Ancient Civilizations in the Movies











Egypt and the Middle East
Classical Greece and Rome
The New World
Ancient Greece and Rome
Classical Greek Drama
Ancient Greece and Rome in the Movies bibliography

Agora (Spain, 2009)
Directed by Alejandro Amenábar. Cast: Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac, Ashraf Barhom, Rupert Evans, Homayoun Ershadi, Michael Lonsdale, Sammy Samir, Richard Durden, Omar Mostafa, Oshri Cohen, Yousef Sweid. A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hopes of pursuing freedom while also falling in love with his master, the famous female philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria. Special features: Director presentation; director commentary; Journey to Alexandria (documentary); deleted scenes; storyboards; photo gallery. 126 min. DVD X6167
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Alexander (2004)
Directed by Oliver Stone. Cast: Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins. The story of Alexander the Great, who in 4th century BC conquered ninety percent of the known world of the time by defeating Greece, Persia, Afghanistan, and India in just eight years. 167 min. DVD 4171
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Anthony and Cleopatra
For various dramatizations featuring Anthony and Cleopatra, SEE Ancient Egypt and the Middle East

Ben-Hur (1959)
Director, William Wyler. Cast: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott. The story of a Jewish nobleman, set in the time of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Christianity. 281 min. DVD 3370; also DVD X2000; vhs 999:233 pt. 1-2
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Ben-Hur (1925)
Director, Fred Niblo. Cast: Ramon Novarro, Francis X. Bushman, May McAvoy, Betty Bronson, Claire McDowell, Kathleen Key, Carmel Myers, Nigel de Brulier, Mitchell Lewis, Leo White, Frank Currier, Charles Belcher, Dale Fuller, Winter Hall. Silent version of the sweeping saga that tells the story of a young Jewish nobleman who leads his nation against the wrath of the conquering Romans. His self-imposed destiny brings tragedy to himself and his people, as he learns to fight, love, hate and, finally, forgive. 148 min. DVD X2000
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Buchanan, Judith. "Gospel Narratives on Silent Film." In: The Cambridge companion to literature on screen / edited by Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2007. (Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1997.85 .C36 2007; Media Resources Center PN1997.85 .C36 2007)
Thomas, Gordon. "Getting It Right the Second Time: Adapting Ben-Hur for the Screen." Bright Lights Film Journal, vol. 52, 2006 May
Williams, Michael. "The Idol Body: Stars, Statuary and the Classical Epic." Film & History, Fall2009, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p39-48, 10p UC users only
Winchell, Mark Royden. "Racing for glory : Fred Niblo's Ben-Hur (1926) and William Wyler's Ben-Hur (1959)" In: God, man, and Hollywood : politically incorrect cinema from "The birth of a nation" to "The Passion of the Christ". Wilmington, Del. : ISI Books, 2008. (Main Stack PN1995.9.S6.W53 2008)

Ben-Hur (1907)
Directors, Frank Oakes Rose and Sidney Olcott. Cast: Herman Rottger, William S. Hart. Early silent short about a Jewish prince who is betrayed, sent into slavery by a Roman friend, and comes back for revenge. 13 min. DVD X6324

Cabiria (Italy, 1914)
Directed by Giovanni Pastrone. Cast: Letizia Catena, Letizia Quaranta, Gina Marangoni, Bartolomeo Pagano, Italia Mazini. The personal adventures of a Roman girl (Cabiria) and her two benefactors in the third century B.C. during the Second Punic War. Includes scenes of the eruption of Mt. Etna, sea battles, and Hannibal crossing the Alps. Opens with a brief description of the Italian genre of historical spectacular films, plus a history of the making of the film Cabiria. Based on Cabiria by Gabriele d'Annunzio. 123 min. DVD 410; VHS 999:1800
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Campani, Ermelinda M. "Cabiria, the Novel of the Fire, and the Making of Cinema/History." Stanford Humanities Review. 7 (2): 166-79. 1999 Winter.
Celli, Carlo J. "Cabiria as a D'Annunzian Document." RLA: Romance Languages Annual. 9: 179-82. 1997.

Caligula (Italy / USA, 1979)
Directed by Tinto Brass. Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Teresa Ann Savoy, Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud, Adriana Asti. Portrays the decadence and debauchery that marked the reign of the Roman emperor Caligula from 37-41 A.D. The details of his cruel, bizarre reign are revealed: his unholy sexual passion for his sister, his marriage to Rome's most infamous prostitute, and his fiendishly inventive means of disposing of those who would oppose him. 156 min. DVD 1055
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Clash of the Titans (UK | USA, 2010)
Directed by Louis Leterrier. Cast: Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, Alexa Davalos, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Danny Huston, Jason Flemyng. When Hades, the god of the underworld, takes his family, Perseus embarks on a mission to defeat him before he can seize ultimate power and unleash hell on earth. 106 min. DVD X4186
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Llewellyn-Jones, Lloyd. "Gods of the silver screen: cinematic representations of myth and divinity." In: A companion to Greek religion / edited by Daniel Ogden. Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2007. (Main (Gardner) Stacks BL790 .C66 2007)

