5 user 4 critic

Messalina (1960)

Messalina Venere imperatrice (original title)
Scheming Messalina marries Roman Emperor Claudius but goes too far with a gladiator.



(screenplay), (story) | 6 more credits »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two bumbling dance teachers help an awkward inventor sell his new invention and facilitate his romance with a beautiful socialite.

Director: Malcolm St. Clair
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Trudy Marshall
Great Guns (1941)
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Laurel and Hardy join the army. They are hardly soldiers, but they believe their employer will need them now he's drafted.

Director: Monty Banks
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Sheila Ryan
Swiss Miss (1938)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Stanley and Oliver are mousetrap salesmen hoping to strike it rich in Switzerland, but get swindled out of all their money by a cheesemaker. While working off their hotel debt, Oliver falls... See full summary »

Directors: John G. Blystone, Hal Roach
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Grete Natzler
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

The story of Messalina's rise to power amid her relationship with Emperor Claudius.

Director: Bruno Corbucci
Stars: Anneka Di Lorenzo, Vittorio Caprioli, Giancarlo Prete
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Oliver's in trouble with his wife after missing a payment on their furniture, having given the money to Stanley, who used it instead to pay Mrs. Hardy for his room and board. While doing ... See full summary »

Director: James W. Horne
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Daphne Pollard
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Although they are successful fishmongers, Stan convinces Ollie that they should become fishermen too - but making a boat seaworthy is not an easy task.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Billy Gilbert
Zorro I (1975)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the New World, a new Spanish governor finds the province of Nueva Aragón under the iron fist of the corrupt Colonel Huerta and vows to bring justice under the guise of a masked avenger.

Director: Duccio Tessari
Stars: Alain Delon, Stanley Baker, Ottavia Piccolo
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A story, set in Rome of 44 A.D., concerning the amorous and political intrigues of the evil Empress Messalina, the wife of the Roman Emperor Claudius, and her eventual hounding to death.

Director: Carmine Gallone
Stars: María Félix, Georges Marchal, Memo Benassi
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

The seductive Messalina (Betty Roland) will stop at nothing to become the most powerful woman in Rome. Gaining the attention of the Emperor Caligula (Gino Turini), she soon finds herself at... See full summary »

Directors: Bruno Mattei, Antonio Passalia, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Vladimir Brajovic, Betty Roland, Françoise Blanchard
Apache (1954)
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Refusing to let himself be re-settled on a Florida reservation, Massai, an Apache warrior, escapes his captors and returns to his homeland to become a peaceful farmer.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Several ghosts in an ancient palazzo in Rome join together to save their home from destruction. Mastrianni plays several parts and is hilarious. The other actors are great too.

Director: Antonio Pietrangeli
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Belinda Lee, Sandra Milo
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the midst of World War II, the story of the affair of a young woman, married to a man bound to a wheelchair, with a desertor from the Italian army, intertwines with that of the grab of ... See full summary »

Director: Florestano Vancini
Stars: Belinda Lee, Gabriele Ferzetti, Enrico Maria Salerno


Cast overview, first billed only:
... Messalina / Valeria
Spiros Focás ... Lucio Massimo
Carlo Giustini ... Lusio Geta (as Carlo Justini)
... Aulo Celso (as Gian Carlo Sbragia)
Giulio Donnini ... Narciso
... Caio Silio
... Silvia (as Arianna Galli)
Marcello Giorda ... Claudio
Mino Doro ... Suplicio
... Courtisan Lover of Aulo Ceso
Aroldo Tieri ... Pirgo Pollinice
... Marcello
Lia Angeleri ... Vipidia
Vittorio Congia ... Ortotrago
... Tortured Servant of Messalina (as Paola Gargeloni)


Scheming Messalina marries Roman Emperor Claudius but goes too far with a gladiator.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 March 1960 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Messalina  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Featured in Cinema: Alguns Cortes - Censura III (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

MESSALINA, IMPERIAL VENUS (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1960) ***
20 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

To begin with, years ago I had watched a 1951 film (with Luis Bunuel alumni Maria Felix and Georges Marchal, the latter also a Cottafavi regular) about the same notorious historical figure – for the record, she would be played in the interim by Susan Hayward in DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS (1954). I would love to be able to re-acquaint myself with that earlier version (incidentally, I still recall the protagonist's hysterical come-uppance) also for the sake of comparison with this one. By the way, the film under review makes for an indirect addition to my stalled Josef von Sternberg retrospective, given that it deals with the era of the Roman Emperor Claudius (though he is a rather ineffectual presence here). While I did manage to acquire a much-superior copy to the one I already owned in time for the Epic Easter marathon I have embarked upon all through this month, my viewing of it still did not occur under the most congenial of circumstances – as the English-dubbing left a lot to be desired!

The short-lived Belinda Lee is ideally-cast in the title role: Cecil B. De Mille had described Cleopatra – actually dealt with by Cottafavi in his subsequent effort LEGIONS OF THE NILE, released the same year and which I have just checked out – as "the wickedest woman of all time", but this epithet would serve this famous harlot ruler even better! Ordained to be a Vestal Virgin, she still manages to seduce her way to the throne (albeit ridding herself of any conquest/associate once his purpose is fulfilled) and even causes discord among childhood pals! The male lead, then, is Spiros Focas – why the role was not given to an Italian actor is a mystery, but he acquits himself quite well under the circumstances. The hero falls for Messalina before her ascent to power, which happens while the young officer is off to war; later, he even commits atrocities in her name – before being brought back to his senses as much by the death of a Senator friend as the love of a Christian girl played by a young Evelyn Stewart (still billed under her Italian birthname).

The rest of the cast includes: Giulio Donnini, a minor genre fixture as virtually the only man not to fall under Messalina's spell and, in fact, is the one to deal her the deadly blow; Arturo Dominici, who bafflingly exchanges loyalties along the way and even becomes Emperor prematurely (after an attempt on Claudius' life is thwarted but, ingeniously, he still sends news to Rome of its success!); and a pre-stardom Giuliano Gemma in a brief role early on as a would-be assassin, subsequently lover/victim, of Messalina's – his head being disdainfully presented on a plate to her befuddled enemies (with this in mind and in view of the vibrant colors on display here, one regrets the fact that Cottafavi steered clear of the horror genre throughout his career)!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Horror and Thriller Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular horror and thriller movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed