Year Released: 1964
Main Stars: Alec Guiness, Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, James Mason, Christopher Plummer, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quayle
Last watched: August 2012
Review Date: August 2012
Number Watches: 1
“These are not the frontiers Rome wants”
From the start it’s apparent that this has a lot of plot similarities to the more modern Gladiator film but it’s history more than plaguism. Should that be a problem? No, of course not. A film is a film is a film. Is this a good film though? Hmmm. Tricky. Do you like technicolor epics with bad scripts?
A lot of it is very luvvie and stage performance. Alec is performing as a character from a Shakespeare play and Sophia and Stephen are very Hollywood – massive pauses to prolong the importance of every line. It’s quaint but old fashioned acting and in a film of this length it gets darn boring. Keep your finger over the fast forward button.
The sets are impressive as you’d expect from an epic of this era. Lots of extras and probably the national debt of a small country spent on the costumes. Big tracking shots show off the whole lot and it appears to me that the best parts are in the outside scenes. The stuff inside is well dressed but the script tastes of saccharine.
Could have done with a lot more snips in the editting suite but if you like your old movies, you could do worse. It’s got balls in places and the Rome sets are well worth thinking about. Mind you, I won’t be going back to it. When the end credits started, I felt I’d completed a shift here and needed to go home for a rest, put up my feet and watch something with more fun in it.
Watch if on TV?
Snog, Marry, Avoid?