Clash of the Titans (1981)
Directed by Desmond Davis. Cast: Harry Hamlin, Judi Bowker, Burgess Meredith, Maggie Smith, Ursula Andress, Claire Bloom, Sian Phillips, Flora Robson, Laurence Olivier. Perseus is the mortal son of Zeus, who sets out to fulfill his destiny by rescuing beloved Andromeda from the wrath the goddess Thetis. Perils await Perseus time and again. In order to fufill his destiny, Perseus must complete various tasks including taming Pegasus, capturing Medusa, and answering riddles. Special features: "A conversation with Ray Harryhausen" featurette; "Myths and monsters" gallery; theatrical trailer. 118 min. DVD X2761
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Harryhausen, Ray. Ray Harryhausen : an animated life New York : Billboard Books, 2004. (MAIN: NC1766.U52 H374 2004)
Llewellyn-Jones, Lloyd. "Gods of the silver screen: cinematic representations of myth and divinity." In: A companion to Greek religion / edited by Daniel Ogden. Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2007. (Main (Gardner) Stacks BL790 .C66 2007)
Mandell, P. "Of genies and dragons: the career of Ray Harryhausen." American Cinematographer v. 73 (December 1992) p. 77-81

Cleopatra
For various dramatizations featuring Cleopatra, SEE Ancient Egypt and the Middle East

Coriolanus (1951)
William Shakespeare. Live television adaptation of Coriolanus in modern dress. The settings of ancient Rome are turned into Fascist Italy. Featuring Richard Greene, Judith Evelyn, Richard Purdy, Tom Poston. 145 min. Video/C 2665

Coriolanus (1963)
William Shakespeare. BBC production, 1983. Cast: Anthony Pedley, Foss Ackland, Irene Worth, Teddy Kempner, Alan Howard, Peter Sands. 60 min. DVD 585; vhs Video/C 2277

Coriolanus (1963)
William Shakespeare. BBC production, 1983. Cast: Anthony Pedley, Foss Ackland, Irene Worth, Teddy Kempner, Alan Howard, Peter Sands. 60 min. Video/C 2277
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Demetrius and the Gadiators (1954)
See Religious Themes in the Movies & Television

The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
Directed by Anthony Mann. Cast: Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness, James Mason, Christopher Plummer, Anthony Quayle, John Ireland, Omar Sharif, Mel Ferrer. After poisoning the Emperor of the Roman Empire Marcus Aurelius, his supposed son Commodus falls into dissipation and allows Rome to be ravaged by pestilence and the Barbarians. Thus begins the fall of the Roman Empire; a great civilization not conquered from without until it had destroyed itself from within. 185 min. DVD 5653
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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)
Directed by Richard Lester. Cast: Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Jack Gilford, Buster Keaton. A bawdy comedy set in early Rome concerning a slave who can win his freedom if he can hook up his innocent young master with the virgin courtesan next door. 98 min. DVD 623; vhs 999:232
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Giants of Thessaly (aka. I Giganti della Tessaglia ; Gli argonauti ; The argonauts) (Italy | France, 1960)
Directed by Riccardo Freda. Cast: Roland Carey, Ziva Rodann, Alberto Farnese, Massimo Girotti. Jason and Orpheus leave Thessaly on a quest for the magical Golden Fleece. On their adventures they encounter an assortment of monsters, wizards and a witch. 73 min. DVD X4875
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Gladiator (UK / USA, 2000)
Directed by Ridley Scott. Cast: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, Richard Harris. In the year 180, after the death of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, Maximus, one of the Roman army's most capable and trusted generals is stripped of his rank and sold ito slavery, as Marcus's devious son, Commodus, ascends to the thrown. Forced to become a gladiator, Maximus is determined to avenge himself and eventually gets the opportunity, when Commodus decides to put his own fighting mettle to the test by squaring off with Maximus in a battle to the death. With special features. 155 min. DVD 399
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Hercules (Le Fatiche di Ercole) (Italy / Spain, 1959)
Director Pietro Francisci. Cast: Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina, Ivo Garrani. Hercules, the half-god superhero, travels to the ancient Greek kingdom of Iolcus in order to tutor Iphitus, son of King Pelias, in the art of combat. Dubbed in English. 107 min. DVD 8196
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Blanshard, Alastair. "Peplum traditions : Hercules (1958)." In: Classics on screen : ancient Greece and Rome on film / Alastair J. L. Blanshard, Kim Shahabudin. London : Bristol Classical Press, 2011. (Main (Gardner) Stacks New books PN1995.9.C515 B53 2011)

