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Caligula (1979)

Caligola (original title)
Unrated | | Adult, Drama, History | 15 February 1980 (USA)
Details the graphic and shocking, yet undeniably tragic story of Rome's most infamous Caesar, Gaius Germanicus Caligula.

Director:

Tinto Brass

Writers:

Gore Vidal (adapted from an original screenplay by), Masolino D'Amico
Reviews
Popularity
494 ( 191)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Malcolm McDowell ... Caligula
Teresa Ann Savoy ... Drusilla
Guido Mannari Guido Mannari ... Macro
John Gielgud ... Nerva
Peter O'Toole ... Tiberius
Giancarlo Badessi Giancarlo Badessi ... Claudius
Bruno Brive Bruno Brive ... Gemellus
Adriana Asti ... Ennia
Leopoldo Trieste ... Charicles
Paolo Bonacelli ... Chaerea
John Steiner ... Longinus
Mirella D'Angelo ... Livia (as Mirella Dangelo)
Helen Mirren ... Caesonia
Rick Parets Rick Parets ... Mnester (as Richard Parets)
Paula Mitchell Paula Mitchell ... Subura Singer
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Storyline

The rise and fall of the notorious Roman Emperor Caligula, showing the violent methods that he employs to gain the throne, and the subsequent insanity of his reign - he gives his horse political office and humiliates and executes anyone who even slightly displeases him. He also sleeps with his sister, organises elaborate orgies and embarks on a fruitless invasion of Britain before meeting an appropriate end. There are various versions of the film, ranging from the heavily truncated 90-minute version to the legendary 160-minute hardcore version which leaves nothing to the imagination (though the hardcore scenes were inserted later and do not involve the main cast members). Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most controversial film of the 20th century is now the most controversial film of the 21st century. See more »

Genres:

Adult | Drama | History

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

15 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Caligula See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated) | (recut) | (re-release) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (original release)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.95 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several different versions of this movie have been circulated: (1) It was originally released in the U.K. with a running time of two hours and twenty-nine minutes, with the hardcore sex replaced by alternate footage inserted by the distributor. However, the latest U.K. release (and now legal version) has a PAL running time of one hour and thirty-eight minutes (approximately one hour and forty-two minute movie/NTSC) and is the same as the older R-rated version in the U.S. The original two hour and twenty-nine minute cut is now highly sought after. (2) A one hour and forty-five minute R-rated version was released in the U.S. in 1981. This version also used alternate footage and angles in the hardcore sex scenes and during scenes of graphic violence. (3) The official "uncut" version runs two hours and thirty-six minutes, and includes about six minutes of re-shoots by Producer Bob Guccione. (4) In 1984, the movie was re-cut and re-released in Italy under the title "Io, Caligola". It ran two hours and thirteen minutes and was cut to two hours and three minutes by the Italian censors. When released on home video, some of the hardcore footage shot by Bob Guccione was reinserted into the movie. (5) The second (and current) R-rated version was released in 199, and used no alternate footage or angles, with the same shots repeating several times to mask the cuts in the movie. The rumors of a three hour and thirty minute version screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1979 are untrue. See more »

Goofs

When Tiberius and Caligula are in the three-story sex building (noted by the man with stilts), first Caligula goes down, following Tiberius on the elevator. Later, they are talking at the bottom, then back on top of the building, then back at the bottom. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Caligula: I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits of the Russian release mistakenly list Tinto Brass as the "camera operator," while Bob Guccione and Giancarlo Lui are given the honour of being listed as the "directors." See more »

Alternate Versions

A version running 133 minutes, containing a "softcore" selection of sex scenes, and rated "18+" was shown on German TV. See more »

Connections

Featured in Sex at 24 Frames Per Second (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Romeo i Dzhul'yetta
(Romeo and Juliet) (uncredited)
Written by Sergei Prokofiev
Conducted by Bruno Nicolai
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A misunderstood classic.
8 March 2000 | by bighelsinkiSee all my reviews

CALIGULA is a terribly misunderstood film. I believe too many people think of it as a cheap porno, and bash it due to that. "All porn is bad," right?

CALIGULA was a daring film experiment incorporating big-name, established talent, and the raw energy of under ground film techniques. What results is nothing short of a fascinating product.

All of the acting is very good. Malcolm McDowell plays psychotic villains so well, one can't help but think he's like that in real life. His portrayal of Gaius Caligula just drips with maniacal megalomania. The little-known Teresa Ann Savoy is convincing as Drusilla, Caligula's sister. And Peter O'Toole's Tiberius Caesar, whose diseased face is rotting away, is truly an oddity to behold...put he pulls it off well. The acting in general is all very good.

The use of music is also to be noted. There are original, evocative pieces written for the film by Paul Clemente, no doubt a talented composer.

While some of the photography is stilted in this film, for the most part it's gorgeous. A lot of people say the colors are "dark" and "washed out", but I think that lends to the grittiness of the film.

Danilo Donati's sets are big and well designed, it kind of shocks you to see someone getting a blow job in them. They look like they belong in a run-of-the-mill Hollywood produced film. Aren't all pornos supposed to be filmed in the director's back yard?

And that right there is the point of the film. To shock you; you can't believe you're seeing what you're seeing. Beyond the violence and the sex is a well written, acted, and photographed film.

I have spoken!


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