THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Tuesday, July 1
(1964, Anthony Mann) On the wintry, forested front of the Germanic wars, Stephen Boyd’s Livius and Christopher Plummer’s nutso imperial heir Commodus begin their duel for the empire. Mann’s pre-CGI epic boasts a gigantic cast, including Sophia Loren, James Mason, Omar Sharif, et al., with dazzling highlight the funeral of Guinness’ Emperor Marcus Aurelius amid a driving snowstorm. 35mm archival print of complete 172-minute version.
“Largely accurate in historical terms [and] the atmosphere is consistently convincing: darkness holds sway on the fringes of the Empire, where the armies are struggling to repel the invading hordes, while Rome is presented as a magnificent but decadent monument to the unimaginative pragmatism of the Roman mind.”
– Geoff Andrew, Time Out (London)