Hercules (1997)
Disney. Voices: Tate Donovan, Danny DeVito, James Woods. Animated, musical adaptation of the story of Hercules. Taken from the gods as a newborn and adopted on earth, Hercules becomes an awkward, teenage pillar of strength. He discovers Zeus is his dad and home is on Mount Olympus. Hercules teams up with his pal Pegasus, the flying stallion, and Phil, a feisty personal trainer, as he matches wits with the comical hothead Hades. Special features: Includes The Making of Hercules. DVD 127
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History of the World, Part 1 (1981)
Directed by Mel Brooks. Cast: Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Ron Carey, Gregory Hines, Pamela Stephenson, Andreas Voutsinas, Shecky Greene, Sid Caesar, Mary-Margaret Humes. A humorous look at the ages of man. Includes eras through the French Revolution and some parts of history that never quite made it into the textbooks. 93 min. DVD X807; vhs 999:3845
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I, Claudius (1976)
Director: Herbert Wise. Cast: Derek Jacobi, Sian Phillips, Brian Blessed, John Hurt. A dramatization of Robert Graves' version of the times of the Roman Empire from Augustus to Claudius told through the dying Claudius as he sets down the history of his family. 13 videocassettes 754 min. DVD 381; vhs Video/C 2104 pt. 1-13
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Intolerance (1916)
Directed by D.W. Griffith. Made in response to charges of racial prejudice following Griffith's Birth of a nation. Film uses four separate historical events from the fall of Babylon to the twentieth century to show that intolerance pervades in the minds of all people. Each story has its own set of characters. approx. 178 min. DVD 147; vhs 999:149
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It's a Greek Life (1936)
Animated short. "Greek mythology is the setting for this romp. A bumbling centaur smithy is charged with fixing Mercury's winged sandals. When Mercury demands that the smithy repair his damaged winged shoes, our buddy has to try on the shoes, to the chagrin of his two duck companions. The lowly half-man/half-horse can't resist taking the shoes out for a test spin. Aspiring to be godlike, the centaur tries to emulate the winged flight of the vain, musclebound Mercury. When Mercury returns, he finds that his sandals are ruined! The angry god grabs the centaur and begins to beat him up in a wrestling match. But Mercury's sandals kick Mercury out of the shoe shop and take up permanent residence with the centaur." [description from Big Cartoon Database] Approx. 7 min. DVD 2356
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Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
Directed by Don Chaffey. Jason is a fearless sailor and explorer, who returns to the kingdom of Thessaly after a 20-year voyage to make his rightful claim to the throne. But to do so, Jason must first find the magical Golden Fleece which is guarded by a 100-foot bronze giant, the venomous Hydra, and an army of skeletons. 104 min. DVD 3394; vhs 999:1301
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Blanshard, Alastair. "Myth and the fantastic : Jason and the Argonauts (1963)." In: Classics on screen : ancient Greece and Rome on film / Alastair J. L. Blanshard, Kim Shahabudin. London : Bristol Classical Press, 2011. (Main (Gardner) Stacks New books PN1995.9.C515 B53 2011)
Harryhausen, Ray. Ray Harryhausen : an animated life New York : Billboard Books, 2004. (MAIN: NC1766.U52 H374 2004)
Llewellyn-Jones, Lloyd. "Gods of the silver screen: cinematic representations of myth and divinity." In: A companion to Greek religion / edited by Daniel Ogden. Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2007. (Main (Gardner) Stacks BL790 .C66 2007)
Mandell, P. "Of genies and dragons: the career of Ray Harryhausen." American Cinematographer v. 73 (December 1992) p. 77-81
Von Gunden, Kenneth. "Jason and the Argonauts: Ancient Mythology" In: Flights of fancy : the great fantasy films Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, 1989. (MAIN: PN1995.9.F36 V57 1989; MOFF: PN1995.9.F36 V57 1989)
Pettigrew, Neil. "Jason and the Argonauts (1963): The Skeleton Battle." Cinefantastique, Feb99, Vol. 31 Issue 1/2, p30-30 UC users only

Julius Caesar (1979)
Cast: Richard Pasco, Keith Michell, Charles Gray, David Collings, Virginia McKenna. Presents a dramatization of William Shakespeare's play entitled Julius Caesar. 180 min. DVD 434; Video/C 2668

Sargemt, Seymour H. "Julius Caesar and the historical film." English Journal v 61 Feb 1972. p. 230-3+

Julius Caesar (1970)
Directed by Stuart Burge. Cast: : Charlton Heston, Jason Robards, John Gielgud, Richard Johnson, Robert Vaughn, Richard Chamberlain, Diana Rigg. Film adaptation of Shakespeare's play depicting the successful conspiracy to assasinate the Roman emperor, Julius Caesar. 116 min. DVD X3508; Video/C 1392
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Sargemt, Seymour H. "Julius Caesar and the historical film." English Journal v 61 Feb 1972. p. 230-3+

Julius Caesar (1953)
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Cast: Marlon Brando, James Mason, John Gielgud, Louis Calhern, Edmond O'Brien, Greer Garson, Deborah Kerr. Shakespearean classic that provides a portrait of the political infighting and lust for power of a turbulent, blood-stained era. 122 min. DVD 8494
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Sargemt, Seymour H. "Julius Caesar and the historical film." English Journal v 61 Feb 1972. p. 230-3+

