Caligula (1979)

Unrated   |    |  Drama, History


Caligula (1979) Poster

Details the graphic and shocking, yet undeniably tragic story of Rome's most infamous Caesar, Gaius Germanicus Caligula.

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5.3/10
30,955

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  • John Steiner in Caligula (1979)
  • Helen Mirren in Caligula (1979)
  • Caligula (1979)
  • Malcolm McDowell in Caligula (1979)
  • Helen Mirren in Caligula (1979)
  • Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren in Caligula (1979)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


6 February 2000 | fromwithin
7
| Beyond the controversy lies a good film
This film, as with all, has good points and bad points.

In general, I feel that the good ones far outweigh the bad.

The film simply gives the story of the rise and death of Emperor Caligula in a very straight-forward manner. Indeed, it can be seen as shocking, but I think that this is a side-effect of it's desire to be realistic, rather than a deliberate act on the part of the film-makers.

The cinematography and camera work is awful. The huge sets seem at times almost claustrophobic which is an absolute crime considering the magnificence of them. There is also too much emphasis on Caligula himself, to the detriment of revealing some important traits in other characters, making them seem somewhat shallow at times.

The sex scenes are very well placed within the context of the film. I thought that only two scenes stood out as being unnecessarily overt, but for the most part, the explicitness is on the fringe of the focus of each scene, while also playing a major part in the atmosphere.

Never once did I feel that any dialogue was out of place, nor did the acting strike me as being bad.

By far the biggest problem with this film is the fact that the sexual content is widely advertised and therefore anticipated before viewing. This may cause people to focus dominantly on those scenes without really looking at the film as a whole. For me, it enhanced the film. Not in a particularly titillating way, but in the fact that there was no compromise during scenes of sexual acts. Roman orgies are regarded to have been extremely opulent and promiscuous - I found it refreshing to see one as it may have actually been rather than lots of fully-clothed laughing fat men pouring red wine over their faces and eating grapes while draped with female automatons.

In summary, Caligula definitely has it's place in film history due to it's controversy, but if you look beyond that controversy, you should find a rather good film which neatly tells the story of how power can turn someone into a madman.

Critic Reviews



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