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Best Movies Set in Rome
What are some of the best movies set in Roman times. Say [amazon]Ben Hur[/amazon], [amazon]Cleopatra[/amazon] etc?
Patrick Lawrence

Hi Sulla,

Have you thought about putting up a poll on this question ?

And what do you mean exactly by "best" ? In terms of being a movie or historical accuracy ? What are the parameters ?
A pole would be interesting but I am really interested in finding movies I have not seen.

As far as best I guese I mean most visualy interesting as I do illustration and plan on going thrue many old movies to get ideas for large panaramic type shots etc.
Patrick Lawrence

I think [amazon]Spartacus[/amazon] is among the best movies set in Rome. It is (compared to similar movies) not entirely inaccurate, has convincing heroes, and a good story.
Jona Lendering
Relevance is the enemy of history
My website
Quote:As far as best I guese I mean most visualy interesting as I do illustration and plan on going thrue many old movies

Ok, so you're looking for the most spectacular ones that show Rome, right ?

In that case, I pick "[amazon]Quo Vadis[/amazon]" (1950) and "[amazon]Fall of the Roman Empire[/amazon]."
I would second "Fall of the Roman Empire" as to the most spectacular interior and exterior sets (the Forum!) and also the most interesting costumes.
If you like Caesar, I found Cleopatra to be really great. It was on TMC a couple of weeks ago, really late at night and I stayed awake for the entire four hours because I was so captivated by it. I especially liked all of the references to poets and other main figures at time, specifically Catullus. Spartacus is great too, good action scenes.
Gaius Tertius Severus "Terti" / Trey Starnes

Have to say that most of the "classic" old movies leave me rolling on the floor trying to gnaw my leg off to escape.... And NOT because of the appalling costumes or armor! Ben Hur is a notable exception, it's just better done overall, to me. But the hands-down all-time winner is definitely Monty Python's "Life of Brian". It captures the true essence and spirit of the age like no other movie before or since.

Pass the popcorn!

Matthew Amt (Quintus)
Legio XX, USA
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Well, put the Battle of Actium 50 years later, and I'd have thought Cleopatra was not too bad - a good effort for that bit at least, segs and all.

I really like The Fall of the Roman Empire, or as it should be called, Gladiator (Version One) :wink: . But my favourites are still Spartacus and [amazon]Gladiator[/amazon] (Version Two).

And don't forget [amazon]A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum[/amazon].
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
Sulla, if you're interested in finding new stuff, have you tried:
Scipione l'Africano (1937) - extraordinary piece of fascist propaganda about Roman / Italian victory in N.Africa with the Carthaginians portrayed as extremely barbaric, and culminating in a battle of Cannae which you leaves you looking for the 'x elephants were hurt in the making of this movie' caption at the end.
The Last Days of Pompeii (ultimi giorni di Pompeii). Made several times but I have the 1913 one on video. Fantastic silent movie.
Ben Hur - ok, watch the Charlton Heston one, but also the 1925 version which I much prefer. It's pre-code Hollywood, so it's another 'x horses were killed in the making of this film' one. The crash, sorry mega pile-up, in the chariot race actually happened.
Fellini's Satyricon (though you might prefer to read Petronius!)
The Sign of the Cross (1932) with Charles Laughton's awesome Nero and a wonderful scene of 'everything you could ever hope to see at the arena' before we get onto the Christian-killing.

I got all these from the USA so had to buy a multi-region video specially to watch them, but I think some are now available your side of the pond on dvd.

My favorite is "The Fall of the Roman Empire". The forum looks very good and the scene where Marcus Aurelius is cremated is great (I think Martin Scorsese was greatly impressed by that scene?) I have not seen Cleopatra since I was a kid so I propably should also check that out...

I have given up watching the HBO`s "Rome". I would never have thought that this kind of thing could happen; history`s most expensive serie about Rome and I am not watching! Here are the reasons:

-Totally lacking athmosphere. The characters are unconvincing and there`s no feeling of "rome" at all.
-The approach to this "shocking" new view Rome is cheap. Sex, violence, filth in the corners... Boring, tell me something new.
-The usual flaws in military equipment
-It is not even good entertainment

Am I really alone with my opinions considering Rome?
Virilis / Jyrki Halme
[Image: fectio.png]
Hi All,

Here is the sum of my collection from Ebay and others. I'll omit those alreay mentioned.

Sign of the Pagan - Jack Palance as Attila
Last Days of Pompeii - 1968 and 1980s UK TV Mini Series
I Claudius
Hannibal - Victor Mature's eyebrows at their best
The Robe
Demetrius and Gladiators
The Last Roman
The Silver Chalice (Paul Newman's first film and well worth the full page add he took out apologising for it - also Jack Palance as Simon Magus (from Gergory of Tours). Elements of the plot taken from Arrigo Boito's opera Nerone (1924). There was also an oepra Nerone by Mascagni but we're ona different topic now.
Fire over Rome - dire
The Seven Gladiators
(one about Aurelian and Zenobia that I can't remember the title of at the moment)
TV series Cleopatra -early nineties
1980s Quo Vadis

1909 Nerone
Duel of the Champions - Alan Ladd as a Roman!?
Spartaco - 1950's Italian Spartacus
(there is a DVD called 'Gladiators' which has four films on it which has some truly woeful stuff - such as the Gauls' 'secret weapon' of a catapult.
2001 Quo Vadis
I suppose I should mention King Arthur - With Kiera Knightley telling us what an historical fact is!

There are some more but memory fails.

There is a new Be Hur release which has both the 1925 and the Charlton Heston version. Also the 1968 Last Days DVD has the 1913 silent version too.

All I secured at a modest price from ebay or Amazon.

My wish list includes Age of Treason with Bryan Brown as Didius Falco and the 1913 and 1924 Quo Vadis films.


Murray K Dahm


\'\'\'\'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
That's a fairly comprehensive list, Muzzaguchi.

Quote:There are some more but memory fails.

There's one more I can't find on DVD or VHS : Attila (1954) starring Anthony Quinn and Sophia Loren. Haven't seen it except in short clips on the History Channel :lol:

If anyone has a copy, I may be interested in buying it from you.
Gladiator, Life of Brian and Mel Gibson's The passion of the Christ.
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Ivan Perelló
[size=150:iu1l6t4o]Credo in Spatham, Corvus sum bellorum[/size]
Quote: think Spartacus is among the best movies set in Rome

aha, i see you also like gladiator-movies! :lol:
Jeroen Pelgrom
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I would rather have fire storms of atmospheres than this cruel descent from a thousand years of dreams.

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