King of Kings (1927)
Director, Cecil B. DeMille. Cast: H.B. Warner, Jacqueline Logan, Rudolph Schildkraut, Dorothy Cummings, Ernest Torrence, Montagu Love, Sam De Grasse. An ostentatious retelling of the life of Christ that sealed DeMille's reputation as a master of the biblical epic. The film recounts the teachings of the humble carpenter but also the blasphemies of the Roman Empire in all its sinful splendor. 115 min. DVD 4966; DVD 3628; vhs 999:1701
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The Last Days of Pompeii (Ultimi giorni di Pompeii) (Italy, 1913)
Directed by Mario Caserini, Eleuterio Rodolfi. Cast: Fernanda Negri Pouget, Eugenia Tettoni Fior, Ubaldo Stefani. An influential Italian epic that paved the way for elaborate costume dramas about the final hours of residents of Pompeii before the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Among the last of the great tableaux films, most scenes are explained by a title, then dramatized within a single wide shot, a presentation style whose origins are more theatrical and literary than cinematic. 88 min. DVD 523; DVD X6628
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The Last Days of Pompeii (1935)
Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack. Cast: Preston Foster, Alan Hale, Basil Rathbone, John Wood, Louis Calhern. Peaceloving blacksmith Marcus refuses lucrative offers to fight in the arena...until his wife dies for lack of medical care. His life as a gladiator coarsens him, and shady enterprises make him the richest man in Pompeii, while his son Flavius (who met Jesus on a brief visit to Judaea) is as gentle as Marcus once was. The final disaster of Marcus and Flavius's cross purposes is interrupted by the eruption of Vesuvius. Based on an original story by James Ashmore Creelman and Melville Baker, which in turn had its ultimate origins in: The last days of Pompeii by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. 96 min. DVD X6629
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Pompeii in the public imagination from its rediscovery to today / edited by Shelley Hales and Joanna Paul. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2011. (Main (Gardner) Stacks DG70.P7 P6175 2011)

The Last Days of Pompeii (Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei) (Italy | Spain | Monaco | West Germany, 1959)
Directed by Mario Bonnard. Cast: Steve Reeves, Fernando Rey, Christine Kauffman, Barbara Carroll. Story of the treachery, corruption and lust which some believe caused the horrible punishment of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, burying the city of Pompeii. 97 min. DVD X6628
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Pompeii in the public imagination from its rediscovery to today / edited by Shelley Hales and Joanna Paul. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2011. (Main (Gardner) Stacks DG70.P7 P6175 2011)

Nero, or the Fall of Rome (Italy, 1909)
Director, Arturo Ambrosio. DVD 277; vhs 999:17012

The Odyssey (TV, 1997)
Cast: Armand Assante, Greta Scacchi, Geraldine Chaplin, Jeroen Krabbe, Christopher Lee, Irene Papas, Bernadette Peters, Eric Roberts, Isabella Rossellini, Vanessa Williams. In this spectacular presentation of Homer's Odyssey the warrior-king Odysseus, aided by the goddess Athena, braves the terrors and temptations of a fantastic array of creatures as his return from the Trojan War becomes a decade-long quest to reach his homeland and his faithful wife, Penelope. Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. 165 min. Video/C 5426
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Quo Vadis (1951)
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, Peter Ustinov. Returning to Rome after 3 years in the field, General Marcus Vinicius meets and falls in love with the devout Christian, Lygia. She doesn't want to have anything to do with the warrior. Though Lygia grew up Roman, and as the adopted daughter of a retired general, Lygia is technically a hostage of Rome. Marcus gets Emperor Nero to give her to him for services rendered. Lygia is not happy about this situation, but she falls in love with Marcus anyway. Meanwhile, Nero's atrocities get more outrageous. When he burns Rome and blames the Christians, Marcus goes off to save Lygia and her family. Nero captures them and all other Christians. He decides to make a sport of it by throwing them to the lions. Special DVD features: Disc one: Movie, part one; theatrical trailers -- Disc two: Movie, part two; "In the beginning: Quo Vadis and the genesis of the Biblical epic" new featurette (43 min.); commentary by critic/film historian F.X. Feeney; original roadshow overture and exit music rejoined to the film. 169 min. DVD X3122
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Blanshard, Alastair. "The Roman epics of classical Hollywood : Quo vadis (1951)." In: Classics on screen : ancient Greece and Rome on film / Alastair J. L. Blanshard, Kim Shahabudin. London : Bristol Classical Press, 2011. (Main (Gardner) Stacks New books PN1995.9.C515 B53 2011)
Hoberman, J. "After Quo Vadis: Onward Christian soldier, Watch out for the Wild One." In: An army of phantoms : American movies and the making of the Cold War / J. Hoberman. New York : The New Press : Distributed by Perseus Distribution, 2011. (Moffitt; PFA PN1995.9.P6 H62 2011
Kelly, Rachael. "Whither Quo Vadis? Sienkiewicz's novel in film and television." Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television, Mar2011, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p81-83, 3p UC users only
Pauly, Thomas H. "The Way to Salvation: The Hollywood Blockbuster of the 1950s." Prospects: An Annual Journal of American Cultural Studies. 5: 467-487. 1980.

