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The movie Centurion has just been released here on DVD and I am interested in seeing it soon. Apart from the plot, I was wondering how accurate the costuming and staging appears. From the trailers I've seen it seems a better attempt at recreation, certainly better than "Gladiator".

Without spoiling it for me, can anyone comment?

My rule of thumb for movies: Assume that EVERYthing is wrong, and go from there. If something less than completely inaccurate slips through, rejoice. "Better than Gladiator" may be correct, but that's equivalent to "Tastes better than dog poo". Somewhere I saw a plot synopsis, and it was abysmal.

Enjoy the show!

I'm certain we have discussed this film in other sections of the Forum, and Matt is quite right, it is a "mixed bag" at best.

It seems clear from what I have seen (and not the entire film yet, but soon) that an attempt was made to be more accurate with regards to armor and weapons, but when it comes to story .... This is a "chase" film and while it might be exciting from a purely cinematic standpoint, the film's setting in ancient Rome is almost secondary. You could dress them in samurai armor and call the location Korea, 1598, and tell essentially the same story.

Better than Gladiator ..? That's not hard to do. Worth your time? Well, we fall back to that old saw: Even a poor film about ancient Rome is better than no film about ancient Rome. I know, some films stretch that maxim to the breaking point, but I don't think Centurion is one of them. However, when I have finally had an opportunity to watch the entire film I may revise and extend my remarks.

My apologies if this has been discussed before but I've been away with medical issues for the better part of this year and have not been following the threads. I didn't think to check the archives,sorry.

From what I've read elsewhere the plot is silly but, that aside , my interest is more about the costuming, weaponry, tactics and the sets. From the still pictures and trailers I've seen most things look more accurate (to my limited knowledge) and I wondered what the 'experts" thought.

Like most of you here, a period movie or documentary is spoiled for me if the players don't appear fairly correctly attired or carry the wrong weapons or are in circumstances that don't make sense ( i.e. like Maximus, a general, becoming a slave then gladiator Confusedhock: ). I can forgive the plot or lack of it if the rest of it looks more correct but the little things still grate on me (Roman cavalry with stirrups for instance).

I know there is no way we can expect total accuracy in theses movies nor should we be able since no one really knows how it was. I just wondered if this would be any better than the others we've seen todate.

As always, I appreciate all comments.
No apology necessary -- this film bears further discussion.

Some members of this Forum actually worked on the film, and from their reports it seems that the director wanted to arm his Romans with pilum but film crew could not come up with a safe and convincing way to do so, and opted instead to arm the legionaries with spears. (Interestingly enough, the competing film Eagle Of The Ninth -now titled simply The Eagle- did use pilum.)

With regards to costumes, authenticity often falls to budget concerns. Most people are used to Hollywood Romans and that look is easy (which is to say cheaper) to achieve than a more authentic look would be. Indeed, authentically attired legionaries might strike some movie goers as incorrect.

We should never underestimate the power of the cinema to influence public perceptions, both good and ill.

That said, I do plan on watching both Centurion and Eagle Of The Ninth. I sat through Gladiator so I can certainly survive these films. :wink:


Saw the movie tonight......another big dissapointment Sad . Implausible plot and irregularities in the dress, weaponry and sets. The most jarring thing for me of all things were their boots. Knee high, soft leather closed toe lace ups. A minor thing maybe but enough to put me off. The rest of the kit looked better I thought and good to see a centurio in mail with his gladius on the left hip. Didn't see any grieves or vine staffs but I guess you can't have everything.

Now I guess I'll wait and see what they do to the Eagle of the 9th or whatever they title it.

I'm going to watch it again and maybe I'll make a list of what other "irregularities" I can find :lol:

Cheers all,
I just finished watching Agora, a movie set in 4th century Alexandia and a movie that just doesnt work in so many different ways. The soldiers are dressed as 1st century legionaries, and the plot is not only boring but implausible. Christians seem to be in the minority and are haters of knowledge( their main goal is to burn the famous library of Alexandia).
I find it hard to beleive that anyone would accept this movie as remotely resembling any historical event.
Sorry to get off topic.
Dang! Thanks for the headsup on that one. I picked that up too but haven't watched it yet. myabe i'll get to see it tonight and I can compare it to Centurion. Sounds like it is truly worse however.

