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Messalina (1960)

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


Vittorio Cottafavi


Ennio De Concini (screenplay), Ennio De Concini (story) | 6 more credits »


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


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

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Release Date:

12 March 1960 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Messalina See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

The infamous Roman empress is portrayed perhaps somewhat more sympathetically than her reputation warrants
11 April 2003 | by ccmiller1492See all my reviews

In this opulent spectacle the corruption that was at the heart of the Roman Empire is embodied by the infamous empress Messalina, portrayed by Belinda Lee with surprising range from a vulnerable Vestal to the power mad, sexually insatiable, callous mudereress she supposedly became. If anything, the film underplays her infamy, though she is certainly evil enough.

In a memorable scene, a young would-be assassin (Giuliano Gemma) is lured into her bed only to be beheaded before fully awake the following morning. Messalina triumphantly parades into the palace quarters of the desperate plotters bearing the gift of his severed head. Spiros Focas is fine as the naif and devoted centurion who fell in love with her before the rot set in. As mounting evidence of her treachery and licentiousness builds, the enamored lover struggles to break free of her amorous toils and to eventually oppose her reign. Although present and participating in her last violent moments, he at last admits the necessity of her death.

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