Best Roman movies

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Best Roman movies

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Tue Dec 24, 2002 12:38 pm

Quite simple and straightforward: what, in your opinion, is/are the best movies on ancient Rome? Give us your favourite(s) with a little explanation! :D

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Tue Dec 24, 2002 1:09 pm

Salvete

Best portrayal of Roma antiqua on film: "A Funny Thing Happened on the Wat to the Forum" with Zero Mostel and Phil Silvers. The screen play was based on the plays of Plautus, and if you are familiar with Plautus you should be able to pick out what the screen writers borrowed. The best feature of the film though is in the background. All that is going on behind the main characters reflects a bustling city. This film IMHO gives a more accurate portrayal of life in Roma antiqua than any other staged film I have ever seen.

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Postby Anonymous on Tue Dec 24, 2002 8:02 pm

I always liked "Sparctacus." Great story, well acted, nice production values (for the time). Plus it has the great scene near the end where Crassus sends his legion marching in formation against the slaves.
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Postby Tiberius Dionysius Draco on Sat Aug 16, 2003 7:48 pm

Salvete Romani,

my favorite movie about Rome is Gladiator. Is must admit though, that I haven't seen that many movies about Rome.

Here the list of Roman movies that I've seen so far:

- Gladiator
- A funny thing happened on the way to the forum (part of it)
- Amazones and Gladiators (the horror, the horror)
- Ben Hur

And that's about it I'm afraid.

Stil, Gladiator is a good movie in my opinion. But I've still got to see some of the "Roman Classics" such as Spartacus and Cleopatra.

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sat Aug 16, 2003 8:33 pm

Salvete
Well i have seen bits and pieces of the Viking Queen strange titel for a movie that deals with the Britannic rebellion.
Cleopatra was a good movie as well although i haven't seen the originel one. Gladiator i also found good but as i have mentioned and stated before: Amazons and Gladiators really sucked as did the movie Arena.
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future movies of interest

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Fri Oct 31, 2003 5:01 pm

Salvete
I checked the Internet Movie Database at http://www.imdb.com/ and i found some interesting titles. In 2005 there will be a movie about Hannibal, who will cross the alps: starring Vin Diesel. There will also be a miniseries about Rome called Rome, but no details are really given about this. In 2004 they will be making a remake of Spartacus but in a miniseries with the same name. Goran Visnjic will be playing Spartacus.
Also on the alexander movies. Oliver stone is directing one Alexander the geat movie called Alexander starring Collin Farel as Alexander, Angelina Jolie as Olympias and Val Kilmer as Philip.
The second Alexander the great movie with the same title has more or less an unknown cast, at least to me.
The third Alexander the great movie is expected around 2005 starring Leonardo dicaprio as Alexander and Nicole Kidman as his mother Olympias. So now you know what to expect from Hollywood
thats all
vale
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Re: future movies of interest

Postby Tarquinius Dionysius on Fri Nov 21, 2003 9:58 pm

Romulus Aurelius Orcus wrote:Salvete
I checked the Internet Movie Database at http://www.imdb.com/ and i found some interesting titles. In 2005 there will be a movie about Hannibal, who will cross the alps: starring Vin Diesel. There will also be a miniseries about Rome called Rome, but no details are really given about this. In 2004 they will be making a remake of Spartacus but in a miniseries with the same name. Goran Visnjic will be playing Spartacus.
Also on the alexander movies. Oliver stone is directing one Alexander the geat movie called Alexander starring Collin Farel as Alexander, Angelina Jolie as Olympias and Val Kilmer as Philip.
The second Alexander the great movie with the same title has more or less an unknown cast, at least to me.
The third Alexander the great movie is expected around 2005 starring Leonardo dicaprio as Alexander and Nicole Kidman as his mother Olympias. So now you know what to expect from Hollywood
thats all
vale
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Yes, so I've read. This whole Alexander thing is getting a bit ridiculous. Instead of merging the two projects... :roll:

I'm very excited about the new Troye movie starring Brad Pitt though. I saw the trailer last week and it looked quite impressive. It seems the sword & sandal epics from the old Hollywood days are back. Also, Ridley Scott is currently in pre-production for his follow-up to Gladiator, which will, according to the director, focus on the political life this time. We'll have to wait and see...


