Cethegus, leader of the Roman nobility, travels to Bizantium and its leader Justinian, in an attempt to raise an army to march on the Goths under Narses. Cethegus would like to set the two ...
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Cethegus, leader of the Roman nobility, travels to Bizantium and its leader Justinian, in an attempt to raise an army to march on the Goths under Narses. Cethegus would like to set the two sides to war against each other, that his own forces might take control at the outcome.Written by
A great, underrated historical epic: not a gladiator movie
Around 500 A.D., after Rome has fallen, a Roman politician,Cethegus, played by Laurence Harvey, tries to return Rome to greatness. He plays the Goth leaders, who really ruled Italy at this time, against each other. The surviving leader attacks Rome at which point Cethegus gets military help from the Emperor Justinian (Orson Wells), while he keeps his army in reserve to take on whoever is left. Events don't quite go as he planned
This is a complex, well plotted film. It is no Ben Hur, but the characters are engaging, the political intrigue is very well developed, the acting quite good (Laurence Harvey's final scene is great) and the battle scenes truly epic. In an unusual bit a casting, Michale Dunn plays Justinian's general Narses and, in great performance,steals almost every scene he is in. This is a quite good unjustly neglected epic well worth tracking down and seeing. It was released on video tape in the late 1970's but not in wide screen which this film really needs, and Honour Blackman's topless scene was, alas,cropped to just a closeup from the neck up.
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