The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) - News Poster


Coming This Summer! Cinema Retro's Roadshow Epics Of The '60S!

  • CinemaRetro
Cinema Retro proudly announces its annual Movie Classics special edition for 2018: Roadshow Epics of the '60s! This is an 80-page special that provides in-depth coverage of the making of five memorable epic films:

Mutiny on the Bounty

Lawrence of Arabia

The Fall of the Roman Empire

The Greatest Story Ever Told


The behind-the-scenes struggles to bring these monumental productions to the screen often equaled the events depicted in the screenplays. Indeed, all but Lawrence of Arabia proved to be boxoffice failures (or disasters). However, Cinema Retro provides compelling evidence that all of them were superbly filmed and provided many grand, memorable moments. This special edition provides fascinating insights into the often seemingly insurmountable challenges directors, writers, producers and actors had to overcome in order to bring the films to completion. These are the kind of movies we think of when we hear it said "They don't make 'em like that anymore!
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Krakatoa East of Java

‘Things Blowing Up Good’ has been surefire entertainment since the beginning of cinema, but this ill-fated Cinerama extravaganza about the biggest explosion in recorded human history limps along despite some pretty darned impressive volcanic effects. It’s quite an entertaining spectacle, with various good performers in three soap opera plots, either overacting or loitering about with nothing to do. And don’t forget the from-left-field musical striptease.

Krakatoa East of Java


Kl Studio Classics

1969 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 131 min. / Street Date September 12, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Maximilian Schell, Diane Baker, Brian Keith, Barbara Werle, Sal Mineo, Rossano Brazzi, John Leyton, J.D. Cannon, Jacqueline (Jacqui) Chan, Victoria Young, Marc Lawrence, Geoffrey Holder, Niall MacGinnis, Sumi Haru.

Cinematography: Manuel Berenguer

Film Editors: Walter Hannemann, Warren Low, Maurice Rootes

Production Design: Eugèné Lourié

Costumes: Laure Lourié

Special Effects: Eugèné Lourié, Alex Weldon, Francisco Prósper

Original Music: Frank De Vol

Written by Clifford Newton Gould,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Madrid Has a Cinematic Shooting Past

Since the late 1950s countless large and sometimes legendary Hollywood films have been shot in or near Madrid.

Samuel Bronston-produced blockbusters, Anthony Mann’s “The Fall of the Roman Empire” and Nicholas Ray’s “55 Days at Peking” partially shot near crag-strewn La Pedriza, 30 miles north of Madrid. Charlton Heston’s “El Cid” lensed in the castle of Manzanares El Real.

In 1960, Stanley Kubrick located “Spartacus” in Alcalá de Henares, Colmenar Viejo and Navacerrada, which also hosted Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Conan the Barbarian” in 1982.


Film Madrid Energizes Shooting Support

In 1964, the medieval square of Chinchón, southeast of Madrid, hosted Henry Hathaway’s John Wayne-starrer “Circus World,” which also turned Madrid’s El Paseo de Coches in El Retiro Park into Paris’ Champs Elysées.

Denise O’Dell, one of Hollywood’s favorite Spain-based producers, who ran shingle Kanzaman before launching Babieka, co-produced 2006’s “Goya’s Ghosts”: Shoots included
See full article at Variety - Film News »

On this day: False Maria, Party Monster, and the French New Wave

On this day in history as it relates to showbiz... 

Stephen Boyd, Sophia Loren, and Alec Guinness in The Fall Of The Roman Empire (1964)

190 BC Marucs Arelius, the Emperor of Rome, dies. Was he assassinated? That's the suspicion in most Hollywood accounts. He's been played by Alec Guiness (The Fall of the Roman Empire) and Richard Harris (Gladiator)

1906 Character actor of big and small screen Michael O'Shea, who later married Virginia Mayo, is born...
See full article at FilmExperience »


Julie Andrews, Max von Sydow and Richard Harris bring James Michener's true saga to life -- but it's the story of the destruction of paradise. A huge success just the same, producer Walter Mirisch's film testifies to the skill with which he brought together big talent for a show that doesn't compromise with a happy-happy historical revision. Hawaii Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1966 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 161 min. / Ship Date January 19, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Julie Andrews, Max von Sydow, Richard Harris, Gene Hackman, Carroll O'Connor, Jocelyne Lagarde, Manu Tupou, Ted Nobriga, Elizabeth Logue. Cinematography Russell Harlan Production Designer Cary Odell Art Direction James W. Sullivan Film Editor Stuart Gilmore Original Music Elmer Bernstein Written by Dalton Trumbo, Daniel Taradash from the novel by James Michener Produced by Walter Mirisch Directed by George Roy Hill

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Well, fans of James Michener that missed the
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Omar Sharif Remembered: From Egypt to Hollywood, a Chameleon of the Screen

Omar Sharif Remembered: From Egypt to Hollywood, a Chameleon of the Screen
There is a shot in “Doctor Zhivago” in which Omar Sharif’s face is almost entirely veiled in shadow, so that all we see are his eyes, focused on the woman who will soon become his lover. For all the visual sweep of David Lean’s magnificently mushy 1965 romance, it contains few images as telling or revealing as this one: Here were eyes for the audience to lose itself in, but also to study closely. The film historian and professor Constantine Santas summed it up in his appreciative 2011 study of Lean’s epics, when he wrote that Sharif’s Zhivago “is frequently described as ‘passive,’ his eyes reflecting the reality he sees in reaction shots; his eyes then become the mirror of reality we ourselves see.”

