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Best Movies Set in Rome
#76
Quote:The first Roman epic completely filmed in color would actually be the 1945 version of "Caesar and Cleopatra" with Vivian Leigh and Claude Rains, if I'm not completely wrong.

You're right, Niedel. I forgot about that film.
Then "QUO VADIS ?" would be the first Hollywood Roman epic in color, IIRC.

I saw a really nice squamata in "Caesar and Cleopatra". It hasn't been released on DVD, afaik.
It's barely watchable for me but I'd buy it since it has some nice costumes (some horrible! ) and sets.

~Theo
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#77
Quote:I saw a really nice squamata in "Caesar and Cleopatra". It hasn't been released on DVD, afaik.
It's barely watchable for me but I'd buy it since it has some nice costumes (some horrible! ) and sets.

Hi Jaime

It is available in an attractive boxed version in the UK at least. As you say some nice and interesting costumes, plus Duncan please note, spot a fairly accurate looking Ballista in the background of the Pharos scene! Sadly the print is very washed out in places and Vivien Leigh is so pale at times she is almost invisible!

Perhaps of special interest to RAT er's is the fact that both this production and the later early attempt at Liz Taylor's 'Cleopatra', making use of British researchers, went for deep red roman tunics and cloaks while 'Hollywood' productions like 'Quo Vadis' and 'Ben-Hur' went for white tunics and red cloaks. Yet it is 'Hollywood', which often gets the blame for starting the idea that tunics should be red.

However 'The Robe' and it's sequel 'Demetrius and the Gladiators', filmed together sort of bucked this trend with legionaries in blue tunics and dark red cloaks with Praetorians in white tunics and purple red cloaks. As I have pointed out elsewhere this would appear to be based on the book 'The Roman Soldier' by A. Forestier available on Amazon. In particular the Jerusalem legionary uniforms are clearly copied from one of Forestier's paintings, they even have yellow leather pteryges and wool stuffed into their boots as Forestier depicted.

The deep red tunics and cloaks also appear in this book, so perhaps the source material for many films, although the earlier works of Hottenroth and Racinet on historical costumes also played a part.

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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#78
Hi Graham,

I suppose the movie will be released later for Region 1 viewers, if ever.
But I can always record it when it aires again on TV (TCM Channel in the US).

Yes, some of the uniforms look like stage costumes. The makeup, too, looks like stage makeup which may account in part for Vivien Leigh's appearence. And given the script the movie almost seems like a filmed play. So, it seems a bit bizarre at times when you watch it for the first time.

Next time I watch it I'll look for that ballista. It doesn't come to mind even though I remember the Pharos scene.

Quote:Perhaps of special interest to RAT er's is the fact that both this production and the later early attempt at Liz Taylor's 'Cleopatra', making use of British researchers, went for deep red roman tunics and cloaks
I liked the British costumes better in the first Cleopatra attempt with Taylor, both soldiers and officers. Stephen Boyd or Timothy Dalton would have played M. Antonius, IIRC.

Quote:while 'Hollywood' productions like 'Quo Vadis' and 'Ben-Hur' went for white tunics and red cloaks. Yet it is 'Hollywood', which often gets the blame for starting the idea that tunics should be red.
Now that you mention it I can't think of any red tunics in "Spartacus" or "Fall of the Roman Empire" either.

BTW, the producers of "Quo Vadis ?" can be credited / blamed for being the first to consciously cast English actors for the Roman parts, at least according to the DVD commentary. (Robert Taylor notwithstanding).

~Theo
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#79
Hi Jaime

Quote:Yes, some of the uniforms look like stage costumes. The makeup, too, looks like stage makeup which may account in part for Vivien Leigh's appearence. And given the script the movie almost seems like a filmed play. So, it seems a bit bizarre at times when you watch it for the first time.

There are reasons for that which are explained in a book I have about the making of the film, not least because of when it was made! I hope one day to do a costume review of these films as I have a collection of material and photographs that might be of interest to readers.

Quote:Now that you mention it I can't think of any red tunics in "Spartacus" or "Fall of the Roman Empire" either.

They are a sort of light brown red in Spartacus, which archaeologically speaking is quite accurate. Note also mail worn under leather in FOTRE!

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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