As for the topic question. I haven't seen much Roman movies yet, except:

- Cleopatra
- Gladiator
- Ben Hur
- Amazons & Gladiators
- Titus

...if I had to pick one, it would probably be Titus. Both Gladiator and Ben-Hur were impressive (who can forget the chariot race? :) ) but Titus was very crazy. Anthony Hopkins was completely insane in that role :D

Cleopatra was basically one big balloon of air, however, credit goes to Manckiewicz for the effort to save this movie for what it was worth. Allegedly, many scenes about the decadent life of Cleopatra (like here lavish morning bath) were cut in favor of epic battle scenes and Manckiewicz was not pleased with how it turned out. That film nearly ruined 20th Century Fox. Go figure :lol:
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Postby Tarquinius Dionysius on Sun Dec 21, 2003 6:08 pm

oh btw, I hear Baz Luhrmann's Alexander is off. From IMDB:

"Director Oliver Stone is breathing a sigh of relief after learning Australian Baz Luhrmann's rival film about Alexander The Great has been called off. Stone has already begun filming his epic Alexander in Morocco with Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie, and Moulin Rouge director Luhrmann was set to follow with his own version of the story, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the historic conqueror. But according to reports in Britain's Heat magazine, Luhrmann's version has been called off after failing to attract enough foreign investment, which was slated to cost $150 million"
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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Mon Feb 16, 2004 6:32 am

New Spartacus movie:

According to the 7 February edition of TV Guide, the cable and satellite channel USA Network will broadcast a remake of Stanley Kubrick's 1960 version of Spartacus. The new version is said to be closer to the Howard Fast novel of 1951 and "more accurate historically". Yet the USA Network version will amplify the relationship between Spartacus and his beloved Varinia. The Executive Producer of the new Spartacus says, "What I want people to realize is that it's not just a movie about gladiators but a love story".

It's still about gladiators and therefore probably worth a peek.

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Mon Feb 16, 2004 8:34 pm

I think i will rent the original Spartacus by Kubrick in the upcoming holiday and I'm pretty sure that this love story they will emphasize on so much, will spoil the whole movie like so many great movies that were spoiled by love stories like Pearl Harbor, etc...
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Postby Quintus Servilius Priscus on Tue Feb 17, 2004 12:47 am

There's a Company called "Belle & Blade" the has a very good selection
of "Sword, Sandal and Turban" movies(please be advised this company
also sells a lot War videos of WWII and a lot of Nazi era stuff. Some people might think they are too Pro-Nazi in their selection.) They have
copies of the Original Hannibal with Victor Mature. They also carry the
movie "Scipio Africanus, The Defeat of Hannibal" made in 1937 and won
the Mussolini Cup. They also have Westerns, Comedy, Sci-Fi movies
and much more.

Here is a link to their site: http://www.warshows.com
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Postby Publius Dionysius Mus on Tue Feb 17, 2004 11:12 am

Salvete!

I recently rented the dvd with a miniseries called 'Julius Caesar' (directed by Uli Edel).

With a splendid Jeremy Sisto as Caesar, This was one of the best things on ancient Rome I had ever seen.

Definitely worth a try!

More information can be found at imdb.

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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:17 pm

I forgot to mention that the new Spartacus movie will be shown on 8 April.
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Postby Tarquinius Dionysius on Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:32 pm

It might also be interesting to note the upcoming movie The Passion of the Christ. Aside from the controversy, the film is spoken entirely in Latin and ancient Hebrew language. I'm very curious to what the pronunciation will be like.

I hear it's gonna be a pretty violent movie though, with long sequences of torture, beating, abuse... Some critics have said it's the most violent movie they've ever seen.

It's not until April when it arrives in Belgian theatres though. Any of the American members saw it?
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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:45 pm

hmm torture, beating, abuse, violence, my type of movie. :)
I'm pretty sure that some sequences will be cut like they did with the movie Event Horizon where they cut more than 15 minutes of scenes because it was too violent.
If they start to speak the actual languages of those days in movies, we might be seeing a change in Hollywood where they will not make movies anymore about antiquity where everyone speaks English? Nay, aint goin to happen.
On another note, did anyone saw the miniseries Helene of troy? I heard that there were biblical references in it, but i didn't really notice it.
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Postby Tarquinius Dionysius on Sat Feb 28, 2004 1:04 am

Romulus Aurelius Orcus wrote:hmm torture, beating, abuse, violence, my type of movie. :)
I'm pretty sure that some sequences will be cut like they did with the movie Event Horizon where they cut more than 15 minutes of scenes because it was too violent.
If they start to speak the actual languages of those days in movies, we might be seeing a change in Hollywood where they will not make movies anymore about antiquity where everyone speaks English? Nay, aint goin to happen.
On another note, did anyone saw the miniseries Helene of troy? I heard that there were biblical references in it, but i didn't really notice it.

