The Epic That Never Was (1965)

TV Movie   |    |  Documentary

The Epic That Never Was (1965) Poster

The story of the aborted 1937 filming of "I, Claudius", starring Charles Laughton, with all of its surviving footage.



  • Josef von Sternberg in The Epic That Never Was (1965)
  • Dirk Bogarde in The Epic That Never Was (1965)
  • Charles Laughton in The Epic That Never Was (1965)
  • Merle Oberon in The Epic That Never Was (1965)
  • Flora Robson in The Epic That Never Was (1965)
  • Emlyn Williams in The Epic That Never Was (1965)

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Cast & Crew

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Bill Duncalf, Robert Graves (novel)

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User Reviews

31 August 2016 | MartinHafer
| I must-see for lovers of "I, Claudius" and its sequel.
Although I adore the wonderful British mini-series, "I, Claudius", I had no idea that decades earlier there was a movie version in the works...a movie project that never was completed. I am actually thankful for that, as a film never could have adequately captured Robert Graves' two novels about the early Roman, perhaps if the film HAD been made, the mini-series never would have been made.

In this made for television documentary, the great British actor Dirk Bogarde not only talks about this aborted film but introduces many surviving members of the cast to talk about the film (including, among others, Josef von Sternberg, Merle Oberon, Flora Robson, Robert Graves and Emlyn Williams). Additionally, much of the existing scenes from the film are shown. And, through seeing them, you can only assume that the makers of the mini-series must have watched these clips and used them in writing this....some are nearly word-for-word...and some aren't even close (such as Messalina's reaction when she meets Claudius).

This is a marvelous film...but one that folks who never saw the mini-series or read the books would not enjoy. But for fans, it is an absolute must-see and an extremely interesting television documentary.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

24 December 1965



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