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The Fall of the Roman Empire (Widescreen 2 Disc Deluxe Edition)

3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness, James Mason, Christopher Plummer
  • Directors: Anthony Mann
  • Writers: Basilio Franchina, Ben Barzman, Edward Gibbon, Philip Yordan
  • Producers: Jaime Prades, Michal Waszynski, Samuel Bronston
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Genius Products (TVN)
  • Release Date: April 29 2008
  • Run Time: 188 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00125WAXM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,860 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

The Fall Of The Roman Empire (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (The Miriam Collection)

The second and last of Anthony Mann's historical epics is a smart, handsome spectacle of the decadence, corruption, and intrigue that tears apart the greatest empire the world has seen. The sprawling story spreads itself thin over a number of characters and stories. At the center are handsome but stiff Stephen Boyd as Livius, the loyal soldier and symbolic son of the aging emperor (Alec Guinness), and Christopher Plummer as Commodus, the corrupt heir to the throne--boyhood friends turned enemies when the latter accedes to the throne and sells out the values of his father for greed and hedonistic pleasures. The three-hour running time is filled out with the tales of Sophia Loren (as the beautiful Lucilla in love with Livius but coveted by greedy Commodus) and a gallery of heroes and villains that includes James Mason, Mel Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, John Ireland, Omar Sharif, and Eric Porter. The film is highlighted with spectacular scenes (a grandiose funeral fit for an emperor, brutal battles in the provinces as the barbarians threaten the empire, and a climactic duel to decide the destiny of Rome), which Mann weaves into the shadowy intrigue of the halls of power. Like his previous epic El Cid, The Fall of the Roman Empire remains one of the best of the 1960s epics: well written (and largely historically accurate) with strong performances and a consistently elegant style, but it lacks a central core and the magnetic hero of its superior predecessor. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
I first saw THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE in 1964, when it was released for movie theaters. I saw it in Toronto, 4 times, 4 evenings in a row. I was simply appalled by the actorship of some of the greatest to have been seen obn a screen. The story itself respected a great deal what the historians related about the last says of emperor Marcus Aurelius, and the tragic taking-up of power by his mad son, Marcus Aurelius Commodus. Not to mention the grandiose musical score by one of the greatest, Dimitri Tiomkin ( I still have the vinyl LP, and play it regularly, when I want to get in the mood of ancient Rome ).
Yesterday, I viewed " GLADIATOR ". It certainly did ring a bell. Although I enjoyed the Ridley Scott epic, as well as the fine play of actors such as Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix, I am sorry to say this most modern production has to be rated quite a few steps below its 1964 predecessor.
Thanks for letting me the chance to express my opinion
Pierre Gauthier
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Format: VHS Tape
The screenwriter of "Gladiator" claims not to have seen "The Fall of the Roman Empire" before writing the Ridley Scott film. That's odd since both films are bookended exactly the same way. Both open with Emperor Marcus Aurelius deciding that his son Commodus should not be emperor (a decision that leads to his murder). Both end with the fight between Commodus and the army commander within the shields of the Pretorian Guards. As a matter of fact, neither of these events are historically accurate.
Marcus Aurelius (according the Edward Gibbon and other historians) dealt the Empire a long-term blow when he broke with tradition by choosing his only surviving son, Commodus, to be his successor, rather than following the tradition of chosing the best man for the job and officially adopting him. To the consternation of his legions, Aurelius never chose a military commander over his own son. When you decide to abandon actual history at the very beginning of your story, the rest falls apart.
Secondly, Commodus was murdered by his concubine (who drugged his wine) and a wrestler (who strangled him) in his palace. In fact, it took a few days for everyone in Rome to come to finally believe that he was actually dead. HE WAS NOT KILLED in a single-handed combat with the commander of the army (either Stephen Boyd or Russell Crowe).
Third, there is no historical evidence that a group of barbarians were burned alive in the Roman forum, as this 1964 film depects. The screenwriter seems to have simply lost his grip on any sort of reality and went totally "Hollywood.
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Format: VHS Tape
After watching the excellent "Fall of the Roman Empire," it is perfectly clear where "Gladiator" stole many of its ideas and themes. The great director, Anthony Mann, who made this movie following the immense "El Cid," again works on a vast canvas and what scenes he conjures up! "Gladiator" tries to do this with new digital technology and with lesssor results. Alec Guiness is wonderfully cast as the philosopher-emperor, Marcus Aurelius, and when he's on the screen, ancient historical thought comes alive. Stephen Boyd is fine but just more of a gentle Roman general than his wonderfully evil Messala in "Ben-Hur." Sophia Loren is luminous but for some reason her director(Anthony Mann) gets her to sleep-walk through two epics in a row and have unconvincing tears gather at her tear ducts. Mann knows how to handle great armies and this film is full of wonderfully imagined battles, marches into cities, and pomp and violence. It is a long movie with some slow spots, especially when Guiness dies, but Christopher Plummer as Commodus completely makes me forget Joaquin Phoenix in "Gladiator," for Plummer is a great actor who gives Commodus so many facets and watch his relationship with Boyd and their final fight to the finish and you'll see where the seeds of the ending to "Gladiator" were sown. Are all Germans blonde? In this movie they are all blonde and rather ridiculously portrayed, as if the director was looking for a certain "barbarian" look. If they were that stupid and unsavory, how did they fight to bring down an empire? We get some ideas here how Rome changed. James Mason plays a pupil of Marcus Aurelius and he also is a great actor and his torture scene is strangely moving.Read more ›
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Format: Blu-ray
THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE [1964 / 2011] [Two-Disc Deluxe Edition] [Blu-ray + DVD] [UK Release] A Sumptuous Epic! Never Before A Spectacle Like It!

One of the great screen epics, director Anthony Mann's Oscar® nominated ‘THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE’ comes to Blu-ray for the first time in this digitally remastered deluxe edition. The all-star cast includes Academy Award® winners Sir Alec Guinness and Sophia Loren with Christopher Plummer, Stephen Boyd, James Mason and Omar Sharif. Drawn from the same events that later inspired Gladiator, the film charts the power-hungry greed and father-son betrayal that led to Rome's collapse at the bloody hands of the Barbarians. Featuring great sets, fine acting, and thundering battle scenes. Plus a blistering chariot race rivalling that of ‘BEN-HUR.’ This is a must-see “epic full of the gore and glories of ancient Rome” (Channel 4). Narrated by Robert Rietty.

FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: Golden Globe® Awards: Win: Best Original Score for Dimitri Tiomkin. Academy Awards®: Nominated: Best Music Score for Dimitri Tiomkin [Substantially Original]. ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire’ was one of Bronston's super-productions in Spain, with Marcus Aurelius's winter camp on the Danube shot in snow in the Sierra de Guadarrama, northern Madrid. The 'Battle of the Four Armies' involved 8,000 soldiers including 1,200 cavalry and was shot on an undulating plain at Manzanares el Real which allowed large numbers of soldiers to be visible over a long distance. The film's reconstruction of the Roman Forum at Las Matas near Madrid, at 400 x 230 meters (1312 x 754 feet) holds the record for the largest outdoor film set. The various ancient Rome settings covered 55 acres (220,000 m2).
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