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The Epic That Never Was (1965)

The story of the aborted 1937 filming of "I, Claudius", starring Charles Laughton, with all of its surviving footage.


Bill Duncalf, Robert Graves (novel)

On Disc

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Complete credited cast:
Dirk Bogarde ... Himself - Host / Narrator
Robert Graves Robert Graves ... Himself - author of 'I, Claudius'
Josef von Sternberg ... Himself - Director
Merle Oberon ... Herself / Messalina
Flora Robson ... Herself / Livia
Emlyn Williams ... Himself / Caligula
John Abbott John Abbott ... Himself - Ms. Robson's Host
Eileen Bowen-Jones Eileen Bowen-Jones ... Herself - Script Girl (as Eileen Corbett)
John Armstrong John Armstrong ... Himself - Costume Designer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Laughton ... Claudius (archive footage)
Robert Newton ... Captain of Caligula's guard (archive footage)


The story of the aborted 1937 filming of "I, Claudius", starring Charles Laughton, with all of its surviving footage.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

24 December 1965 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Filmen som aldrig blev av See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of the first documentaries to make use of the opening theme from Richard Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra", later made more famous in the film "2001: A Space Odyssey". See more »


Himself - Host: Laughton here proves that he was kissed with genius.
See more »


Featured in Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage (1983) See more »


Also sprach Zarathustra
(opening fanfare)
Music by Richard Strauss
Heard at the beginning and the end of the program
See more »

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User Reviews

Great movie on the making and unmaking of an epic
24 October 2004 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

A look at never completed version of I, Claudius. This is a wonderful look at film making in the golden age, both as it was and as memory has made it. We get to see the stars and crew talk about a project that got away and how it still haunts them.

This is one of the best films on films ever made, partly because it shows us what might have been a treasure, but also because it does what what movies do best, create an illusion of something that doesn't really exist. With a film like this, made decades after events, the mind is left to ponder what the aborted film might have been. From the few scraps of actual footage we expand it out to a completed film that might have been one of the greatest films of all time. Of course it all could have gone south as well, but the fun is in what might have been....

10 out of 10

A Personal request- would someone please put this out on DVD by itself, its stupid to make us buy the BBC miniseries just to be able to see this.

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