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Best Movies Set in Rome
#16
When I watch these movies I watch them as fantasy with a Roman flare, so I do not get upset with the inaccuracies.

When I learned to watch movies as they were meant to be as entertainment I started to enjoy them more. Most of us history nerds tend to pick appart movies and ruin them for ourselves.

Hell in Gladiator I wanted them to make the black guy Emperor! :wink:
"...quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."


a.k.a. Paul M.
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#17
Not a movie, but the recent HBO/BBC series "Rome" was as good as I've seen. Plus I have also have a fondness for "The Life of Brian":

Romanes Eunt Domus!

rkmvca / Rich Klein Big Grin
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#18
Hi All,

I forgot to mention Cabiria - the silent second punic war epic - fantastic! And it led to the Maciste series.

Cheers

Murray
Murray K Dahm

Moderator

\'\'\'\'No matter how many you kill, you cannot kill your successor\'\'\'\' - Seneca to Nero - Dio 62

\'\'\'\'There is no way of correcting wrongdoing in those who think that the height of virtue consists in the execution of their will\'\'\'\' - Ammianus Marcellinus 27.7.9
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#19
Avete omnes,

I want to add two films that catch the spirit of the time IMHO, too (very good point about Brian, Matthew, I second that):

1. "The Investigation" aka "The Inquiry" with Keith Carradine as investigator Titus Valerius Taurus and Harvey Keitel as Pontius Pilatus.

2. "Masada" aka "The Antagonists"- one of my favorite ones with the unforgettable Peter O'Toole as Flavius Silva and Peter Strauss as his adversary Eleazar Ben Yair. For me spine-staking when legion X parades below of the rock in the glow heat of the desert and the liticens make their announcements.

... and sorry, I read Your comments about the film, about its bad story and bad story-line and the other things :oops: :

3. I must confess that I really like "Alexander" by Oliver Stone. Because of the arms and armory, because of the film music when the Gaugamela battle starts, because of the inclusion of the historical advisor, who urged Mr. Stone non-negotiable to let him ride with Alexander in full armor within the film, because of Angelina Jolie and more because of Rosario Dawson (Roxane Confusedhock: !!), because of the fine buildings ...

Greets - Uwe




Greets - Uwe
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#20
What about Tinto Bras' Caligula?
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Ivan Perelló
[size=150:iu1l6t4o]Credo in Spatham, Corvus sum bellorum[/size]
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#21
Hi All,

Tinto Bras' or Bob Guccione's?! I have two versions - the cut and uncut - amazinly the cut version is 90 mins while the uncut version is 148! So much graphic violence and nudity - probably more accurate of orgiastic Rome than any thing else but there you have it!

Cheers

Murray
Murray K Dahm

Moderator

\'\'\'\'No matter how many you kill, you cannot kill your successor\'\'\'\' - Seneca to Nero - Dio 62

\'\'\'\'There is no way of correcting wrongdoing in those who think that the height of virtue consists in the execution of their will\'\'\'\' - Ammianus Marcellinus 27.7.9
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#22
I think Tinto Bras, Malcom McDowell performing? They put the long version on tv last month.
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Ivan Perelló
[size=150:iu1l6t4o]Credo in Spatham, Corvus sum bellorum[/size]
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#23
Oh Ivan,

take a look at this site with an interesting review (regrettable for the most of You in German):

[url:eydssbt3]http://www.xenon-kino.de/Seiten/caligula.html[/url]

It is not the orgiastic scenes that disturb me (there are pretty girls at least) but the whole atmosphere for me was too artificial, it did not catch the spirit of the ancients in my opinion. Especially the scenes on Tiberius' villa at Capri (I remember some kind of curiosity cabinet) for me had a too darkly and artificial atmosphere.

Greets - Uwe
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#24
[Image: homer.jpg]

Danke Uwe!
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Ivan Perelló
[size=150:iu1l6t4o]Credo in Spatham, Corvus sum bellorum[/size]
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#25
Hi folks

Still has to be 'The Fall of the Roman Empire', for me, even after over Forty years. Cynics should remember that too when they carp about any inaccuracies.

This film was produced before the Internet before CGI, Deepeeka, Bishop and Coulston, Connolly or even Russell Robinson. No handy reference books on the subject no RAT forum either!!! And yet the production team came up with some pretty amazing stuff, which makes what was presented in Gladiator look second or even third rate and even less excusable.

A believable and beautiful Forum set so accurate you can pick out the individual buildings, never done before or since as far as I know.

Reasonable Imperial Gallic/ Italic type helmets, made of metal in North African workshops, many still in use today. mail shirts worn under arming doublets for most of the Western troops while the eastern soldiers wear different uniforms consistent with the costume research of the late Victorian scholars Hottenroth and Racinet.

Damn accurate Heddernheim helmets of Sports and Cavalry types. right period for the movie too.

Sets and storyline which reflect the vastness of the empire literally "from the deserts of Egypt, the mountains of Armenia the forests of Gaul and the prairies of Spain".

Images such as the funeral in the snow with the assembled troops wailing in despair,The victorious Roman troops marching past the Arch at Ctesiphon almost casually in the background. The fabulous dress and costumes of the courtiers and ambassadors sometimes on screen for seconds.The stunning Sophia Loren, who can forget that overhead shot of her in that pink dress. The feel for Baroque Roman art and Architecture, even the Terentius Fresco from Dura appears in the title credits!

And finally one of the most thoughtful debates ever in cinema about how the empire should deal with those it called Barbarians, allow them in and grow with them or exclude them and risk them smashing open the frontiers how relevant a topic even today.


