I, Claudius 1 Season 1976

Amazon Instant Video

Season 1
(151) IMDb 8.4/10

1. A Touch of Murder TV-NR CC

Rome, 24-9 BCE. Nearing the end of his life and surrounded by spies, Claudius, emperor of Rome, writes his family history. It begins during the reign of Augustus, with his treacherous grandmother, Livia, scheming to advance the career of her son, Tiberius.

Starring:
Derek Jacobi, Siân Phillips
Runtime:
1 hour 38 minutes
Original air date:
September 20, 1976

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A Touch of Murder

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Season 1

Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Herbert Wise
Starring Derek Jacobi, Siân Phillips
Supporting actors Brian Blessed, George Baker, Ian Ogilvy, Frances White, Margaret Tyzack, John Paul, Christopher Guard, Angela Morant, Sheila Ruskin, Carleton Hobbs, Michael Hawkins, Renu Setna, Freda Dowie, Guy Siner, David Davenport, Roger Bizley, Amanda Kirby, Russell Lewis
Network Acorn Media
Producers Martin Lisemore
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Great story with fantastic acting.
NickyD
I found the story to be very interesting, knowing that it was a history of Rome and was true.
CA Reader
I have watched this series many a time, and each time I find more and more to love.
Truthbard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Nancy c on April 24, 2012
36 years later, and this series still stands up against the Tudors, the Borgias and other period pieces. Lots less blatant sex and profanity, but the horror and thrills of the times still fascinate and hold the interest of viewers used to more modern serials. Highly recommended for anyone who likes period pieces, historical drama, or just great characters and acting.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By DigitalPaperCut on January 22, 2013
It's understandable to hesitate before investing time and money in epic historical dramas from the 1970s and earlier, as so many works from those eras are painfully overacted and disappointingly dependent on cliche.

However, I Claudius is a masterpiece, transcending limited technology of the day to become a timeless classic and required viewing for fans of the best in historical period films. Those who've watched more than once the films Becket, Henry VIII and His Six Wives, Rome, The Tudors, Cromwell and Elizabeth (x3), will find I Claudius to be a fascinating feast of evil-doings by the power-mad and just plain mad.

The most awe-inspiring performance was that of Sian Phillips as Livia Drusilla, empress and third wife of Augustus Caesar, grandmother of Claudius. I simply cannot recall a more all-consuming, bone-chilling, poison-hearted yet void-of-all-emotion portrayal by any actress, ever. Her infinite cruelty is exceeded only by the shockingly calm manner in which she dishes it out. She's not angry...she's just deadly. She elegantly redefines the term "wicked stepmother," making all others seem like Mother Teresa in comparison.

Derek Jacobi is of course brilliantly nuanced in his narration and performance throughout the life of stammering, ticking and limping Claudius, the smartest of the entire dysfunctional bunch. John Hurt reveled in his role as the barbaric Caligula, with evil oozing from his very pores. Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame was a very naughty boy, indeed.

There was nary a speck of blood visible during this family's carnage, as such blood-and-guts displays were not necessary. The story alone was shocking enough, proving gore is not required to hold audience attention. Can't remember any profanities uttered.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cuic Cuic on December 6, 2012
This mini-series is several magnitudes of better than anything produced since its initial air date. The cast is filled with a large number of the finest actors Britain has produced. It's based on the novels of Robert Graves that were first published in 1934 and regarded, as a whole, as a masterpiece.
The period covered is from the reign of Augustus Caesar(through Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius)to the beginning of Nero. The action centers around the bloody court life of Rome's ruling family and the intrigue and treachery they pursued. The folly of mortals who believe that they are as close to becoming gods as a human can get provides at various times outrageous farce, dark comedy, and suspenseful drama. But even in its most farcical moments there is no sense of a lack in believability because of its adherence to the historical records.
I normally don't give out 5 stars but 'I, Claudius' is easily one of the best programs ever made. I also recommend the novels by Robert Graves, 'The Lives of the Twelve Caesars' by Suetonius, and 'Annals' by Tacitus.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cumberbatch on September 21, 2012
Verified Purchase
"Not for nothing is it considered some of the finest television ever made," said Mike Duncan of the History of Rome podcast.
I watched "I, Claudius" as a child in the 70s on PBS and never shook it. Now, to combat Disney drivel, I'm watching the series again with my 10- and 12-year old kids, who are LOVING it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John P. Penning on March 6, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The cast is excellent, the writing superb and the direction first rate. The only criticisms that I have ever read of this series have come from younger viewers that criticize the lower budget production. All I can say is that while I would have preferred that this series of 37 years ago had the type of budget that the BBC could muster today, if given a choice of a bigger budget for production and the quality of cast, writing and direction, I'll take the substance, you can have the flash. My son (who was 15 at the time) and I first watched this in 1990 when PBS broadcast it for the 2nd time and it is still one of our mutual favorites. Long Live Claudius!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Truthbard on September 6, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I have watched this series many a time, and each time I find more and more to love. The acting and casting are superb, the characters exquisitely developed, and the emphasis on acting over appearance, on substance over glamour, is something which I sorely miss in many modern productions. Sian Phillips is truly one of my favorite actresses mainly because of her performance in this series, and John Hurt's Caligula is, to this day, one of the most terrifying, amazing performances put on film. If you in any way like historical drama, you must watch this series.

It is for a specific audience, make no mistake, and there are flaws, of course, but taken as a whole, it is among the best acting and scripting of any television production. Highly, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. St Just on September 3, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I watched this series as a teenager and watching it again brought back fond memories. The costumes and sets are extremely well done and the acting is superb. You can't get a better storyline than real life, especially when the characters are royalty. The series was taped on video rather than film. Also, there is little music to the scenes. Together, these choices give I, Claudius has a soap opera feel but this only adds to the realism of the series. I highly recommend it.
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