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Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)

Approved | | Action, Drama, History | 1954 (UK)
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In 1st century Rome, Christian slave Demetrius is sent to fight in the gladiatorial arena and Emperor Caligula seeks Jesus' robe for its supposedly magical powers.

Director:

Delmer Daves

Writers:

Philip Dunne, Lloyd C. Douglas (based on a character created by: in "The Robe")
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Victor Mature ... Demetrius
Susan Hayward ... Messalina
Michael Rennie ... Peter
Debra Paget ... Lucia
Anne Bancroft ... Paula
Jay Robinson ... Caligula
Barry Jones ... Claudius
William Marshall ... Glycon
Richard Egan ... Dardanius
Ernest Borgnine ... Strabo
Charles Evans ... Cassius Chaerea
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Storyline

The story picks up at the point where "The Robe (1953)" ends, following the martyrdom of Diana and Marcellus. Christ's robe is conveyed to Peter for safe-keeping, but the emperor Caligula wants it back to benefit from its powers. Marcellus' former slave Demetrius seeks to prevent this, and catches the eye of Messalina, wife to Caligula's uncle Claudius. Messalina tempts Demetrius, he winds up fighting in the arena, and wavers in his faith. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It begins where "The Robe" left off!

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1954 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of Demetrius See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$26,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The set of the Christian neighborhood in Rome has previously been used in The Robe (1953) (of which this film is the sequel) as the village of Cana. We can easily recognize the well with old broken columns. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie, Claudius presents Caligula a report from Pontius Pilate. When Caligula became emperor (37 AD), Pilate was already dismissed of his charge as Prefect of Judea (26-36 AD). See more »

Quotes

Claudius: Men do not kill what they despise - only what they fear.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Night at the Movies: The Gigantic World of Epics (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
An encompassing drama of what happened to "The Robe"
28 December 1999 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

The film opens with Emperor Caligula (Jay Robinson) calling for his guards to find him the robe to bring him eternal life… Caligula stakes his life on the loyalty of the Praetorian Guards… So if they can keep him alive at all, why not forever?

Peter (Michael Rennie) gave Demetrius of Corinth (Victor Mature) their master's robe to keep for him… As we all remember, Demetrius took the robe from the foot of the cross before Jesus died…

By order of Caligula, 20 pieces of gold were authorized to pay for information concerning the robe that Jesus wore to the cross… Defending Lucia (Debra Paget) from malicious attack of a Praetorian Decurion, Demetrius is caught and sentenced to train as gladiator in the Claudian school…

Being fully a Christian entails having a commitment: Demetrius, obviously, is condemned to death because he can't take a man's life… Puzzled by his religion, and fascinated by his magnificent physique, and wanting to find out if Demetrius will kill or not his opponent, Messalina asks to be put in the arena against the king of swordsmen the Nuban Glycon (William Marshall).

The dramatic moment of the film comes when Lucia (Debra Paget)—Demetrius' sweetheart—sneaks in and is attacked by Dardanius (Richard Egan) and other gladiators... His faith shaken, Demetrius makes several kills, renounces his god, and succumbs to Messalina's charms...

Susan Hayward looked gorgeous as the wicked Messalina… The part, however, was not developed... It might have been an ideal role for this beloved actress... This was Hayward's second movie with the radiant Debra Paget, who was still considered a promising starlet, but, again, they were never together in a scene...

Future Academy Award winners Ernest Borgnine and Anne Bancroft had small parts... Michael Rennie and Jay Robinson were excellent in their respective roles... Julie Newmeyer was one of the dancing girls, long before she became Julie Newmar and played Howard's rival in "The Marriage-Go-Round."

"Demetrius and the Gladiators" is a lively, efficient sequel to "The Robe," with emphasis less on religiosity than on the brutality of the arena…


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