Technically speaking, The Passion of the Christ is an independant film. Gibson shot it entirely through own funding. Hollywood's got nothing to do with this one :)
The MPAA didn't cut a single scene as a matter of fact.
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sat Feb 28, 2004 12:09 pm

Salvete

Violence? I suppose those in the audience who were weeping were also the type who would not have gone to see Event Horizon, which I thought was more violent than The Pasion of THE Christ. First beating him with sticks, to ensure he'd welt up before scourging, and then having the spines rip into his flesh (brief shot) was good, not too graphic I thought, and all the blood was no where near what would actually appear.

The Latin, I thought, was ecclesciastical, not Classical, and the pronounciation was Italian. Struck me a little odd the Jesus responded to Pilot in Latin; no Greek in the film. And Herod is about the oddest character. I think that putting the film into Latin and Aramaic was a good idea. Otherwise the focus would have shifted as to which English translation to use, and there would be differences between Catholic and Protestant versions.

The film has little if nothing to do with Rome. It is not intended to be an historical film but a presentation of the NT, which has nothing to do with history anyway. Reenactors will enjoy tearing the film apart for its inaccuracies - helmets, spears, all wrong, leather lorica. Historical details are a joke. As to its controversy, I thought it did present Jews as the cause of the execution. The Romans, in general, came off rather sympathetic to Jesus. Pilot is forced to order the execution or face a Jewish revolt. Pilot's wife Claudia is very sympathetic towards Jesus and Mary, and even some of the Roman soldiers who carry out the execution were sympathetic. Some of the Romans who carried out the torture were mocking, but still, all in all, I thought the Romans came over as more sympathetic to Jesus than merely neutral bystanders.

Over all I do not think the film was very good. It does not have an emotional appeal, I thought. It will for Christians no doubt. Gibson's film of the torture and death of William Wallace was much better in appealling to the audience on an emotional level.

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sat Feb 28, 2004 12:50 pm

Salve Piscine
Violence? I suppose those in the audience who were weeping were also the type who would not have gone to see Event Horizon, which I thought was more violent than The Pasion of THE Christ. First beating him with sticks, to ensure he'd welt up before scourging, and then having the spines rip into his flesh (brief shot) was good, not too graphic I thought, and all the blood was no where near what would actually appear.

Ofcourse Event Horizon is very different to The Passion of the Christ. I never saw Event Horizon on dvd only on vhs, so the original version was not shown there although Paul Anderson- as rumoured- promised a directors cut of the movie, it hasn't come out yet.
Concerning the controversy, if i'm not mistaken it were the Jews who handed out Jesus to the Romans and wanted him to see him prosecuted by the Romans. So far i can remember, the story of Jesus being executed didn't really had a bad guy because the Romans did what they had to do to stop a revolt and the Jews did what they thought was right in order to escape the wrath of the Romans.
Today i read in the newspaper that a woman in her fifties died of a stroke while watching the Passion of Christ. I find this a lame way of doing this, saying that a woman died of a stroke while watching the movie. Those Hell sequences in Event Horizon are- if i can trust your opinion on the movie- more violent than the Passion of Christ, but yet those sequences didn't last that long. Event Horizon is a good movie with a good story but cutting in those hell sequences was a bad idea because it didn't had much of a impact on its audiences. If the original version was shown, it would be a true horror flick that in a way could compete with the Alien saga.
You can hardly imagine that any Hollywood movie - independant or not- will be 100% historical accurate. I don't think this is even possible.
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sat Feb 28, 2004 9:48 pm

Salve Romule

Romulus Aurelius Orcus wrote:You can hardly imagine that any Hollywood movie - independant or not- will be 100% historical accurate. I don't think this is even possible.


No??? :wink: John Wayne watching the sunset off Viet Nam to the East? I can't think of one. Though I thought the depiction in Cold Mountain of the Battle of the Crater was fairly accurate.

As I said, the Passion is not intended to be historical. I do not think you can fairly judge the film from an historical aspect. It is more a matter of whether the film rightly depicts the Christian myth. And that is what much of the controvesary surrounding the film has been about. Did it succeed in that? It presented one interpretation. Christians will have to answer as to how well. My wife was affected by it, horror struck, which might argue that the film makers succeeded in their intent. But my wife has not really discussed the film with me yet. I think after Sunday I may hear more.

BTW I did not like Event Horizon in the least.

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:29 am

As far as history is concerned, some people even doubt that Jesus actually existed. And if he did, he was probably not the bearded fellow we think he was. His beard was only added later in Byzantine drawings (beards were a symbol of manliness and power).

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