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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
The glory and grandeur that was Rome 1780 years ago are recreated as never before. All of that Rome - its eloquent stores, its swarming multitudes, its exotic scenes, the very noise of the traffic in the streets - parades before you. Assailed on all sides by barbarian hordes, and Oriental armies, Rome, like an overripe fruit, was ready to fall. 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 »
How does an empire die? Does it collapse in one terrible moment? No. No! But there comes a time when its people no longer believe in it. Then, then does an empire begin to die. Fathers of Rome, I have lived under four great emperors: Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus, Marcus Aurelius. And during all those years our empire grew. Changed. The law of life is grow or die. And you, the senators, are the heart of Rome. It is through you that the people speak. Speak up! Let the world hear you! Let the world ...
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The Paramount logo did not appear on American prints. See more »
The film was cut a number of times, from 187 minutes to 185 to 165 to 158. The very first scene to go was one between Commodus and Livius in the middle of their drinking session on arriving at the German fort. As they go upstairs to pick out two of the hostage German women, Commodus explains that he is on the horns of not a dilemma by a trilemma - if there are gods, they have decided what he will do so it doesn't matter whether he is good or bad; if there are no gods, then it simply doesn't matter if he leads a good or a bad life; and if he himself is a god, then he gets to decide what is good or bad. That is why, if you listen carefully, you can hear the gods laughing... The omission of this scene explains that incredibly abrupt cut from them going upstairs to Commodus trying to force a drink on the German girl. There are a number of cuts in the other versions, most notably the second scene with Marcus Aurelius and Lucilla; most of Timonides' big speech to the Senate about accepting the barbarians into the Empire; and the scene where Livius tries to appeal to the Senate after failing to sway Commodus in the temple only for them to turn against him and arrest him. In some prints, the first scene after the intermission, of Lucilla leaving Marcus Aurelius' meditations in the temple for safekeeping is also dropped. Sadly, the only version that was ever released uncut was the Super 8mm feature release back in the early 1990s, which was taken from the original 16mm neg that was struck before any of the cuts were made but which was prohibitively expensive. See more »
I saw this movie en 1964 when I was 19 years old and enjoyed every minute of it, I have seen it again and still enjoy it. The cast is outstanding, a movie of the league of Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments. Pity that no more movies like that are made nowadays.
I still remember some of the words by Commodus (after becoming Caesar) "let it be heard in the four quarters of the Empire that I Commodus, now Caesar, proclaim Gaius Metelus Livius Pro Consul of the Roman Empire, Commander in Chief of all the Roman armies, second only to Caesar himself"
An epic indeed.
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