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Caravaggio (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Derek Jarman (screenplay) and
Nicholas Ward Jackson (from an original idea by)
View company contact information for Caravaggio on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 August 1986 (USA) See more »
A retelling of the life of the celebrated 17th-century painter through his brilliant, nearly blasphemous paintings and his flirtations with the underworld. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
An Artistic Portrait of an Artist by another Artist See more (23 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Nigel Terry ... Caravaggio

Sean Bean ... Ranuccio

Garry Cooper ... Davide

Dexter Fletcher ... Young Caravaggio
Spencer Leigh ... Jerusaleme

Tilda Swinton ... Lena

Nigel Davenport ... Giustiniani

Robbie Coltrane ... Scipione Borghese

Michael Gough ... Cardinal Del Monte
Noam Almaz ... Boy Caravaggio
Dawn Archibald ... Pipo
Jack Birkett ... The Pope
Una Brandon-Jones ... Weeping Woman
Imogen Claire ... Lady with the Jewels
Sadie Corre ... Princess Collona
Lol Coxhill ... Old Priest

Vernon Dobtcheff ... Art Lover
Terry Downes ... Bodyguard

Jonathan Hyde ... Baglione
Emile Nicolaou ... Young Jerusaleme
Gene October ... Model Peeling Fruit
Cindy Oswin ... Lady Elizabeth
John Rogan ... Vatican Official

Zohra Segal ... Jerusaleme's Grandmother (as Zohra Sehgal)
Lucien Taylor ... Boy with Guitar
Simon Fisher-Turner ... Fra Fillipo (as Simon Turner)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kevin Hull ... Roman in Toga (uncredited)

Derek Jarman ... Papal Aide (uncredited)
Chelita Secunda ... (uncredited)
Cerith Wyn Evans ... Altar Boy (uncredited)

Directed by
Derek Jarman 
Writing credits
Derek Jarman  screenplay and
Nicholas Ward Jackson  from an original idea by (as Nicholas Ward-Jackson)

