The perversion behind imperial Rome, the epic story of Rome's mad Emporer. All the details of his cruel, bizarre reign are revealed right here: His unholy sexual passion for his sister, his marriage to Rome's most infamous prostitute, his fiendishly inventive means of disposing those who would oppose him, and more.
It's fun, it's light, [but] it has a hard time when its tries to get heavy.
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The story, direction, characters, and writing/dialogue is akin to taking a tranquilizer shot to the neck, but everything else was so well done.
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The movie's neither hopeful in contrived ways, nor hopeless in different contrived ways. Somehow it manages to be wonderful
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This is the greatest sword and saddle epic ever mad from a guys perspective you want to see the x rated scenes they are quite shocking I could watch movie again and again that's how good it is this movie was based on fact this Roman Emperor was hard core in his view some people can't except that some people are just born monsters this guy was a monster if you like sex and violence this is the movie for you do not watch this movie with kids around do not watch this movie with your wife or partner if they don't like Violence this movie is for real men and woman who are not affected by seeing rape sex and serious violence
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I think John Waters could have taken this material and done a much better job with Divine as Caligula, of course. Now THAT would have been edgy and outre entertainment.Most of the talent associated with this movie washed their hands (probably literally) after the fist "f" scene. I wanted to take a shower after watching it. I know Gore Vidal, always a good sport, had his name struck from the writing credits, but thought the film was hilarious anyway. And it really is a big joke. I think Guccione was just astonished that he got the money to do it and attracted so many big names. I believe only McDowall approved of the final cut.
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Okay, this is almost a pornographic film, but not quite - just very sexually graphic. If you have an active sex life, you can deal with this movie easily. That being said, it is one of the more interesting films you could possibly view, all things considered. The film tells the story of Gaius Caligula, the Roman emperor who ruled from 37-41 A.D. and was well-known for his vacant soul. His neglect of matters of state and his indulgence in pleasure and torture drive the plot towards its climactic ending. Technically, the film is interesting - some imagery will stay in your mind, such as the circular guillotine. The sets are lavish, and overall, the film is a firm cinematic achievement, technically speaking. The acting is mostly stellar - McDowell is able to step into the psychotic Caligula, both alternately as a charming head-of-state and a deranged pervert, sometimes in the same scene. O'Toole and Gielgud are only in the film's first 45 minutes, as Tiberius and Nerva, respectively. O'Toole is particularly captivating as the dying emperor, fraught with syphilis (according to historical records) and paranoia. Gielgud's performance is lukewarm - maybe he'd already seen the rest of the movie before filming his scenes? Helen Mirren is captivating as well as Caesonia, the lascivious wife of Caligula. I've seen her in many films, but this and Excalibur are the two I remember most, to be sure. Finally, Theresa Ann Savoy is very strong as Drusula, the incestuous sister of Caligula - she plays the role with a certain soft firmness of character, likable and rational, at least when compared to McDowell's Caligula. The film is full of nudity, sex and graphic images. Some add to the content, some detract - that can be said of any film's imagery. A viewer should not let the mere content dictate the effect. What these images do is lend validity to the story being told, a story of an emperor not fit to be so, an emperor more obsessed with his own benefits rather than the good of the people and the Empire, an emperor so morally depraved - well, this may have been the only way to truly tell the story of Caligula. And it's worth watching, at least once. The first time I tried to watch it, I was 19, and not ready to deal with the content. It is a film for mature audiences only, no doubt. It's up to you to assess your own maturity level, though - not me.
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Here's a historical film that's epic in length, if not in production values. A film financed in the US by Playboy, made in Italy with a cast of British leads, this was hugely controversial back on its release due to the explicit scenes of sex which litter the production. Be prepared for acres of heaving flesh throughout the film's course. Only one or two scenes (the lesbian interlude in particular) seem to have been clumsily inserted into the movie by Tinto Brass and generally the rest of the sex fits the story and adds to the realism of the times, e.g. the epic Roman orgy which is probably the closest filmed to how it really happened back then.Sadly, despite some impressive sets, the movie just looks cheap all the way through. Cheap, tawdry, with poor costumes, and not at all the expensive production I had expected it to be beforehand. Despite the incredibly long running time, it doesn't really drag much, even when nothing is happening, which can only be in the film's favour. It's also not as violent as I had expected, with only two scenes of graphic bloodshed which really stand out - the first is an offbeat interlude involving an incredible "decapitation machine" which rolls along and chops off heads sticking from the ground with huge metal pincers; the second, the film's grisly close.The inimitable Malcolm McDowell takes the lead role of Caligula and puts in his trademark intense performance. This is a very scary man who convinces you that he's insane and McDowell's turn is commanding without being over-the-top or hammy. Instead, he's just believable, underplaying it to the point in which you understand his motivations and actions. Top-notch support comes from Helen Mirren, who also excels as Caesonia, Caligula's arranged wife and a former prostitute who stands by him until the end; Peter O'Toole also appears as a madman, Tiberius, the former Emperor.As well as Mirren and O'Toole, we also get a cameo from British thespian John Gielgud, who was obviously convinced that some kind of high-brow movie was being filmed and not just a cheap exploitationer. Two other cast members are worthy of note; firstly, Teresa Savoy, who plays Caligula's sister Drusilla who is the object of her brother's incestuous desires. Savoy is underused but from what we see of her, she's totally convincing as a voluptuous, smouldering love interest and it's easy to see why Caligula wants to marry her. Euro-action man John Steiner has a memorable turn as Caligula's bald aide, Longinus, always plotting and toadying to his master until his true colours show through at the end.There are many memorable moments in this production - the aforementioned decapitation machine being one of them. Caligula's descent into a bleak madness is shown by scenes of him sharing a bed with a horse (!)The scene in which McDowell cavorts naked in the cold night air is very similar to a moment with Olivier in Shakespeare's King Lear, yet this is the more convincing situation thanks to McDowell's half scary/half tragic portrayal of the doomed Caligula. Without McDowell, I have a feeling that this movie would be worthless trash. With him, it's a flawed but occasionally worthwhile would-be epic.