It’s a conceit that could only work, of course, if your leading man had the eyes to do it justice. And Lean, the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Omar Sharif Dead At Age 83; Starred In "Lawrence Of Arabia" And "Doctor Zhivago"

  • CinemaRetro
Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor who broke through barriers to become a major international star, has died in Cairo from a heart attack at age 83. In recent months, he had been battling the onset of Alzheimer's Disease. Sharif and Peter O'Toole were virtual unknowns when they were cast as the leads by director David Lean in his 1962 masterpiece "Lawrence of Arabia". Both received Oscar nominations for the film and went on to become two of the biggest stars to emerge in the 1960s. Sharif reunited with Lean for another blockbuster, the 1965 production of "Doctor Zhivago" in which Sharif played the title role. He also co-starred with Barbra Streisand in her Oscar-winning 1968 film "Funny Girl" and appeared with her in the 1975 sequel "Funny Lady". Other prominent films Sharif appeared in during the 1960s include Samuel Bronston's ill-fated but underrated "The Fall of the Roman Empire", "Behold a Pale Horse", the
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Omar Sharif, 'Lawrence of Arabia' Actor, Dead at 83

Omar Sharif, 'Lawrence of Arabia' Actor, Dead at 83
Omar Sharif, the Egyptian-born actor known for his classic roles in Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago, passed away Friday in a Cairo, Egypt hospital after suffering a heart attack. Both the actor's agent Steve Kenis and the head of Egypt's Theatrical Arts Guild Ashraf Zaki confirmed his passing;  Sharif was 83. It was recently revealed that the Golden Globe-winning actor was also suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Variety reports.

After beginning his career as a major star in Middle Eastern cinema, Sharif was cast to play Sherif Ali in 1962's epic Lawrence of Arabia,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Daily | Omar Sharif, 1932 – 2015

"Omar Sharif, best known for his roles in classic films Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, has died aged 83," reports the BBC. "Egypt-born Sharif won two Golden Globe awards and an Oscar nomination for his role as Sherif Ali in David Lean's 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia. He won a further Golden Globe three years later for Doctor Zhivago." He also appeared in The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) and Genghis Khan (1965), "though his most famous non-Lean film may be the 1968 musical Funny Girl, which teamed him with Barbara Streisand," notes the BFI. We're collecting remembrances. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Daily | Omar Sharif, 1932 – 2015

"Omar Sharif, best known for his roles in classic films Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, has died aged 83," reports the BBC. "Egypt-born Sharif won two Golden Globe awards and an Oscar nomination for his role as Sherif Ali in David Lean's 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia. He won a further Golden Globe three years later for Doctor Zhivago." He also appeared in The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) and Genghis Khan (1965), "though his most famous non-Lean film may be the 1968 musical Funny Girl, which teamed him with Barbara Streisand," notes the BFI. We're collecting remembrances. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

R.I.P. Omar Sharif

Legendary Egyptian-born, British trained actor Omar Sharif has died at the age of 83.

Though studying maths and physics at University, and working in the family business of precious woods, Sharif felt the lure of performing and ended up appearing in more than twenty productions in Egypt from 1953.

His big international break came in 1962 when he joined David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and scored both a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination for his work as Sherif Ali Ben El Kharish. He went on to roles in various major movies including "Doctor Zhivago," "Funny Girl," "Behold a Pale Horse," "Che!," "Top Secret," "Hidalgo," "The Fall of the Roman Empire ," "The Pink Panther Strikes Again," "The Mysterious Island," "The Last Valley," "The Baltimore Bullet," "Mayerling," "The Night of the Generals," "Genghis Khan," "Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna," "One Night with the King " and "Monsieur Ibrahim".

Surprisingly he also became famous
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Every Best Picture Oscar Winner, Ranked From Worst to Best

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."

The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later.
See full article at Moviefone »

James Bond voice actor Robert Rietti dies, aged 92

Voice actor Robert Rietti has died, aged 92.

Rietti was known for lending his voice to James Bond villains when filmmakers wanted to re-record lines.

According to The Times, Rietti died on April 3.

Among the villains he dubbed were Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) in 1965's Thunderball and Ernst Stavro Blofeld (John Hollis) in 1981's For Your Eyes Only.

"In nearly every Bond picture, there's been a foreign villain, and in almost every case, they've used my voice," Rietti once said.