Suso Cecchi D'Amico (collaboration) uncredited

Produced by
Nicholas Ward Jackson .... associate producer (as Nicholas Ward-Jackson)
Colin MacCabe .... executive producer
James Mackay .... development producer
Sarah Radclyffe .... producer
Original Music by
Simon Fisher-Turner 
Cinematography by
Gabriel Beristain 
Film Editing by
George Akers 
Casting by
Debbie McWilliams 
Production Design by
Christopher Hobbs 
Art Direction by
Michael Buchanan  (as Mike Buchanan)
Costume Design by
Sandy Powell 
Makeup Department
Miri Ben-Schlomo .... assistant makeup artist (as Miri Ben-Shlomo)
Morag Ross .... makeup artist
Production Management
Jules Bradbury .... production assistant
Jill Pack .... executive in charge of production
Sarah Wilson .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Pat Aldersley .... third assistant director (as Patricia Aldersley)
Simon Moseley .... second assistant director (as Simon Mosley)
Glynn Purcell .... first assistant director
Art Department
Alastair Gow .... constructions
Christopher Hobbs .... painter
Josh Jones .... runner
Annie La Paz .... scenic artist
Penny McDonald .... scene painter (as Penny Beard)
Charlie McGrigor .... runner
Susan McLenachan .... constructions
Lucy Morahan .... scenic artist
Marc Russo .... stagehand
Robin Thistlewaite .... constructions (as Robin Thistlethwaite)
Tim Youngman .... property master
Sound Department
Peter Maxwell .... dubbing mixer
Billy McCarthy .... sound recordist
Beryl Mortimer .... footsteps
June Prinz .... sound department trainee
George Richards .... boom swinger
Ted Swanscott .... footsteps
Budge Tremlett .... dubbing editor (as 'Budge' Tremlett)
Steve Hancock .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Jim Dowdall .... stunt coordinator
Tracey Eddon .... stunt performer
Gareth Milne .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Noel Balbirnie .... focus puller
Mike Barker .... camera department trainee
Phil Bough .... assistant camera: second camera
Mickey Donovan .... sparks
Tony Hair .... sparks (as Tony Hare)
Tony Haughey .... grip
Mike Laye .... still photographer
John Mathieson .... clapper
John Mathieson .... loader
Larry S. Prinz .... gaffer (as Larry Prinz)
Steve Tickner .... camera operator: second camera
Casting Department
Simon Fisher-Turner .... extras casting (as Simon Turner)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Penny McDonald .... textile artist (as Penny Beard)
Karen Sherwin .... wardrobe department: runner
Annie Symons .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Alastair Bates .... assistant editor
Nicola Black .... assistant editor
Anuree De Silva .... assistant editor
Matthew Whiteman .... assistant editor
Music Department
Bill Badley .... musician
Steart Butterfield .... musician
Lol Coxhill .... musician
John Douglas-Williams .... singer
Charlie Duncan .... musician
Charles Gibbs .... singer
Brian Gulland .... musician
Stuart Hall .... musician
Julia Hodgson .... musician
Timothy Hugh .... musician
Neil Kelly .... musician
Chi-Chi Nwanoku .... musician
Mary Phillips .... music assistant
Mary Phillips .... singer
Jocelyn Pook .... musician
Richard Preston .... music engineer
Nicolas Robertson .... singer
Rodney Skeaping .... musician
Angus Smith .... singer
El Tito .... musician
Veryan Weston .... musician
Other crew
Patricia Bemrose .... floor runner
Sheryl Leonardo .... production accountant
Yvonne Little .... runner
Stephen Masters .... titles designer
Heather Storr .... continuity
Paul Treacy .... consultant: deaf and dumb teacher
Simon Wallace .... runner
Michael Barnett .... special thanks
Stephen Brown .... special thanks
Ken Butler .... special thanks
Michael Carter .... special thanks
Suso Cecchi D'Amico .... special thanks
Andy Chapman .... special thanks
David Cooper .... special thanks
Simon Costin .... special thanks
Tony Covell .... special thanks
Bill Craster .... special thanks
Daniel .... special thanks
Martin Duncan .... special thanks
Leslie Eyles .... many thanks
Michael Fowkes .... special thanks
Frances .... special thanks
Frankie .... special thanks
Behroze Gandhi .... many thanks
Susie Giblin .... special thanks
Gloria .... special thanks
Matthew Hamilton .... special thanks
Shirley Hobart .... special thanks
Jennifer Howarth .... many thanks
Rory Keegan .... special thanks
Willy Landels .... special thanks
Len .... special thanks
Patricia Lester .... special thanks
Stephen Lewis .... special thanks
Maria Liljefors .... special thanks
Atilio Lopez .... special thanks
Nigel Lowry .... special thanks
Phil MacDonald .... special thanks
William Maley .... many thanks (as Willy Maley)
Mr. Marinelli .... special thanks
Margareth Matheson .... special thanks
Penny McDonald .... special thanks (as Penny Beard)
Eliza Mellor .... many thanks
Paul Minter .... special thanks
Niako .... special thanks
Claudia Nicolaou .... special thanks
John O'Keefe .... special thanks
Kevin O'Shea .... special thanks
Chris Palmer .... special thanks
Jill Parker .... special thanks
Cath Pater-Lantucki .... special thanks
Ron Payne .... special thanks
Dominic Penrose .... special thanks
Steven Pickes .... special thanks
Andy Powell .... many thanks
Liz Reddish .... many thanks
Paul Reynolds .... special thanks
Nobby Rocker .... special thanks
Peter Sainsbury .... special thanks
Sarah Sankey .... special thanks
Antonia Savvides .... special thanks
Panayota Savvides .... special thanks
Belinda Scarlett .... special thanks
Aileen Seaton .... special thanks
Ian Shipley .... special thanks (as Ian Shipley Books)
Nikos Sozou .... special thanks
Les Spring .... special thanks
Kuko Steiner .... special thanks
Cob Stenham .... special thanks
Bob Storer .... special thanks
Sally Sutton .... special thanks
Paul Treacy .... special thanks
Sarah Walsh .... special thanks
Andy Wilson .... special thanks
Ben Wilson .... special thanks
Tina Winters .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Michael Gough was fourth choice for the role of Del Monte.See more »
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: A typewriter is used, a saxophone is played, a train and steamship hooter are heard. In addition one of the characters plays with a (very advanced for the time of the movie) credit card-sized calculator with beeping buttons. These items are included deliberately as a stylistic decision of the filmmakers, not "goofs" of people unaware of the absence of these items in the 1500s and 1600s.See more »
Young Caravaggio:The price of the painting is my knife.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Jubilee: A Time Less Golden (2003) (V)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
An Artistic Portrait of an Artist by another Artist, 2 January 2011
Author: Rodrigo Amaro ( from São Paulo, Brazil

