The story picks up at the point where "The Robe (1953)" ends, following the martyrdom of Diana and Marcellus. Christ's robe is conveyed to Peter for safe-keeping, but the emperor Caligula wants it back to benefit from its powers. Marcellus' former slave Demetrius seeks to prevent this, and catches the eye of Messalina, wife to Caligula's uncle Claudius. Messalina tempts Demetrius, he winds up fighting in the arena, and wavers in his faith.Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
This was the ninth film telecast on "NBC Saturday Night at the Movies", the first television program to exclusively broadcast post-1948 theatrical films on US network television. This one was first telecast 18 November 1961, and like the opener of the series, How to Marry a Millionaire, and several others which followed, had been filmed in CinemaScope, at its original 2.55:1 ratio, and so had to be "formatted to fit your screen" i.e. shown pan/scan in the conventional 4:3 TV ratio, losing nearly half of the image in the process, and literally destroying the composition of each scene. But viewers didn't seem to mind. The idea proved so successful that NBC soon followed it up with another series with the identical format, "Monday Night at the Movies", and it wasn't long before the format was taken up by both CBS and ABC. See more »
When Claudius and Messalina were interviewing Demetrius on his Christian beliefs, the parrot on the perch next to Messalina's couch was a sulfur crested cockatoo, indigenous to Australia. Australia was unknown to the western world in the first century AD. Therefore, such birds would never have left their native habitat, much less be captive pets in Ancient Rome. See more »
" Do you think a Gladiator who has killed forty men like I have, can still find forgiveness? "
As a young boy going to the movies was entertaining and wondrous as I imagined how they could make men and animals so lifelike and real. When I first saw this movie " Demetrius and the Gladiators ", I was very impressed with the acting skills of both my favorite actors at the time. I loved the dynamic style of Victor Mature who plays Demetrius, and awed with his being able to fight a tiger to the death. I was further enthralled with my other favorite Richard Egan who played Dardanius. As a regular 'good guy' it was entertaining to see him play a heavy. Then again I felt that way about Ernest Borgnine who is Strabo and William Marshall as majestic 'Glycon, King of Swords'. The story is actually part two of the movie "The Robe" which I believed centered more on the Icon than on the slave character. There was something shortcoming about this sequel in that it concentrated on the search for the robe by the Mad Emperor Caligula, played to the hilt by superb actor Jay Robinson. With additional actors like Michael Rennie playing Peter the apostle and Barry Jones playing Claudius, the director tried to make this sequel as reverential as the first. But that was not what I sought when I first saw it. It was a great film for the arena action and that's what made it fun. I realize there are superior movies out there like 'Gladiator' by Ridley Scott, but I remember early films as a child and that's what made this one a Classic. ****
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