I, Claudius (1937)

The life and times of the Roman emperor Claudius (10 B.C.-A.D. 54).

Writer:

Robert Graves (book)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Charles Laughton ... Claudius
Merle Oberon ... Messalina
Emlyn Williams ... Caligula
Flora Robson ... Livia
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Allan Aynesworth Allan Aynesworth ... Asiatacus, Senator (as Alan Aynesworth)
John Clements John Clements ... Valente
Leonora Corbett Leonora Corbett ... Caesonia
Roy Emerton Roy Emerton ... Octavius
Gina Evans Gina Evans ... Vestal Virgin
Frank Forbes-Robertson Frank Forbes-Robertson ... Lupus, captain of the guard
Basil Gill ... Xenophon, Claudius' doctor
Morland Graham Morland Graham ... Halotus, master of Livia's household
Everley Gregg Everley Gregg ... Domita, Messalina's mother
Lyn Harding ... Vespasian
Allan Jeayes Allan Jeayes ... Musa, the emperor's physician
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Storyline

The life and times of the Roman emperor Claudius (10 B.C.-A.D. 54).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Also Known As:

Io, Claudio See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Flora Robson was in her 30's when she was making this film playing Lady Livia, an 80 year old woman. See more »

Goofs

According to "The Epic that Never Was", Director Josef von Sternberg asked the Costume Designer John Armstrong to prepare a briefing on the Vestal Virgins for him. Armstrong reported the factual details on the Virgins, that there were about six of them and that they dressed modestly. Von Sternberg told him that would not do for his picture, and instructed him to prepare sixty extras to be Vestal Virgins, in what appear to be bikinis, and Armstrong also provided each a semi-transparent circular veil to cover themselves. The resulting scene is quite striking and beautiful and fits in well with the film's intended "epic" proportions. But it is historically inaccurate, by order of the director. See more »

Quotes

Claudius: It's good to see y-you're better, Caesar.
Caligula: I haven't been ill. I'm simply undergoing a change. It's the most momentous transformation that any human being has ever achieved. A prophecy is about to be fulfilled. I am being - reborn.
Claudius: I hope your condition is not t-t-too painful.
Caligula: It is painful to be one's own mother. Well, idiot, can't you see any change in me?
Claudius: I was blind not to see it instantly. You're no longer human. May I be the first to worship you, as a g-g-g-god?
Caligula: It took you a long time to ...
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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hamlet (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Some rushes of the film that never happened, plus interviews
27 May 2013 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

I saw this documentary on the aborted I, Claudius (The Epic that Never Was) a long time ago and just watched it again. Much has been said on IMDb about the obvious ego of Herr von Sternberg and I agree, he didn't seem well liked, and he wasn't happy with how the production was going. I also agree that Merle Oberon's accident was used as an excuse to close down the production.

I do disagree with one thing. One of the problems, supposedly, was that Charles Laughton was having difficulty with the part. Despite some disbelief on this board, that is true. He used to put his head in the lap of his wife, Elsa Lanchester, and sob that he couldn't get it. And, as someone whose father was connected with the production states, there is footage of Laughton having temper tantrums. I'm sure that was out of frustration.

Nevertheless, I'm sure that Laughton would have gotten the essence of the role, and some of his Claudius on film is brilliant. There are some wonderful scenes in this documentary with him, Flora Robson, and Emlyn Williams.

Dirk Bogarde narrates this documentary, which includes interviews with the aforementioned von Sternberg, Emlyn Williams, Merle Oberon, Robert Graves, who wrote I, Claudius, and Flora Robson. The liveliest interview came from Williams, who was hilarious. He reports that von Sternberg told him that his character, Caligula, was a little bit of a "sissy." "I was happy to hear that," he said, "because I'd seen my costumes - two hostess gowns and a couple of cocktail numbers with false fringe." As far as I'm concerned, his interview made the whole documentary worth it.


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