6 user 3 critic

Rebel Gladiators (1962)

Ursus gladiatore ribelle (original title)
March 17, 180 A.D.: Marcus Aurelius, one of the greatest Roman emperors and distinct philosopher, is dying in the outskirts of the empire he has consolidated himself, by pacifying the ... See full summary »


Domenico Paolella


Alessandro Ferraù (story), Domenico Paolella (story) | 7 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Dan Vadis ... Ursus
Gloria Milland Gloria Milland ... Marzia
José Greci José Greci ... Arminia (as Josè Greci)
Sergio Ciani ... Commodus
Andrea Aureli ... Gladiators' Instructor
Carlo Sabatini Carlo Sabatini ... Septimius Leto (as Carlo Delmi)
Tullio Altamura Tullio Altamura ... Antoninus
Nando Tamberlani Nando Tamberlani ... Marcus Aurelius
Gianni Santuccio Gianni Santuccio ... Senator Emilius Leto
Pietro Ceccarelli Pietro Ceccarelli
Consalvo Dell'Arti Consalvo Dell'Arti ... Senator Lucius
Marco Mariani Marco Mariani
Bruno Scipioni Bruno Scipioni
Claudio Marzulli Claudio Marzulli


March 17, 180 A.D.: Marcus Aurelius, one of the greatest Roman emperors and distinct philosopher, is dying in the outskirts of the empire he has consolidated himself, by pacifying the neighboring peoples. His only son and heir is Marcus Commodus, a strong man who prefers to fight as a gladiator in the arena. Ursus will find himself fighting the emperor in the arena, and in the midst of political intrigue. Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Desperate Men Against a Savage Tyrant!







Release Date:

1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ursus le rebelle See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Splendor Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sergio Ciani, who would go on to play Hercules, plays Commodus, who in reality, believed he was Hercules reborn. See more »


Commodus is referred to in the movie as Marcus Commodus. Never in his life did he ever have that name, nor was he ever known by that name. See more »


Villager: But he wanted to take our women!
Ursus: In a way I can't blame him... he shows rather good taste!
See more »

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User Reviews

Commodus the wimp? Ha!
6 December 2007 | by steven-222See all my reviews

I'd like to correct an error made by a previous reviewer, who tells us, "I was unable to keep a straight face most of the time especially with Alan Steel...playing a very athletic Commodus – rather than the mad wimp which history tells us he was!"

In fact, the historian Herodian tells us that Commodus "was the handsomest man of his time, both in beauty of features and in physical development...inferior to no man in skill and in marksmanship." It is Hollywood, not history, that insists on making Roman emperors into effete wimps. For historical accuracy, Russell Crowe would have been better cast to play Commodus than wimpy Joaquin Phoenix. But Hollywood will insist on making the worldly villain "less manly" than the straight-arrow hero.

Another reviewer here berates the performance of Dan Vadis as the hero in this movie, saying he "resembles a happy monkey half the time, smiling inappropriately or staring blankly..." But remember that Vadis is playing a slap-happy Christian, and doesn't that description fit a lot of the Christians you know?

Alan Steel's muscular and brutish portrayal of Commodus is probably the cinema's most accurate, even though this movie, no less than "Gladiator" and "Fall of the Roman Empire," pulls its punches when it comes to Commodus. The truly shocking, hair-raising accounts of his reign (found in Dio Cassius, Herodian, and the Historia Augusta) go far beyond anything Hollywood or Cinecitta have ever dared to put on the screen!

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