I wonder when that "Eagle of the 9th" is coming out. Maybe it will be better but i'm doubtful.

I guess I'll just stick to reading.

US release date for The Eagle is February 25, 2011.

Germany -- March 3, 2011
Norway -- March 25, 2011
Portugal -- March 30, 2011

In 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum) arrives from Rome to solve the mystery and restore the reputation of his father, the commander of the Ninth. Accompanied only by his British slave Esca (Bell), Marcus sets out across Hadrian's Wall into the uncharted highlands of Caledonia - to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father's memory, and retrieve the lost legion's golden emblem, the Eagle of the Ninth. Written by Focus Features

From the production stills this looks to be yet another film in which the officers (which is to say the stars) do not wear helmets. Confusedhock:

"I'm shocked, shocked that stars want their faces seen regardless of reality or authenticity!" -- Captain Renault, Police Prefect of Casablanca


Well I saw a trailer and some stills for Eagle and that put me off too. Its also a bit off putting when they use a pretty boy like Tatum to represent a hard bitten Centurio. I wish they would pick actors that are a little more "latin" and hard lived in appearance. I thought Dominick West as the general in Centurion or even Russ Crowe in Gladiator looked a bit more the part. Actually, I thought a couple of the older Brit actors (playing spear carriers) in Centurion looked more the part than Fassbender.....kind of chewed up....been there....done that and survived kind of guys.

I know these movies are for entertainment and designed to grab more of a female audience thus the pretty boys but they surely could find some tougher more crusty looking dudes that also appeal to the ladies.

When i look at recent portrayals, I think the best so far were Vorenus and Pullo in the Rome series. Kevin McKidd especially made me think of violent and barely under control, life worn, ambitious career centurion. There was one scene where he was about to enter Cesar's tent and the guard is whistling or humming and he looks at him with a withering stare and the man instantly shuts it. Reminded me of an old RSM I knew.....he could do that across the parade square ( I always though he was reincarnated 1st spear Confusedhock: ).

I think I need to go into casting as my next career :roll:

Quote:...I know these movies are for entertainment and designed to grab more of a female audience thus the pretty boys but they surely could find some tougher more crusty looking dudes that also appeal to the ladies.


Rather a sweeping statement...from Rosemary Sutcliffe's novel, Marcus is quite a young man so many of the "hard bitten" types wiould have been inappropriate. But you're right; the movies are made to make some money and the hero has to be eye candy for many reasons...

What sounds even more inappropriate, however, is the plot summary. Is it going to be another of these "adaptations" that shares the title and the characters' names and that's all? Don't recall AT ALL that "Marcus was sent from Rome" for a special mission...I thought he was recovering from a wound and was asked to get invovled due to family and Rome's honour, keeping the lid on the shame of losing the eagle.
Quote:... yet another film in which the officers (which is to say the stars) do not wear helmets. Confusedhock:

Just like Trajan's column, you mean? Smile
Just watching Centurion. What a pice of crap.
Narukami:2fm70tvi Wrote:... yet another film in which the officers (which is to say the stars) do not wear helmets. Confusedhock:

Just like Trajan's column, you mean? Smile


Yeeeees... that's exactly what I meant ... After all a star is a star and art is art no matter the time period....
Proving once again that "Artistic License" was alive and well even in Ancient Rome.

I have my doubts that, given a choice, one would enter into battle without their helmet, but ...
:? | wink:

Just finished watching it. Cant say that it has every action cinematic cliche in it, bit it comes close. Cant they make a hisorical movie nowadays with body armor that works and without nubile Amazons ?
its not the worst movie about Romans ever made but its pretty close. I would nominate for the worst: "The last Legion'. The best is "Gladiator" .
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