Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia in Rome and falls in love. But she is Christian and doesn't want anything to do with him. Marcus decides to kidnap her but Ursus, her bodyguard, catches Marcus. ... See full summary »
In 1976, a young woman in Krakow is making her diploma film, looking behind the scenes at the life of a 1950s bricklayer, Birkut, who was briefly a proletariat hero, at how that heroism was... See full summary »
Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia in Rome and falls in love. But she is Christian and doesn't want anything to do with him. Marcus decides to kidnap her but Ursus, her bodyguard, catches Marcus. After that, Lygia falls in love, but Marcus must go to meet Nero. After the meeting somebody told Marcus that Nero burnt Rome. Marcus decides to go back to Rome and find Lygia. Written by
A faithful and moving adaptation of a Nobel prize-winning novel
This new Polish version of a Polish novel, written in the 1890's by Henryk Sienkiewicz (who won the Nobel prize), is an excellent movie, gripping, exciting and deeply moving. Unlike the 1951 MGM version, which was a costume epic typical for its time, this new film seems to be about real people caught in the maelstrom that was Nero's Rome, in the struggle between decadent paganism and the emerging new faith of the Christians. The book is a favorite of mine and the screenplay's fidelity to the novel is highly commendable. The actors are vivid in their portrayals. This Nero, for instance, seems like a real madman, not a fine actor hamming it up (as did Ustinov in the 1951 film). The Petronius is excellent, the two leads both young and handsome. The conversion of Vinicius and Chilon are convincing and moving. This nearly-three-hour film moves quickly and covers a lot of ground. The ending gave me pause, and it's a stunner. The movie deserves a much wider audience than it's going to get in the US, because, face it, most people who go see foreign language films are not the same people who go to see religious, historical epics. I hope it gets a video release, at least. Hollywood would have given this film costlier and better special effects - the burning of Rome is a bit anemic - but Hollywood could not have filmed this movie as honestly, truthfully and brilliantly.
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