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Heliogabalus, Tyrant of Rome (1911)

L'orgie romaine (original title)
The dissolute Emperor Heliogabalus dresses as a woman, and looses lions among his guests.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jean Aymé ...
Héliogabale
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Louise Lagrange
Luitz-Morat
Léonce Perret
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Storyline

A dissolute and bloodthirsty Emperor is on the throne, and a gorgeous representation of the Roman Court with its sumptuous surroundings and kaleidoscopic colorings is portrayed. In the year 215 of the Christian era, Heliogabalus was proclaimed Emperor by the soldiers, after defeating his rival, Macrinus. His reign of nearly four years was infamous for his gluttony and unparalleled debaucheries. At the age of 14 he was invested with the royal purple, and Rome soon displayed a scene of cruelty and licentiousness, among which the most infamous of the populace became favorites of the youthful Caesar. This film depicts a few instances of the tyrant's cruelty and also his well merited and cowardly end. One day, while attending to the Emperor's toilette, a slave makes a slight mistake, and Heliogabalus, crying out in rage, immediately condemns the poor servant to death. Falling on his knees, the unfortunate creature begs in vain for his life, and is dragged away by the soldiers and thrown as... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Genres:

Short | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

28 April 1912 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heliogabalus, Tyrant of Rome  »

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(hand-colored)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Released in the US as a split reel along with the documentary Dinant on the Meuse (1912). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lions!!!
3 April 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While this film set in ancient Rome is NOT nearly on par with contemporary films on the subject (such as the early versions of "Quo Vadis?" and "Maciste"), I was very impressed because the film makers had a lot of nice costumes and sets (for 1911) and, believe it or not, lions running around the set!! Yes...LIONS!! Cool, certainly, but unfortunately not enough to make this a must-see film! The film begins with Emperor Héliogabale (or "Elagabal" or "Heliogabalus") putting on a weird fashion show. Then you see him act cruel and petty until eventually his own soldiers kill him. But, most importantly, there is NOT ONE BIT OF ROMAN ORGY to be found in this film! Anyone wanting to see nudity or debauchery should look elsewhere! Overall, the film looked nice but came off as episodic and disappointing (not just because of the lack of salaciousness).


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