8.9/10
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100 user 25 critic

I, Claudius 

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | TV Mini-Series (1976)
The history of the Roman Empire as experienced by one of its rulers.
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1,999 ( 15)

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1  
1976  
Top Rated TV #46 | Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Storyline

The mini-series follows the history of the Roman Empire, from approximately the death of Marcellus (24/23 BC) to Claudius' own death in 54 AD. As Claudius narrates his life, we witness Augustus' attempts to find an heir, often foiled by his wife Livia who wants her son Tiberius to become emperor. We also see the conspiracy of Sejanus, the infamous reign of Caligula, and Claudius' own troubled period of rule. Written by Erika Grams <erika@email.unc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

6 November 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yo, Claudio  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(13 parts) | (DVD) (13 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An Alexander Korda version was abandoned back in 1937. Directed by Josef von Sternberg, it starred Charles Laughton in the title role alongside Merle Oberon. A car crash involving Oberon was the main reason cited for the cancellation, but sources say it was a troublesome shoot, with Laughton the main source of the problem. See more »

Goofs

When Augustus throws Postumus against a wall, it wobbles. See more »

Quotes

[on Claudius]
Livia: That child should have been exposed at birth.
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Connections

Referenced in Antropophagus (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A few vital details
8 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

I won't add to the many superlatives ascribed to this wonderful series, well-deserved though they are. But I would like to point out a few vital details that help explain just why it is so wonderful.

(1) Much has been said about Siân Phillips' intense projection of evil, but just how does she do it? If you watch carefully, you'll see she never blinks in her close-up takes, some of which are very long. This gives her a snakelike appearance, which enhances her voice and cold beauty in imparting such an air of menace to everything she says.

(2) Much has also been said about the lack of expensive sets, location shots, or special effects. But the point is that this series is successful because of these apparent deficiencies and not despite them. So much modern cinema and TV is swamped by expensive irrelevances to the detriment of the basics -- writing, acting, and timing. 'I Claudius' shows just how important these things are, and how unimportant those expensive special effects can be.

(3) I had the good fortune to read both books before the series was made, and then to watch it with a critical eye. It was satisfying to see such an expert adaptation, but especially so to see how the central point of the story has not been lost: the inability of any ruler, however powerful, to control what happens at the end of the long chain of command that inevitably forms. I found this a message of lifelong importance in both politics and management, and it is rare indeed that such a remarkable piece of drama and entertainment is also so fundamentally educational.


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