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Ancient Civilizations in Film

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.

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.

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. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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.

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.

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. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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. ; (vhs is dubbed in English) Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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 : Disc 1: 1991 fully restored feature film ; audio commentaries by Kirk Douglas, Peter Ustinov, Howard Fast, Edward Lewis, Robert A.

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. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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