The Robe(1953)
See Religious Themes in the Movies & Television

Roman Legion-Hare (1955)
Animated short. Directed by Friz Freleng. Yosemite Sam, as head of a Roman legion, is ordered by Emperor Nero to find a victim to toss to the lions. Or else, he'll be the victim. Sam meets up with Bugs Bunny and decides Bugs will make a good victim. But it's Sam and Nero who end up as lion food. DVD 7359

Roman Orgy (L'Orgie romaine) (France, 1911)
Directed by Louis Feuillade. The dissolute Emperor Heliogabalus dresses as a woman, and looses lions among his guests. DVD X2029
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Roman Scandals (1933)
Directed by Frank Tuttle. Original story by George S. Kaufman and Robert E. Sherwood. Cast: Eddie Cantor, Ruth Etting, Gloria Stuart, Edward Arnold, David Manners. In this musical comedy a wistful young man from Oklahoma daydreams his way back to ancient Rome in its hey-day where he finds himself a spokesperson for the downtrodden Roman people, suffering under the tyrannical rule of the cruel and sneering Emperor Valerius. Features the screen debut of Lucille Ball and choreography by Busby Berkeley. 92 min. DVD X6483; vhs 999:2237
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Goldman, Herbert G. Banjo eyes : Eddie Cantor and the birth of modern stardom / Herbert G. Goldman. New York : Oxford University Press, 1997. (Music PN2287.C36 G66 1997)
Malamud, Margaret. "An American Immigrant in Imperial Caesar's Court: Romans in 1930s Films." Arion Third Series, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Fall, 2004), pp. 127-159
Malamud, Margaret. "Swords-and-Scandals: Hollywood's Rome during the Great Depression." Arethusa, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 157-183, 2008 Winter
Routt, William D.; Thompson, Richard J. ""Keep Young and Beautiful": Surplus and Subversion in Roman Scandals." Journal of Film & Video, Spring90, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p17-35, 19p UCB users only
Scodel, Ruth. "Dance as Power: The Women at the Baths in Roman Scandals." Helios, Fall2005, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p127-141, 15p UCB users only

Rome(TV, 2005/2006)
Cast: Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker, Kenneth Cranham, Max Pirkis, James Purefoy, Ciaran Hinds, Lindsay Duncan, Tobias Menzies, Kerry Condon, Karl Johnson, Indira Varma, David Bamber. Four hundred years after the founding of the Republic, Rome is the wealthiest city in the world, a cosmopolitan metropolis of one million people, epicenter of a sprawling empire. The Republic was founded on principles of shared power and fierce personal competition, never allowing one man to seize absolute control. But now, those foundations are crumbling, eaten away by corruption and excess. After eight years of war, soldiers Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo unwittingly become entwined in the historical events of ancient Rome. Bonus features: "Friends, Romans, countrymen": introduction to the characters of 'Rome'; eight revealing audio commentaries with cast and crew ; "All roads lead to Rome" interactive onscreen guide prepared by the series' historical consultant, Jonathan Stamp ; Shot-x-shot: Gladiator - a closer look at the thrilling episode 11 fight sequence ; Shot-x-shot: Caesar's triumph - detailing the production of the epic episode 10 triumph scene ; "The rise of Rome": behind-the-scenes featurette on sets, wardrobe and actors' boot camp ; "When in Rome" featurette on the culture of ancient Rome ; Photo gallery with over 50 never-before-scene images ; Eight-page Roman character guide booklet featuring names, profiles, relationships and other key historical information. Disc 1. The stolen eagle; How Titus Pullo brought down the Republic -- Disc 2. An owl in a thornbush; Stealing from Saturn; The ram has touched the wall -- Disc 3. Egeria; Pharsalus; Caesarion -- Disc 4. Utica; Triumph -- Disc 5. The spoils; Kalends of February -- Disc 6. Bonus features. Contains all 12 episodes from the first season. Originally broadcast on HBO during the 2005-2006 season. DVD 5961

Lockett, Christopher. "Accidental History: Mass Culture and HBO's Rome." Journal of Popular Film & Television, Fall2010, Vol. 38 Issue 3, p102-112, 11p UCB users only

Satyricon (Italy / France, 1969)
Directed by Federico Fellini. Cast: Martin Potter, Hiram Keller, Capucine, Max Born. "A free adaptation of the Petronius classic," recreating the bawdy and lecherous days of Nero's reign in ancient Rome. It is also an allegorical satire of the self-indulgence of modern society. 130 min. DVD 647; vhs 999:792
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School Play (Stage Fright) (1923)
Directed by Robert F. McGowan. Produced by Hal Roach. Cast: Our Gang: Joe Cobb, Ernie Morrison, Jack Davis, Mickey Daniels, Mary Kornman, Jackie Condon, Allen Hoskins, Jannie Hoskins, Andy Samuels. Our Gang must act in the upcoming school play set in ancient Rome, while garbed in an array of silly outfits. vhs 999:2043

