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Androcles and the Lion (1952)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy | 9 January 1953 (USA)
Story of a Christian in ancient Rome who befriends a lion.

Directors:

Chester Erskine, Nicholas Ray (uncredited)

Writers:

Chester Erskine (screen adaptation), Ken Englund (screen adaptation)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Jean Simmons ... Lavinia
Victor Mature ... Captain
Alan Young ... Androcles
Robert Newton ... Ferrovius
Maurice Evans ... Emperor Antoninus (Caesar)
Elsa Lanchester ... Megaera
Reginald Gardiner ... Lentulus
Gene Lockhart ... Menagerie Keeper
Alan Mowbray ... Editor of Gladiators
Noel Willman ... Spintho
John Hoyt ... Cato
Jim Backus ... Centurion
Lowell Gilmore ... Metellus
Woody Strode ... The Lion
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Storyline

Androcles is a Christian who follows that religion's teachings even as they apply to the treatment of animals. Seeing a lion in pain, he removes a huge thorn from the beast's paw, creating a friend for life. Androcles and a number of other Christians are evenutally arrested and condemned to death in the arena. They are to die by being eaten by lions. Is it too much to hope that one of the lions may have a paw that has healed recently and might remember who helped heal it? Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gasp at its SPECTACLE! Glow to its ROMANCE! Howl at its LAUGHS! (original print ad) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 January 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bernard Shaw's Androcles and the Lion See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

When shooting began, James Donald was playing the Captain, but when production was suspended for 6 months in 1951, he was forced to leave because of scheduling conflicts and Victor Mature replaced him. See more »

Goofs

The Christians sing "Onward, Christian Soldiers" - a hymn published in 1871. See more »

Quotes

Androcles: Let him go, brother. Our religion forbids you to strike him.
Ferrovius: On the contrary, it commands me to strike him. How could he turn the other cheek if he's not first struck on one cheek?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: ROME 161 A.D. IN THE REGION OF THE EMPEROR ANTONINUS See more »

Connections

Features The Last Days of Pompeii (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Onward, Christian Soldiers
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Words by Sabine Baring-Gould
sung by the marching Christian martyrs
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Probably terrible, but, I have to admit, I enjoyed it for its weirdness
19 June 2012 | by zetesSee all my reviews

An adaptation of a lesser George Bernard Shaw play. It supposedly doesn't "get" the original play, at least according to some other reviews I perused. I'm not even sure what the point of it all was (perhaps that, throughout all times, Christians have been annoyingly self-righteous, but at least during Roman days, you could feed them to lions), and it's a pretty big mess. However, I have to admit, almost grudgingly, that I sort of enjoyed it, perhaps just because of its weirdness. Alan Young plays Androcles, a comedic character with a hen-pecking wife (Elsa Lanchester, really playing it up - I have to wonder why they didn't have her carry a rolling pin). Because of his apparent friendship with a lion (from whose paw, of course, he pulled a thorn), people accuse him of witchcraft, and he is suggested to the Caesar (Maurice Evans) as a potential sacrifice. Also among those sacrifices are Jean Simmons, a beautiful young Christian, and Robert Newton, a pious warrior. Young is amusing in his way, and Evans is quite amusing, but the real reason to watch this film are for Simmons and Newton, both of whom are wonderful. Victor Mature is the least successful member of the cast, playing an army captain who falls for Simmons. He looks as if he's about to have a stroke most of the time. Alan Young is perhaps most famous for playing Wilbur on Mr. Ed, but to my generation he's even better known as the voice of Scrooge McDuck in stuff like Mickey's Christmas Carol and, of course, DuckTales. He's in his 90s nowadays and is still doing Scrooge McDuck.


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