The Fall of the Roman Empire


Drama / History / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 69%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 7,968


Downloaded times
August 4, 2020



Alec Guinness as Marcus Aurelius
Omar Sharif as Vogel
Sophia Loren as Lisa Macklin
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.62 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
188 min
P/S N/A / N/A
3.32 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
188 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by johngerardmatthew 9 / 10 / 10

all-time classic

This and 'Spartacus' are the best of the Roman Epics, and it's no coincidence that 'Gladiator' is essentially a remake of TFOTRE; Scott was inspired by the best. This is a beautifully made, intelligent film with great performances, especially from Mason. And quite fitting that it was the last of the 'Epics'...I grew up watching these films on TV with my late father who always explained the history behind them, and they remind me of him when I watch them. I've just picked it up on Blu-Ray for very little. Although the transfer isn't as great as 'Ben Hur' or 'Cleopatra', which it fully deserves, it still looks good.

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 8 / 10 / 10

We were right Livius. There is no limit with what can be done with a human spirit, for good or evil.

The Fall of the Roman Empire is directed by Anthony Mann and co-written by Ben Barzman, Basilio Franchina and Philip Yordan. It stars Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness, James Mason, Christopher Plummer, Mel Ferrer, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quayle, John Ireland & Finlay Currie. Music is scored by Dimitri Tiomkin and cinematography is by Robert Krasker. Filmed out of Samuel Bronston's productions in Spain, it was shot in the 70mm Ultra Panavision format. Plot is a fictionalisation of events involving the Roman Empire AD 180 to 192, and focuses on the last days of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius to the death of his son and successor Commodus. It was a financial disaster for Samuel Bronston, something that might lend one to think the film to being rather poor. That isn't the case at all, time has been kind to Mann's epic, showing it to be one of the better, more intelligent, sword and sandal epics to have surfaced in cinema history. Massive in scope and production values, it harks back to a time when epic actually meant just that. A huge cast list is supplemented by thousands of extras, all cloaked by real scenery and expertly crafted sets, with not a CGI sequence in sight. Scripting is literate, where three separate writers combine to tell a tale of political intrigue, violence, romance, glory and greed, the ultimate spun narrative of a system collapsing from within. While the action is superbly marshalled by Mann as it flits in and out of the dialogue driven story. Be it the snow laden campaign against the Germanic Barbarians, or an exciting chariot duel, Mann shows himself to be adroit in the art of scene construction. It's not all perfect, the length at over three hours asks much of the casual observer; the production for sure is grand, but some of the longer character exchanges could easily have been trimmed. After Kirk Douglas and Charlton Heston turned down the role of Livius, Stephen Boyd filed in for lantern jawed stoicism, he looks the part but with such a razor sharp script calling for dramatic worth from one of its main characters, Boyd barely convinces in a film that convinces everywhere else. Loren, a vision of loveliness, is guilty of over pouting, but both her and Boyd's failings are masked over by the performances of the others around them, and to be fair their romantic union has the requisite warmth about it. Guinness (classy), Mason (likewise) and a terrific Plummer (grand egomaniacal villainy-himself stepping in when Richard Harris bailed) dominate proceedings, while Tiomkin's Academy Award nominated score is stirring and itself epic in production. An essential film for the historical epic fan, The Fall of the Roman Empire is a lesson in adult sword and sandalry. 8.5/10

Reviewed by kitticat-2 8 / 10 / 10

High Drama

It's particularly interesting to compare this movie with Gladiator (2000), as both take the same historical event as a starting point. While the fight scenes are more exciting in Gladiator, and while Gladiator is probably the superior film overall, this film does have three distinct advantages. First of all, the armies and crowds are better here - it's real people and not computer generated icons. Some of the marching scenes were a bit lengthy for my tastes, but the soldiers, the horses, the armor, the swords and spears, all of it, were very authentic and impressive. Second, as the armies look more realistic, so do the sets. We do not see the coliseum in this film, but we do see the palaces, pools, forts and throne rooms. Very exciting. Third, and perhaps most importantly, this film has superior acting. Christopher Plummer is probably the best thing here - his Commodus is at once more dastardly and more likeable than that of Gladiator; again, this means more realistic. James Mason is also in top form, here; for once, he does not play a slippery philanderer. There is something flawed about this film that I can't quite put my finger on. It does not reach the heights of other 50s and 60s epics such as The Ten Commandments or Ben-Hur. Still, it is a dramatic and at times moving film. It does convey the gravity (some might say tragedy) of the Empire's fall and the pax romana that never was.

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