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The Fall Of The Roman Empire (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (The Miriam Collection)
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The back story of "Empire" is every bit as remarkable as "El Cid"; this had been a pet project of Bronston's for years, and with the backing of the Spanish government, and brilliant director Anthony Mann on board, he planned it as the follow-up to "El Cid", creating massive sets of both Rome and northern Europe, in Madrid, and locations throughout Spain.
Bronston felt a major male superstar would be needed for the production to 'work', and courted Charlton Heston, so memorable as "El Cid". But Heston felt the story paralleled much of "Ben Hur", and when he was informed that Sophia Loren (who he had not enjoyed working with, in "El Cid") would again be his leading lady, he turned the role down. Bronston, anxious to retain his services, then showed him the script of "55 Days in Peking" (which wouldn't involve Loren), and he expressed interest. Bronston, amazingly, tore down ALL the "Empire" sets, and built 'Peking', to accommodate Heston! "Empire" would be put on hold until "55 Days" was completed.Read more ›
THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE is an intense, powerful drama about corruption of power. Anthony Mann's meticulous, sharp-edged, and in this case extremely cold-blooded direction powerfully points out how the Roman Empire, at the height of its power and glory, started its degradation and eventually will fall apart. That might happen to any kind of powerful society --history has proven so-- , that when a society gets too much power, the power itself becomes the motivation for corruption and destruction. This film is not a shalow fascistic glorification of power that GLADIATOR is, but an inteligent, profound and ultimately tragic analysis of human behavior.
Not to say that it is not visually atractive. Mann was always a creator of powerful, eloquent imagery. Simply, he doesn't waiste pictorial beauty as Ridley Scott did in GLADIATOR (or even more in HANNIBAl, for that matters). He is one of those great masters who knows how to amplify a good story with powerful imagery, to show the story even more than telling it with dialogues.Read more ›
Marcus Aurelius (according the Edward Gibbon and other historians) dealt the Empire a long-term blow when he broke with tradition by choosing his only surviving son, Commodus, to be his successor, rather than following the tradition of chosing the best man for the job and officially adopting him. To the consternation of his legions, Aurelius never chose a military commander over his own son. When you decide to abandon actual history at the very beginning of your story, the rest falls apart.
Secondly, Commodus was murdered by his concubine (who drugged his wine) and a wrestler (who strangled him) in his palace. In fact, it took a few days for everyone in Rome to come to finally believe that he was actually dead. HE WAS NOT KILLED in a single-handed combat with the commander of the army (either Stephen Boyd or Russell Crowe).
Third, there is no historical evidence that a group of barbarians were burned alive in the Roman forum, as this 1964 film depects. The screenwriter seems to have simply lost his grip on any sort of reality and went totally "Hollywood.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Here we have what on first glance is the typical 1950s ancient Roman spectacular—but this film is much more! Read morePublished 13 days ago by Geoffrey D. Gibbs
was not advertised as being an American version, it did not work on my DVD player.Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
Somewhat cerebral depiction of the events surrounding the succession of the unstable Commodus to the great Marcus Aurelius, an event often dating the start of Rome's decline. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Too bad Hollywood doesn't make movies like this again. Fantastic movie and good acting.Published 4 months ago by Lynn Sedleski