Throughout his career, he also voiced characters in The Guns of Navarone (1961), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Barbarella (1968), Frenzy (1972), Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Trail of the Pink Panther (1982).
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

'Art and the theory of art': "The Man from Laramie" and the Anthony Mann Western

  • MUBI
Anthony Mann

As much as any other filmmaker who found a niche in a given genre, in the 10 Westerns Anthony Mann directed from 1950 to 1958 he carved out a place in film history as one who not only reveled in the conventions of that particular form, but also as one who imbued in it a distinct aesthetic and narrative approach. In doing so, Mann created Westerns that were simultaneously about the making of the West as a historical phenomenon, as well as about the making of its own developing cinematic genus. At the same time, he also established the traits that would define his auteur status, formal devices that lend his work the qualities of a director who enjoyed, understood, and readily exploited and manipulated a type of film's essential features.

Though he made several fine pictures outside the Western, Mann as an American auteur is most notably recognized for his work in this field,
See full article at MUBI »

"The Fall Of The Roman Empire" Rare Big Screen Showing, Montreal December 7

  • CinemaRetro

On December 7 there will be a rare big screen showing of producer Samuel Bronston's 1964 epic "The Fall of the Roman Empire" starring Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness and Christopher Plummer. The film's failure ended Bronston's career but it remains an impressive, thinking-man's spectacle. The movie will be shown at Concordia University and will be presented in Ib Tech!  For details click here

(Thanks to reader King-Wei Chu for the head's up!)  
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Trueba reveals details of Penelope Cruz film

  • ScreenDaily
Trueba reveals details of Penelope Cruz film
Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba has revealed further details of The Queen Of Spain (La Reina De Espana), the new comedy drama he is planning to make with Spanish star and fellow Oscar winner Penelope Cruz.

The film is a follow-up to The Girl Of Your Dreams (2000), the Goya-award winning feature about a Spanish film crew shooting a film at Ufa Studios in late 1930s Nazi-era Berlin.

The other stars of the original film, among them Jorge Sanz and Santiago Segura, have also agreed to appear in the film and there is now a completed script.

Trueba talked about the project when giving the Binger/Screen International interview at the Holland Film Meeting in Utrecht on Friday evening.

The new film is set in the Franco-era Spain of the 1950s - as big American film companies begin to come to the country to shoot runaway productions like El Cid and The Fall Of The Roman Empire.

See full article at ScreenDaily »

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Gladiator

Universal Pictures

During the 1950s and 60s the historical epic was something of a staple of Hollywood’s output – from Ben-Hur to The Fall of the Roman Empire, sword and sandals tales on a huge scale were incredibly popular, guaranteed to draw huge crowds into the cinemas.

By the late 1990s, however, this was long a thing of the past. Studios were reluctant to pour the required millions into such lavish productions for fear that the public no longer wanted to see such movies, and for the most part they were right. Then Ridley Scott came along – collaborating with writers and producers David Franzoni and Douglas Wick, they pitched the idea of Gladiator to Universal Pictures who gave the movie the green light even before a script had been completed. It was a bold move, especially considering that the script would be under constant rewrites throughout the lengthy production.

See full article at Obsessed with Film »

New on Video: ‘Men in War’

Men in War

Written by Philip Yordan

Directed by Anthony Mann

USA, 1957

Director Anthony Mann was a specialist at genre filmmaking. From early crime dramas like T-Men and Raw Deal, to historical epics like El Cid and The Fall of the Roman Empire, he seemed to have a knack for working within — and working with — the conventions of a given generic formula. His Westerns, especially, are among the best that that particular type of movie has to offer. And when he set his sights on the war film, his natural aptitude for genre would be as prominent as it was anywhere. Men in War, from 1957, his second war film of the decade (released two years after Strategic Air Command), contains much of what makes Mann a distinct filmmaker, and reveals much of what makes the war film its own unique form of motion picture.

Set in Korea, 1950, Men in War
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Special Features - Spartacus: Gods of the Small Screen

Paul Risker looks at Starz's Spartacus and its place amongst the historical epics of the big and small screen...

By the time Steven S. DeKnight brought his vision of Spartacus: Blood and Sand to the small screen in January of 2010, the story of Spartacus’ revolt against the might of the Roman Empire and its legendary war machine had both been told and re-imagined.

The story was told none so famously as in Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus (1960), and re-imagined forty years later in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. To look beyond these two filmmakers, the story of Spartacus’ uprising and his part in the Third Servile War against the Republic has been an influential force on storytellers, spanning literature, film and television. In this latest incarnation DeKnight offers his take on this legendary, yet ambiguous figure. If the list of stories available to storytellers comprises a short list, then DeKnight was treading
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Which film was the best box-office flop?

Readers answer other readers' questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific concepts

What is the most critically acclaimed film that was a box-office disaster on release?

The Fall of the Roman Empire, directed by Anthony Mann in 1964, is frequently cited as being the most intelligently written, the most strongly cast, and most capably acted of all the movies in the sword-and-sandal genre that was so fashionable in Hollywood in the 1960s. Yet it lost a then-record $14.25m at the box office, at a time when studios were not able to recoup some of those losses by video or DVD sales.

Since 1964, and allowing for inflation, only a dozen films have lost more money, and given that they include such turkeys as Heaven's Gate and The Adventures of Pluto Nash, it is safe to say that none of them are in the same league as Mann's
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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