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The Last Days of Pompeii
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Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 22-NOV-2005
Media Type: DVD
Fresh off their monumental success with King Kong, producer Merian Cooper and director Ernest Schoedsack teamed again on The Last Days of Pompeii, another big-scale offering with a special-effects emphasis. Nominally based on the Bulwer-Lytton book, the film invents a new storyline much in the spirit of the Cecil B. DeMille religioso-melodrama school. Preston Foster plays a pacifist blacksmith whose life is ruined by fate; he turns his fighting skills to the gladiatorial arena and raises a foster son. A cameo appearance by Jesus Christ affects the boy but not the man, and it all comes a-cropper years later when Mount Vesuvius gets restless outside Pompeii's city limits. Fond childhood memories of the volcano's eruption should be tempered by the fact that the effects (designed by Kong man Willis O'Brien) are limited to the final 20 minutes of the film, and that the preceding 75 minutes are a slow ride indeed. This film's creakiness makes you appreciate how good DeMille was at whipping up entertainment out of historical yarns. One definite bright spot: Basil Rathbone, bringing his equine deliberation to the role of Pontius Pilate. --Robert Horton
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Top Customer Reviews
Preston Foster is Marcus, a Roman gladiator trying to raise the son of a man he killed in the arena.. Basil Rathbone is Pontius Pilate troubled by the role he played in the crucifixion of Jesus.
Pompeii was a Roman colony in Italy destroyed and buried under 20-feet of ash by the eruption of Mt.Vesuvius in AD 79. Lost for 1500 years, rediscovered in 1599, it is a big tourist attraction today, drawing two million people a year.
The Korean subtitles can be removed and so do not fret there.
This is one for classic lovers only and a very interesting story regarding a gladiator (Preston Foster) who is forced to make hard choices - at one part of the story, one of which is not to offer aid to Jesus Christ on his way to his crucifixion. A momentary but very interesting play on that particular place & time in Judea, and how that moment plays with the rest of his life and naturally the biggie - Pompeii's destruction. Those of you familiar with the original 1933 King Kong need to get this movie... for no other reason than it is from Merian C. Cooper.
The special effects are good for the times... made in the 30's. I think I am happy to call it an EPIC. Each to his own!