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Action-packed look at the beginnings of the fall of the Roman Empire. Here is the glory, the greed and grandeur that was Rome. Here is the story of personal lust for power, and the shattering effects of that power's loss. Here is the tale of the plight of a people living on the brink of a political abyss.Written by
Filming the outdoor scenes proved very difficult due to the harsh winter of 1962-63. See more »
When Commodus and Livius are holding the torch during Marcus Aurelius' funeral pyre, their hands move further away from the flame between shots. See more »
We're in command now Livius, the throne is yours.
Gaius Mettelus Livius, the people are asking for you.
You would not find me very suitable, because my first official act would be to have you all crucified.
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The Paramount logo did not appear on American prints. See more »
"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."
In the year 180 A.D., the emperor Marcus Aurelius, who led his Roman legions against the Germanic tribes along the Danube frontier, has been at war for 17 years and lived under very difficult conditions
Now he invited every governor, every consul and every prince in the whole empire for one particular purpose All responded to his call coming from the deserts of Egypt, from the mountains of Armenia, from the forest of Gaul and the prairies of Spain
Marcus Aurelius greets them as friends, and tells them that in the whole world, only two small frontiers are still hostile to Rome One, here in the north which separates the Roman Empire from those who are called barbarians, the other, in the east of Persia Only on these two borders Rome is finding walls, palisades, forts and hatred But these are not the frontiers he wants He wants and needs human frontiers, the vision of a family of nations
For the great emperor time is short, and there is a decision which he can no longer delay He has sacrificed the love of his son as Commodus will never be his heir His wish is that Livius, the commander of the northern army, should succeed him, and he intends to present him to the leaders of the empire openly as his successor... He has hope that the position and responsibilities would make his son grow up as Commodus is interested only in games and gladiators...
Guiness' ailing Marcus Aurelius had hope that his daughter would not have a marriage without love And he knows better than anyone what a marriage without love can mean But his fears for the empire are reasonable The east is where the danger lies He must make an alliance that will show the whole world what value Rome place on her eastern frontier An alliance with Armenia
Boyd's weary Galius Livius saw suddenly his world has become strange He's not sure where he is He knows only the ways of war He would not know how to make allies out of the barbarians But if he has to choose between being Caesar's heir or Lucilla's love, he chooses her love
Loren's lovely Lucilla makes it hard for her father to take leave of this life She knows that her father loves her, but how could her life mean anything without love? It is out of love that she dared so much
Plummer's slimy Commodus pushes the eastern provinces to rebellion in smashing and destroying everything his father did He makes it clear to his sister that he refused to give her anymore chances to prop against him
Mason's genteel Timonides has been a slave, but he's not accustomed to pain He is a philosopher and he is weak
Ferrer's treacherous Cleander knows that Caesar will accept fruit from him He also knows that his blade carries a deadly poison
Quayle's gladiator Verulus snores, in the moment of truth, a deep family secret
Sharif's king Sohamus hopes for a lovely part of Rome
With a cast of thousands, massive battle sequences, exciting chariot races, brutal hand to hand combat, gorgeous scenery, impressive set design, Anthony Mann's motion picture is a long ride of epic proportions not designed only to entertain but to expose how gold and corruption can undermine the biggest empire the world has ever known
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