Everything is divided in two concepts: rule and transgression. That it's not a bad thing but for most people it's difficult to accept them, to comprehend them and to make both things interesting. Most of the time we tend to only follow the rules and forget about transgression or even condemn it.

Caravaggio was a transgressionist in terms of art with his painting evoking religious themes using as models simple people, peasants, prostitutes, fishers, creating powerful masterpieces; and a transgressionist with his dangerous lifestyle, sleeping with men and women, getting involved in fights, in one of these fights he killed a man, reason why he ran away to other countries, and then dying at the age of 38. Then we have a filmmaker, an true artist named Derek Jarman who knows how to portray art on film, breaking conventions, trying to do something new and succeeding at it.

To name one of his most interesting films his last "Blue" was a blue screen with voice overs by actors and his own voice telling about his life, his struggle while dying of AIDS, and he manages to be poetic, real about his emotions, and throughout almost 2 hours of one simple blue screen he never makes us bored. Who could be a better director for a project about the life of Caravaggio than a transgressionist like Jarman himself?

The movie "Caravaggio" is wonderful because it combines many forms of art into one film, capturing the nuances of Caravaggio's colors and paintings translated into the film art. It has poetry, paintings, music of the period of the story, sometimes jazz music. All that in the middle of the story of one of the greatest artists of all time.

This is not a usual biopic telling about the artist's life and death in a chronological order, trying to do everything make sense. This is a very transgressional work very similar to "Marie Antoniette" by Sofia Coppola, so it might shock and disappoint those who seek for a conventional story truthful to its period. And just like Coppola's film "Caravaggio" takes an bold artistic license to create its moments. Jarman introduces to the narrative set in the 16th and 17th century, objects like a radio, a motorcycle, a calculator machine among others; sometimes this artistic license works (e.g. the scene where Jonathan Hyde playing a art critic types his review on his typewriter, a notion that we must have about how critics worked that time making a comparison with today's critics, but it would be strange see him writing with a feather, even though it would be a real portrayal).

The movie begins with Caravaggio (played by Nigel Terry) in his deathbed, delusioning and remembering facts of his passionate and impetuous life; his involvement with Lena (Tilda Swinton) and Ranuccio (Sean Bean); memories of childhood (played by Dexter Fletcher); and of course the way he worked with his paintings, admired by everybody in his time.

All of this might seem misguided, some things appear to don't have a meaning but they have. I was expecting a movie more difficult to follow but instead I saw a truly artistic film, not pretentious whatsoever, that knows how to bring Caravaggio's works into life, with an incredible and fascinating mise-èn-scene, in a bright red that jumps on the screen with beauty. Very impressive.

It's an unique and interesting experience. For those who enjoy more conventional and structured biopics try to watch this film without being too much judgemental, you'll learn great things about the Baroque period because it is a great lesson about the period. For those who like new film experimentations or want to watch a Jarman's film here's the invitation. 10/10

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