Sebastiane (1976)
Directed by Derek Jarman. Cast: Leonardo Treviglio, Barney James, Richard Warwick, Ken Hicks, Janusz Romanov, Neil Kennedy. Describes the last few days of the life of the Catholic martyr St. Sebastian, in particular his relationship with the Emperor Diocletian in 303 A.D., his banishment to a remote outpost of the Roman Empire because of his Christian sympathies, the ambiguous relation with his commanding officer, Severus, and finally his execution by his fellow soldiers. 85 min. DVD 1621
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Derek Jarman bibliography

Sign of the Cross (1932)
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Cast: Fredric March, Elissa Landi, Claudette Colbert, Charles Laughton, Ian Keith, Vivian Tobin, Nat Pendleton, Arthur Hohl. Shows the struggle between Christians and pagans in ancient Rome. The half-mad Nero delights in burning the city and blaming the fire on the Christians so he can slaughter them. In the midst of this, Rome's prefect falls in love with a Christian maiden, while spurning the advances of Nero's powerful empress. 90 min. DVD 5666; vhs 999:2217
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Sins of Rome: Story of Spartacus (Spartaco) (Italy | France, 1952)
Directed by Riccardo Freda. Cast: Massimo Girotti, Ludmilla Tcherina, Yves Vincent, Gianna Maria Canale, Carlo Ninchi, Vittorio Sanipoli. A retelling of the 1st century B.C. slave revolt which shook the Roman Empire to its core. It is led by a Thracian slave, Spartacus. There is an abundance of romantic plot twists, gladiatorial combat and battle scenes. 90 min. DVD X4875; vhs 999:1601 (vhs is dubbed in English)
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Spartacus (Spartaco) (Italy, 1913)
Directed by Giovanni Enrico Vidali. Cast: Luciano Albertini, Enrico Bracci 58 min. An early Italian silent era spectacle based on the revolt of the slaves of ancient Rome. DVD X6324
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Spartacus Spartaco) (Italy, 1914)
Directed by Roberto Chiosso. An early Italian silent era spectacle based on the revolt of the slaves of ancient Rome. One of the historical "kolossals" of the silent era which were produced to stimulate the nationalism of Italians as they veered toward intervention during World War I. 58 min. vhs 999:3246

Spartacus (1960)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Cast: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, John Gavin, Tony Curtis. The story of the blood gladiator slave Spartacus, the woman who believed in his cause, and the powerful Roman general who challenged his convictions. Set against the background of Imperial Rome, this is an inspirational true account of man's eternal struggle for freedom. Special features on DVD 2088: Disc 1: 1991 fully restored feature film ; audio commentaries by Kirk Douglas, Peter Ustinov, Howard Fast, Edward Lewis, Robert A. Harris, Saul Bass; scene analysis by Dalton Trumbo ; aditional Alex North score compositions; restoration demonstration -- Disc 2: Rare deleted scenes ; vintage newsreel footage; 1960 promotional interviews with Jean Simmons, Peter Ustinov ; 1992 video interview with Peter Ustinov; behind-the-scenes "gladiatorial school" footage; the 1960 documentary The Hollywood ten, plus archival documents about the blacklist; original storyboards by Saul Bass ; production stills; sketches by director Stanley Kubrick; original theatrical trailer.196 min. DVD 2088 (fully restored version); DVD 261

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The Three Ages (1916)
Directed by Buster Keaton, Eddie Cline. Keaton's first feature film, a parody of Griffith's "Intolerance," with Buster in prehistoric days, ancient Rome and in modern times. approx. 58 min. DVD 134; vhs 999:862
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300 (2006)
Directed by Zack Snyder. Cast: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West, David Wenham, Vincent Regan, Michael Fassbender, Tom Wisdom, Andrew Pleavin, Andrew Tiernan, Rodrigo Santoro, Giovani Antonio Cimmino. In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian army in the mountain pass of Thermopylae. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the enemy in one of the most famous last stands of history. Persian King Xerxes lead a Army of well over 100,000 men to Greece and was confronted by 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians and other Slave soldiers. Xerxes waited many days for King Leonidas to surrender or withdraw. When the Greeks did not leave, Xerxes was left with no option and he moved forward. The battle lasted for about 3 days and after which all 300 Spartans were killed. The Spartan defeat would not have happened if not for a local shepherd, named Ephialtes, who defected to the Persians and informed Xerxes of a separate path through Thermopylae, which the Persians could use to outflank the Greeks. Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. 116 min. DVD 8116
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Courcoux, Charles-Antoine. "From Here to Antiquity: Mythical Settings and Modern Sufferings in Contemporary Hollywood's Historical Epics." Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies Volume 39.2 (Fall 2009) pp. 29-38 UC users only

