Returning to Rome after three years in the field, General Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia and falls in love with her, though as a Christian she wants nothing to do with a warrior. Though she grew up Roman, the adopted daughter of a retired general, Lygia is technically a hostage of Rome. Marcus gets Emperor Nero to give her to him for services rendered but finds himself succumbing gradually to her Christian faith. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Whilst it is true that variants of Chess have existed for over 2,000 years, the chess set being used in the film is far too modern. The set shown uses what are apparently modern pieces, which didn't exist until the few centuries before the film's release. See more »
Superb set and costume design. Ustinov outstanding.
I first saw this film as a re-run in 1964--on the big screen. Much is lost, I think, when viewing it on television. Peter Ustinov's portrayal of the emperor Nero raises the bar for anyone else who is ever cast as an unbalanced and corrupt Roman emperor. Certainly, we don't see this style or quality of acting in newer films such as "Gladiator." I focus on the "Nero" character more than others because Ustinov was truly able to get inside the role, and appeared to stay very focused. Robert Taylor was fine in the movie, but his role could have been handled by nearly any leading man of the time. Ditto for Deborah Kerr. The remaining cast was very, very good. The set designs and costumes were sheer artistry and the score was effective and complimentary. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in spectacles and studying fine acting techniques (i.e., Ustinov's).
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