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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
Reviews
Popularity
842 ( 136)

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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:

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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,669, 19 September 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$23,438,120
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

Gore Vidal's screenplay had a strong focus on homosexuality, leading Producer Bob Guccione to demand re-writes, which toned down the homosexual content for wider audience appeal. Guccione was concerned that Vidal's script contained several homosexual sex scenes, and only one scene of heterosexual sex, which was between Caligula and his sister Drusilla. See more »

Goofs

There is a huge map of Europe and the Mediterranean on the wall. It is a modern, extremely precise map, much more precise than available at the time. 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

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 »


Soundtracks

Spartacus
(uncredited)
Written by Aram Khachaturyan
Conducted by Bruno Nicolai
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
unbelievably indulgent, however beautiful and captivating
10 November 2010 | by teamgomez99See 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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