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Caligula (1979)

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

Director:

Tinto Brass

Writers:

Gore Vidal (adapted from an original screenplay by), Masolino D'Amico
Reviews
Popularity
494 ( 191)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Malcolm McDowell ... Caligula
Teresa Ann Savoy ... Drusilla
Guido Mannari Guido Mannari ... Macro
John Gielgud ... Nerva
Peter O'Toole ... Tiberius
Giancarlo Badessi Giancarlo Badessi ... Claudius
Bruno Brive Bruno Brive ... Gemellus
Adriana Asti ... Ennia
Leopoldo Trieste ... Charicles
Paolo Bonacelli ... Chaerea
John Steiner ... Longinus
Mirella D'Angelo ... Livia (as Mirella Dangelo)
Helen Mirren ... Caesonia
Rick Parets Rick Parets ... Mnester (as Richard Parets)
Paula Mitchell Paula Mitchell ... Subura Singer
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Adult | Drama | History

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

15 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Caligula See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Mono (original release)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.95 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Atlanta, Georgia prosecutors threatened legal action if this movie was to be screened in the city, but experts testified in court on behalf of the movie, and Atlanta, too, declaring that this movie was not obscene. See more »

Goofs

Most of the penises seen in the movie would appear to be circumcised, which would be inaccurate as circumcision was not practiced in Rome. However on closer inspection, you can see that the penises are intact with the foreskin retracted. See more »

Quotes

[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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are shown over a bleeding coin. See more »

Alternate Versions

When the film was originally submitted in the UK it was cut by 8 minutes on legal grounds to qualify it for a possible private cinema club certificate, though the distributors decided instead to apply for an 'X' certificate for a wider cinema release. This meant that additional edits were required and the film was then cut by a further 3 minutes by James Ferman himself with extensive edits to scenes of masturbation, lesbianism, anal fisting, castration, graphic stabbing scenes, explicit genital closeups and shots of babies being fed through phallic-shaped bottles. The eventual 1990 video release was the extensively edited U.S R-rated print and 55 minutes were cut from the film, resulting in most of the sex & violence scenes being removed in full or edited via long shot camera angles and a running time of around 98 minutes. This same print was re-released on video in 1998 and all early DVD releases. In 2008 the BBFC passed the full hardcore version completely uncut and this was issued by Arrow Films in a 3 film set, also containing the Alternate Edit of the film (which replaced the Guccione-filmed hardcore scenes with footage not in the original edit) and the previously released R-rated print. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Savage Vengeance (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Romeo i Dzhul'yetta
(Romeo and Juliet) (uncredited)
Written by Sergei Prokofiev
Conducted by Bruno Nicolai
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

* out of 4.
4 June 2002 | by brandonsites1981See all my reviews

Big budget disaster doesn't work despite a terrific cast and a script by Gore Vidal. This historically inaccurate (for the most part) film is about emperor Caligula's brief reign of terror in which he threw orgies (his bisexuality is very played down in this film) and murdered people for his own amusement. Poor sets, even worse costumes (or lack of), and one of the most inept directors in history sink it. Sick, disgusting, and vile movie with no redeeming qualities.

Unrated (156 mins.); Extreme Graphic Violence, Strong Explicit Sexual Content, Graphic & Explicit Nudity, Strong Adult Themes, Torture. Would merit a triple X.


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