortured behind a curtain, which Caligula looks through at one point. The fragments of people being tortured several scenes later were meant to be intercut with the scene of Caligula and Nerva in the hall. Also, several scenes later, we see bodies being taken off crosses and servants clearing the pathway. These were meant to act as establishing shots for the scene in the hall. - Mixed in the scene on Tiberius's pleasure grotto are shots of an orgy, some of which filmed through mirrors. It's unclear what the purpose of these shots were, but they were obviously not meant for this scene (as they take place in a different room, and, thus, are cutaways to a location across the palace). - In the scene where Caligula, Caesonia, and Drusilla have sex, the movie includes inserts of a lesbian tryst that was one of the extra scenes shot by Bob Guccione. This footage replaces shots that made this scene necessary for the plot (the original concept had the palace informers looking through the peephole, thus explaining the closeups of the moon face in the bedroom), as well as a different lesbian act featuring the ladies-in-waiting, shot by Tinto Brass. - The shot of Caligula being scared by a black bird while playing with a rat was originally part of a much longer scene in which he sets up many small chariots for a race to entertain his daughter, and, thus, was also meant to be included somewhere in between the I am God scene and the imperial bordello scene (along with several other cut scenes (such as the sacrificial scene and the scene where Caligula claims himself to be king of the gods) and relocated scenes (such as Proculus's death)).See more »
Factual errors: 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 »
[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 »
We Are OneSee more »


What is the music that plays during the opening credits?
Is this film historically accurate?
Is it true that this movie ruined the careers of several actors who were in it?
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337 out of 451 people found the following review useful.
A misunderstood classic., 8 March 2000
Author: ( from San Diego, Ca

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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