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The Epic That Never Was (1965)

The story of the aborted 1937 filming of "I, Claudius", starring Charles Laughton, with all of its surviving footage.


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Complete credited cast:
Himself - Host / Narrator
Robert Graves ...
Himself - author of 'I, Claudius'
Himself - Director
Herself / Messalina
Herself / Livia
Emlyn Williams ...
Himself / Caligula
John Abbott ...
Himself - Ms. Robson's Host
Eileen Corbett ...
Herself - Script Girl
John Armstrong ...
Himself - Costume Designer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Claudius (archive footage)
Captain of Caligula's guard (archive footage)


The story of the aborted 1937 filming of "I, Claudius", starring Charles Laughton, with all of its surviving footage.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

24 December 1965 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Filmen som aldrig blev av  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the first documentaries to make use of the opening theme from Richard Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra", later made more famous in the film "2001: A Space Odyssey". See more »


Edited from I, Claudius (1937) See more »


Also sprach Zarathustra
(opening fanfare)
Music by Richard Strauss
Heard at the beginning and the end of the program
See more »

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User Reviews

Good documentary, colorful participants; one bona fide genius
21 October 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a good, entertaining and revealing document of the abandonment in mid-production of a film spectacle, begun in England in the mid-1930s, but which happily still saw the light of day thanks to the preservation of several reels of assembled footage in mint condition. Those involved in the production still alive by 1964 are interviewed with their slightly divergent points of view, and they are a colorful lot: Von Sternberg, Oberon, Emlyn Williams, Flora Robson. Dirk Bogarde is impeccable as the host-narrator who observes of Charles Laughton, immediately following a stunning monologue, that he was "kissed with genius." And so he was.

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