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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.

Director:

Tinto Brass

Writers:

Gore Vidal (adapted from an original screenplay by), Masolino D'Amico
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Popularity
1,047 ( 112)

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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This film is a series of letters, photos and video cassettes which women often send in to certain newspapers. By visualizing their story-telling (the name given by the psychologists to ... See full summary »

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Tinto Brass, Cinzia Roccaforte, Cristina Rinaldi
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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:

What would you have done if you had been given absolute power of life and death over everybody else in the whole world? See more »

Genres:

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

In 1979, when Bob Guccione tried to import this movie's footage into the U.S., customs officials seized it. Federal officials did not declare the movie to be obscene. When this movie was released in New York City, the anti-pornography organization Morality in Media unsuccessfully filed a lawsuit against these federal officials. See more »

Goofs

Many naked women have dim but visible tan lines, mostly around their hip area. However, topless sunbathing was then a thing of the future. 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

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 »

Alternate Versions

The old German VHS by Constantin was basically uncut. Since these Videos were made in the 80s, they put the 156 min film on two Videos with a running time of approx. 80 minutes. However, there are a few minor differences to the 156 min US-DVD:
  • The text at the very beginning of the film is deleted (approx. 60 seconds.)
  • The grotto scene is missing about 5 sec, not for censorship reasons but probably due to a sloppy reel-change.
  • The scene when the two women urinate on Proculus' corpse is missing Caligula saying: "Lucky boy, to have escaped me so easily!". Furthermore there is a repetition of the first and last scene from the Part I-VHS at the beginning of the Part II-VHS.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Dancin': It's On! (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Spartan War
(uncredited)
Written by John Leach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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