"There was a movie, when comes such another!"

Graham.
"Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream" Edgar Allan Poe.

"Every brush-stroke is torn from my body" The Rebel, Tony Hancock.

"..I sweated in that damn dirty armor....TWENTY YEARS!', Charlton Heston, The Warlord.
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#26
I actually watched the Fall of the Roman Empire (Gladiator I) again last night, and I was still stunned by how fantastic the gear and sets were.
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
A A A DESEDO DESEDO!
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#27
Damn, now I gotta watch my FOTR DVD again tonight, Graham.
I will never forget seeing this movie in a small German town's old movie theatre (one of those "palaces" from the 50s) on the big screen when I was 10 or so.
Aka
Christoph
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#28
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~~~~~jaime~~~~~~
Fathers of the Church
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#29
Quote:And finally one of the most thoughtful debates ever in cinema about how the empire should deal with those it called Barbarians

Another historical flaw though. That whole speech given by Marcus Aurelius in which he promised eventual universal citizenship would've been unthinkable at that time - even though it happened 30 years later.

But, I agree with the rest of your observations of what was good about the film. Unfortunately, it's all superficial. The acting by the non-British actors was atrocious, IMO, instead of the usual mediocre quality I'm used to seeing. The script reads like a first draft at best. The music (so important !) was completely incongruous with almost every scene, especially during the action sequences. ARRRRGHHHHH ! I can't sit through the whole film, I have to watch it in segments - sometimes over a two day period :roll: At least that's how I feel after Alec Guiness dies off - he was the one actor that anchored the whole film up to his death. In other words, all of his scenes were excellent even when the poor actors were interacting with him.

This film showed Stephen Boyd's lack of any acting ability. The only reason he came off as being a decent actor in Ben Hur was because the director (William Wyler) kept drilling him over and over, shooting take after take until he got a decent performance out of him. But Antony Mann didn't do too many takes with his leading man for FOTRE and his film was greatly diminished, hence its somber reception by the movie-goers.

But his other film, El Cid, was a hit since Charlton Heston is a gifted actor and didn't need much directing.

BTW, by my count it seems that the Spanish Army was used to play Roman legionaries in three major epics - Spartacus (1960), FOTRE (1964), and Cleopatra (1963). Any others I missed ? I know they also played as Alexander's Macedonian troops, but can't think of any other Roman films.
~~~~~jaime~~~~~~
Fathers of the Church
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#30
Quote:That whole speech given by Marcus Aurelius in which he promised eventual universal citizenship would've been unthinkable at that time - even though it happened 30 years later.

Hi Jaime

You have to remember when the film came out. Whole generations of movie goers from the fifties brought up on movies like 'Quo Vadis', 'The Robe' and 'Ben-Hur' made only a few years previously, when in all of them the Romans are the heavies. So how do you suddenly turn the Romans into the good guys not only to an established audience but to a younger 60's audience who view Imperialism with the establishment. Simple make the empire through Marcus Aurelius promise equality for all "wherever they live, whatever the colour of their skin".

Quote:This film showed Stephen Boyd's lack of any acting ability. The only reason he came off as being a decent actor in Ben Hur was because the director (William Wyler) kept drilling him over and over, shooting take after take until he got a decent performance out of him. But Antony Mann didn't do too many takes with his leading man for FOTRE and his film was greatly diminished, hence its somber reception by the movie-goers.

I think the moviegoers had had enough of epics by the time this film came out whoever was in the lead role. Boyd was visually very impressive but there was no chemistry between him and Loren and their dialog is appalling. It IS probably the most accurate Hollywood version of Ancient Rome ever made to date not appreciated at the time and was very similar in some respects to 'Alexander'. It suffered a similar fate which almost adds to the poignant story it tried to tell on screen.

Quote:The music (so important !) was completely incongruous with almost every scene, especially during the action sequences.

Well it certainly is not the usual Miklos Roza score everyone normally associates with Roman epics. It does actually take some getting used too but the prelude to the battle in the forest is really beautiful although ironically it does not feature on the soundtrack CD. Another irony Jaime is that Tiomkin's score was actually nominated for an Oscar!

Quote:The acting by the non-British actors was atrocious, IMO,


Loren is probably the main non British actor unless you count Plummer, actually Canadian as non-British so there were not many non-British actors in major roles. Otherwise I agree with you, Jaime. Alec Guinness had the best role but I also like James Mason in this, Anthony Quayle, and especially Douglas Wilmer and Eric Porter who both have excellent supporting roles.

The film generally gets better reviews now than it did at the time, yearning for a lost era perhaps. I saw this film in London when it came out on the big screen It was an inspiration to me age six and you can see the influences in my artwork to this day.

Quote:BTW, by my count it seems that the Spanish Army was used to play Roman legionaries in three major epics - Spartacus (1960), FOTRE (1964), and Cleopatra (1963). Any others I missed ?

I am not sure Spanish troops were used in Cleopatra but I will check. The other possibility is 'King of Kings'. also from the Bronston Studio. Spanish troops were used so often by film-makers at that time, that apparently one day when General Franco wanted to go on a tour of inspection his embarrassed generals said he could not because his army was making a film for Samuel Bronston!.
Graham.
"Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream" Edgar Allan Poe.

"Every brush-stroke is torn from my body" The Rebel, Tony Hancock.

"..I sweated in that damn dirty armor....TWENTY YEARS!', Charlton Heston, The Warlord.
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