Titus (1999)
Directed by Julie Taymor. Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, Alan Cumming, Colm Feore, James Frain, Laura Fraser, Harry Lennix, Angus Macfadyen, Matthew Rhys, Jonathain Rhys Meyers. Potent, time-bending adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, about a Roman general whose rigid code of honor and duty proves to be his downfall. Tamora, queen of the Goths, is his prisoner who plots revenge in this examination of violence -- its cause and effect -- as it relates to modern society. 162 min. DVD 335
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Titus Andronicus
BBC. Director Jane Howell, c1985. Trevor Peacock (Titus), Aileen Atkins (Tamora), Hugh Quarshie (Aaron), Brian Protheroe (Saturninus), Nicholas Gecks (Bassianus), Gavin Richards (Lucius), Anna Calder-Marshall (Lavinia). 168 min. DVD 583; Video/C 2684

The Trojan Women (1971)
Director, Michael Cacoyannis. Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, Genevieve Bujold, Irene Papas, Patrick Magee. Set at the end of the Trojan War, all the Trojan warriors and princes are dead and the women and children are left to be divided among the conquerors. An indictment against the horror and futility of war. 105 min. DVD 3142; Video/C 732

Troy (2004)
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Cast: Julian Glover, Brian Cox, Nathan Jones, Adoni Maropis, Jacob Smith, Brad Pitt, John Shrapnel, Brendan Gleeson, Diane Kruger, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Julie Christie, Peter O'Toole. In 1193 B.C., Prince Paris, the son of the King of Troy falls in love with Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, and convinces her to follow him away from her husband, Menelaus, precipitating an epic war. The Greeks sail to Troy and lay siege. Achilles, the greatest warrior in all the world, is called in to fight against Troy and give Greece the upper hand. Hector, the eldest son of Priam, King of Troy, and the greatest Trojan warrior embodies the hopes of the people of his city. Based on the poem "Iliad" by Homer. 163 min. DVD 3382

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Egypt and the Middle East

Anthony & Cleopatra (UK, 1980)
Produced by Jonathan Miller. Cast: Colin Blakely, Jane Lapotaire, Ian Charleson, Emrys James, Esmond Knight. BBC production. 160 min. DVD 599; vhs Video/C 2662

Royster, Francesca T. Becoming Cleopatra : the shifting image of an icon. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. (Main Stack PN57.C55; R69 2003)

Anthony & Cleopatra (1983)
Directed by Lawrence Carra. Cast: Lynn Redgrave, Timothy Dalton, et al. Video/C 753:1-2
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Royster, Francesca T. Becoming Cleopatra : the shifting image of an icon. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. (Main Stack PN57.C55; R69 2003)
Willson, Robert F., Jr. "Shakespeare and Hollywood: Two Film Cliches." Journal of Popular Film and Television. 15 (2): 83-84. 1987 Summer.

Antony & Cleopatra (TV, 1974)
Royal Shakespeare Company. Cast: Richard Johnson, Janet Suzman, Patrick Stewart. Producer, Cecil Clarke; director, Jon Scoffield; staged for television by Trevor Nunn. 161 min. Video/C 3207

Royster, Francesca T. Becoming Cleopatra : the shifting image of an icon. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. (Main Stack PN57.C55; R69 2003)
Willson, Robert F., Jr. "Shakespeare and Hollywood: Two Film Cliches." Journal of Popular Film and Television. 15 (2): 83-84. 1987 Summer.

Caesar and Cleopatra (UK, 1946)
Directed by Gabriel Pascal. Cast: Vivien Leigh, Claude Rains, Stewart Granger, Flora Robson, Cecil Parker, Anthony Harvey, Stanley Holloway, Leo Genn. Cleopatra was the willful child who became a determined monarch and guided Egypt's fortunes. Caesar was her confidante and lover and the man who helped Cleopatra through her transformation. It was a union that was destined to produce one of history's greatest duos. Based on the play by George Bernard Shaw. 123 min. DVD X2674; vhs 999:730
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Royster, Francesca T. Becoming Cleopatra : the shifting image of an icon. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. (Main Stack PN57.C55; R69 2003)
Wyke, Maria. The Roman mistress : ancient and modern representations Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002. (MAIN: PA6029.L6 W95 2002)
Wyke, Maria. The Roman mistress : ancient and modern representations Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002. (MAIN: PA6029.L6 W95 2002)

Cleopatra (1934)
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Henry Wilcoxon. Story of the life of Cleopatra, queen of ancient Egypt from her ascension to the throne through her struggle for power and her loves and entanglements with Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. Especially noteworthy are the elaborate sets and the famous "barge scene"--one of the most talked about cinematic effects in film history. 101 min. DVD 5666
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Royster, Francesca T. Becoming Cleopatra : the shifting image of an icon. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. (Main Stack PN57.C55; R69 2003)
Sargemt, Seymour H. "Julius Caesar and the historical film." English Journal v 61 Feb 1972. p. 230-3+
Wyke, Maria. The Roman mistress : ancient and modern representations Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002. (MAIN: PA6029.L6 W95 2002)

Cecil B. DeMille

Cleopatra (1963)
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison. Story of the life of Cleopatra, queen of ancient Egypt from her ascension to the throne through her struggle for power and her loves and entanglements with Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. 246 min. DVD 986; DVD 8408
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Royster, Francesca T. Becoming Cleopatra : the shifting image of an icon. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. (Main Stack PN57.C55; R69 2003)
Sargemt, Seymour H."Julius Caesar and the historical film." English Journal v 61 Feb 1972. p. 230-3+
Wyke, Maria. The Roman mistress : ancient and modern representations Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002. (MAIN: PA6029.L6 W95 2002)

