A history of the French Revolution from the decision of the king to convene the Etats-Generaux in 1789 in order to deal with France's debt problem. The first part of the movie tells the ... See full summary »
Richard T. Heffron
Klaus Maria Brandauer,
Cleopatra, the famed Egyptian Queen born in 69 B.C., is shown to have been brought by Roman ruler Julius Caesar at age 18. Caesar becomes sexually obsessed by the 18 year old queen, beds ... See full summary »
In april 1944, an allied agent is sent to France in order to rescue an "overlord" captured by the Germans. (An "overlord" is one of the few men who knew the date and place of the "D" day). ... See full summary »
Do NOT judge this production by the 2-hour version that was released on VHS in the US, which is a choppy and incomprehensible mess. I had the pleasure of watching the full-length 6-hour version available on DVD from the UK, and was spellbound. The deliberate pace and growing sense of menace are mesmerizing, as is the amazing visual and aural landscape; this is an ancient Rome we have never seen before, and far more authentic than most.
Director Franco Rossi was justly celebrated for his 1968 mini-series of The Odyssey, and this mini-series is equally powerful. Just as Bekim Fehmiu became the screen's best Ulysses, so Klaus Maria Brandauer may be the screen's best Nero. Now, I am hoping someday to see Rossi's version of The Aeneid (Eneide) that was broadcast on Italian TV in 1971.
I am undecided which version of QUO VADIS is more powerful, this one or the Polish mini-series from 2001; each has different virtues, and in many ways they complement one another. Certainly, either one towers over that Hollywood camp-riot starring Peter Ustinov.
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