6.9/10
8,277
82 user 31 critic

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 16 October 1966 (USA)
Trailer
1:18 | Trailer
A wily slave must unite a virgin courtesan and his young smitten master to earn his freedom.

Director:

Richard Lester

Writers:

Melvin Frank (screenplay), Michael Pertwee (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zero Mostel ... Pseudolus
Phil Silvers ... Marcus Lycus
Buster Keaton ... Erronius
Michael Crawford ... Hero
Jack Gilford ... Hysterium
Annette Andre ... Philia
Michael Hordern ... Senex
Leon Greene ... Captain Miles Gloriosus
Roy Kinnear ... Gladiator Instructor
Alfie Bass ... Gatekeeper
John Bluthal ... Roman Chief Guard
Pamela Brown ... High Priestess
Patricia Jessel ... Domina
Beatrix Lehmann ... Domina's Mother
Frank Thornton ... Roman Sentry
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Storyline

Pseudolus (Zero Mostel) is the laziest slave in Rome, and has one wish, to purchase his freedom. When his master and mistress leave for the day, he finds out that the young master has fallen in love with a virgin in the house of Marcus Lycus (Phil Silvers), a slave dealer specializing in beautiful women. Pseudolus concocts a deal in which he will be freed if he can procure the girl for young Hero (Michael Crawford). Of course, it can't be that simple as everything begins to go wrong. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Something for Everyone!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The names of some of the characters, such as Pseudolus and Miles Gloriosus, are actually the titles of ancient Roman plays by Titus Maccius Plautus who was known for his comedies at the turn of the second century B.C. See more »

Goofs

The supposedly stone bier upon which Hysterium (disguised as Philia) is lying, jiggles when Miles Gloriosus leans on it. See more »

Quotes

Philia: When I heard the revellers, I thought my captain had come.
Pseudolus: He has, but he's not ready yet. Just wait in there. Wait. Wait! Wait! Thats what virgins are supposed to do best.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits are a sequence of animated Roman frescoes. At the end of the credits, all the frescoes appear together as a gallery with the words "THE END" as a centerpiece. See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Lovely
Written by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Annette Andre and Michael Crawford
See more »

User Reviews

A Half-Full Glass
3 September 1999 | by Eric-62-2See all my reviews

"Forum" is one film adaptation of a Broadway musical that is a half-glass of water. On the half-full side we get to see Zero Mostel and Jack Gilford reprising their Broadway roles, and they're joined by a fine supporting cast including Phil Silvers as Lycus (ironically, he would star as Pseudolus in the 1972 Broadway revival) and Buster Keaton in his last film. But even though the film delivers the laughs and opens itself up well from its stage origins (let's face it. That climactic chase in the Broadway version is wonderful but it just wouldn't work on film at all). But what I can't forgive is how nearly three-quarters of Sondheim's outstanding score (his best I think) has been jettisoned to give us a too short running time of barely an hour and a half. And on top of that, why do *both* of Milos Gloriosus's numbers get kept, while Mostel's two best numbers from Broadway, "Pretty Little Picture" and "Free" (which is supposed to be the heart of the show) are gone (along with Gilford's "I'm Calm")? That, I do not understand at all. It's gotten to a point where I purposefully stop the film after Psuedolus falls out of the tree so I can then play Mostel's version of "Free" from the Broadway cast CD (which is where it would have belonged in the film). And it's too bad this wasn't a roadshow movie with an intermission because Mostel's funny Act One closer would have worked great there as well.

All in all it's worth having, but be prepared for your mood to shift from seeing the film as a half-full glass or a half-empty one.


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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum See more »

Filming Locations:

Madrid, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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