The Fall of the Roman Empire

Tagline : Never before a spectacle like the fall of the Roman empire

Runtime : 188 mins

Genre : Drama History War

Vote Rating : 6.5/10

Budget : 19 million $ USD

Revenue : 4.8 million $ USD


Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : In the year 180 A.D. Germanic tribes are about to invade the Roman empire from the north. In the midst of this crisis ailing emperor Marcus Aurelius has to make a decision about his successor between his son Commodus, who is obsessed by power, and the loyal general Gaius Livius.

Cast Members

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Reviews

It's amidst the frozen forests of Germany that we meet Caesar Marcus Aurelius (Alec Guinness) who is pondering a crucial question. He is ailing, aware that he'll be with his gods soon and that his son "Commodus" (Christopher Plummer) should not be entrusted with the empire. That honour ought to go to his childhood friend, and the emperor's commander "Livius" (Stephen Boyd). When he announces this, it leaves the honourable general with a conundrum - not helped by his love for the princess "Lucilla" (Sophia Loren). Thanks to an apple and a very dodgy paring knife, things come to an head and what might have seemed like the honourable thing to do at the time soon comes home to bite "Livius" as his new boss turns out to be every bit as bad as his father had feared. With the empire facing battles on many fronts, the scheming Armenian king "Sohamus" (Omar Sharif) up to mischief in the East - he's now also married to "Livilla", it looks like a battle royal will have to take place to save Rome from itself and it's foes. This is a great looking and sumptuously staged drama with loads of attention to detail both in the wilderness of the trees and with the lavishness of the Imperial court. A veritable all-star cast support too - James Mason, a slightly wooden Anthony Quayle and a brief appearance from Mel Ferrer all add colour to the thing, but it's the surfeit of writing that slows down the pace. There's just way too much chat and not enough action. That said when it does liven up then the grand-scale battle scenes are superbly photographed by Robert Krasker. In the end, the whole just isn't the sum of it's parts, and though gorgeous, Loren doesn't look remotely interested in much, if any, of the proceedings. It'd be hard to shave much from it's three hour running time and make much difference, I think it just doesn't quite work often enough.

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