The Egyptian (1954)
Directed by Michael Curtiz. Cast: Victor Mature, Peter Ustinov, Jean Simmons, Gene Tierney, John Carradine, Michael Wilding, Bella Darvi, Edmund Prudom. In this epic set in Egypt more than 30 centuries ago, Sinuhe, a poor orphan, becomes a brilliant physician and with his friend Horemheb is appointed to the service of the new Pharoah. Sinuhe's personal triumphs and tragedies are played out against the larger canvas of the turbulent events of the 18th dynasty. Based on the novel by Mika Waltari. 139 min. vhs 999:3824
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The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)
Directed by Gordon Hessler. Cast: Phillip Law, Caroline Munro, Tom Baker, Douglas Wilmer, Martin Shaw. Sinbad the sailor finds a strange map and sets sail for a previously uncharted island where he crosses swords with an evil magician who brings inanimate objects to life to oppose Sinbad in his quest. 105 min. DVD 3397
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Land of the Pharaohs (1955)
Directed by Howard Hawks. Cast: Jack Hawkins, Joan Collins, Dewey Martin, Alexis Minotis, James Robertson Justice, Sydney Chaplin, Kerima, Carlo D'Angelo. The Great Pharaoh orders architect Vashtar to build him the highest pyramid in the world as his tomb. 15 years have passed and his treasury is dwindling, so he marries Princess Nellifer, but she is as ruthless as she is beautiful. 104 min. DVD 9402
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The Mummy SEE Horror Films

Prince of Egypt (1998)
Directed by Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells. Voices: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart. A musical animated adaptation of the story of Moses. Two brothers, one born of royal blood, one an orphan with a secret past grow up the best of friends. But the truth will ultimately set them apart, as one becomes the ruler of a powerful empire, while the other is revealed as the chosen leader of the Jewish people, destined to free them from bondage. 99 min. DVD 1408
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The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
Directed by Nathan Juran. Cast: Kerwin Mathews, Kathryn Grant, Torin Thatcher, Richard Eyer. Sinbad a bold sailor and prince of Baghdad, sets out for the mysterious island of Colossa where he hopes to obtain the egg of a roc--a fierce, giant bird. The egg will help restore to normal size the Princess Parisa who has been reduced to the size of a man's thumb by the evil magician, Sokurah. On Colossa, Parisa liberates the Genie of the magic lamp and together, Sinbad, Parisa and the Genie battle a man-eating cyclops, a two-headed roc, a fire-breathing dragon and a skeleton brought to life by Sokurah. All of these creatures must be defeated before Parisa can be restored. 94 min. DVD 3395; vhs 999:3632
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Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)
Directed by Sam Wanamaker. Cast: Patrick Wayne, Taryn Power, Margaret Whiting, Jane Seymour, Patrick Troughton. Sinbad, daring sailor and Prince of Baghdad, sets out to do battle with a Minaton, a bronze colossus, a giant troglodyte and other assorted creatures in a quest designed to win the hand of a beautiful princess. 114 min. DVD 3396
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The Ten Commandments SEE Religious Themed Films

The New World

Apocalypto (2006)
Directed by Mel Gibson. Cast: Rudy Youngblood, Dalia Hernandez, Jonathan Brewer, Morris Birdyellowhead, Carlos Emilio Baez, Ramirez Amilcar, Israel Contreras, Israel Rios, Maria Isabel Diaz, Espiridion Acosta Cache, Mayra Serbulo, Iazua Larios, Lorena Hernandez, Itandehui Gutierrez, Sayuri Gutierrez. As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw is a young man who is captured for sacrifice, but flees to avoid his fate. He is taken on a perilous journey to a world that is ruled by fear and oppression, where a harrowing end awaits him. Through a twist of fate and spurred by the power of his love for his woman and his family he will make a desperate break to return home and to ultimately save his way of life. Special features: "Becoming Mayan: making 'Apocalypto'" ; deleted scene with optional commentary by director Mel Gibson and co-writer Farhad Safinia ; feature commentary by director Mel Gibson and co-writer Farhad Safinia. 138 min. DVD 7535
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The Royal Hunt of the Sun (2006)
Directed by Irving Lerner. Cast: Robert Shaw, Christopher Plummer, Nigel Davenport, Michael Craig, Andrew Keir, William Marlowe, James Donald, Alexander Davion, Leonard Whiting. Fueled by promises of gold, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro and his explorers venture across the treacherous Andes Mountains to Peru. There, Pizarro captures King Atahuallpa, Inca's godlike monarch, and promises his freedom upon the deliverance of gold. But friendship and respect develop between the two leaders and when the King is sentenced to die, Pizarro finds himself torn between his desire for conquest and his sense of honor for the King. Based on the play by Peter Shaffer. 97 min. DVD 6953
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