293 user 129 critic

Caligula (1979)

Caligola (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, History | 15 February 1980 (USA)
Details the graphic and shocking, yet undeniably tragic story of Rome's most infamous Caesar, Gaius Germanicus Caligula.


, (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


(adapted from an original screenplay by)
848 ( 52)

On Disc

at Amazon

2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Caligula
... Drusilla
Guido Mannari ... Macro
... Nerva
... Tiberius
Giancarlo Badessi ... Claudius
Bruno Brive ... Gemellus
Adriana Asti ... Ennia
... Charicles
... Chaerea
... Longinus
... Livia (as Mirella Dangelo)
... Caesonia
Rick Parets ... Mnester (as Richard Parets)
Paula Mitchell ... Subura Singer


The rise and fall of the notorious Roman Emperor Caligula, showing the violent methods that he employs to gain the throne, and the subsequent insanity of his reign - he gives his horse political office and humiliates and executes anyone who even slightly displeases him. He also sleeps with his sister, organises elaborate orgies and embarks on a fruitless invasion of Britain before meeting an appropriate end. There are various versions of the film, ranging from the heavily truncated 90-minute version to the legendary 160-minute hardcore version which leaves nothing to the imagination (though the hardcore scenes were inserted later and do not involve the main cast members). Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The most controversial film of the 20th century is now the most controversial film of the 21st century. See more »


Drama | History


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

15 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caligula  »


Box Office


$17,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,669, 19 September 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (R-rated) | (recut) | (re-release) | (original)

Sound Mix:

(original release)



Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


After seeing the film for the first time, Malcolm McDowell said "I felt like a woman after she's been raped". He later appeared on chat shows on UK TV, warning people not to go see the film. See more »


The credits say "Cast in Order of Appearence," but due to the heavy editing after the "director's cut", they are completely wrong in subsequent versions. Some characters credited in the beginning appear around the end, and vice versa. For example, Proculus is introduced early in the film, yet he is the last billed. See more »


[first lines]
Caligula: I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God.
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Crazy Credits

Due to numerous pending lawsuits and settlements at the time of the film's release, no one is technically fully credited for writing and directing the finished film. See more »


Montagues Et Capulets (Dance of the Knights)
from the ballet Romeo and Juliet
by Sergei Prokofiev
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

unbelievably indulgent, however beautiful and captivating
10 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

Where to start..... First off, the sets are wonderful. They are lavish and look authentic of the time, except as if a madman on acid was given a gigantic budget and told to "go at it!" Peter O'Toole is wonderful as the aging Tiberius. Malcolm McDowell gives a great performance as the young Caligula who kills his way to the throne of the Roman Emperor and then soon leads a legacy of terror. The supporting actors do a fine job yet, most of the young ladies were actually Penthouse Pets and were there for eye candy and irrelevant sex scenes. Depending on which film you are watching, the uncut or the R-version, some scenes are extremely graphic. I would usually always recommend the uncut version as opposed to the chopped one, but in this instance, the full length film is purely indulgent. Scenes of sex and gore were added to satisfy the producers (Penthouse) and the expected audience, not to add anything to the story. However, I am and will always be a fan of excess, so get the full version! The story is strong and keeps you interested. McDowell is charming throughout, which is quite the feat considering he murders family members, rapes and molests men and women, and sleeps with his sister. For fans of excess and sleaze, i highly recommend. Viewers who are purely interested in the reign of the notorious ruler might want to skip this one.

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