The Last Days of Pompeii
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Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 22-NOV-2005
Media Type: DVD
Top Customer Reviews
Marcus becomes the finest gladiator in the land, an unbeatable opponent. After one fatal match, Marcus discovers the boy of his fallen foe. The child is now an orphan. Reminded of his own dead son, Marcus adopts the boy as his own. To secure the boys' future and to insure that he will not have to fight in the arena, Marcus begins taking suspicious and dangerous assignments that pay him extremely well and help him become the Master of the Arena itself. While on one of these assignments to Judea, Marcus' son, Flavius is struck down in a freak accident. The child is healed and that encounter changes the boy's life forever. Marcus is grateful, but he is still tainted by the greed and ambition birthed from the grief of his wife and first son. Years later it is revealed that Flavius has been helping slaves and gladiators escape from Pompeii.Read more ›
Preston Foster, in typical post silent era acting style, plays Marcus - with dash and bravura. Marcus is a simple, humble man. He is completely contented with his life as a blacksmith and has a wife and son he cherishes, everything any man could hope for. He is quickly reminded of the foolishness of his take on life by a jaded slave dealer and a kindly but skeptical roman patrician who gives his son a gold coin. Marcus and his wife Julia close shop for the day and set out to celebrate the windfall by purchasing a ball too big for the tiny grasp of his small child. The fates intervine... the ball rolls into the street and Julia and the infant are over run by a speeding chariot. So the saga begins, brilliantly, with such irony, the gift and joy of a gold coin and a new toy leading to a tragedy as Marcus' wife and child both die. Marcus now impoverished, and a broken man.....Read more ›
This is so here in this mid thirties version which really only utilises the book's title and its climax ,the destruction by volcanic activity of the titular city.Its centre is an invented tale ,wholly divorced from the novel, of Marcus ,a blacksmith whose obsession with power and wealth leads him to a state of spiritual poverty.Even when ,while on a visit to Judea.his stricken son is healed by Christ ,Marcus is not sufficiently moved to come to the aid of Christ in his hour of crucifixion .It is not till his city is engulfed by lava that he finds his spiritual awakening.
Preston Foster is adequate as Marcus but a towering performance by Basil Rathbone as Pilate dominates the movie.We see him as a clever ,arrogant but essentially decent man tortured by his capitulation over the crucifixion and the realisation that what he did ,or did not do ,may damn his name throughout time.
The destruction of the city is capably done but is not Willis O'Briens best work by a long chalk .
The mixture of decadence and piety is very reminiscent of the Biblical epics of de Mille .
De Mille did this type of thing with more flair but this will do if you like vintage historical drama
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The film was ok for it's time, but, I think the acting was little over-dramatic. Basil Rathbone needed to get rid of that curly -haired wig, it was not too becoming. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Joe Eastlack
Very good movie. It is old but message still good. I saw it as a kid and always loved it.Published 9 months ago by Edward Kollmer
Although this title bears little more than the locale and time (1st Century A.D.) with the original novel by Bullwer-Lyton it enjoys a lengthy admiration. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Gene Cisco