Classic Film Guide

Fall of the Roman Empire, The (1964)

An outstanding story of honor, virtue, power and corruption, and a pretty good period piece about this part of Roman history. Alec Guinness is a good Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, who chooses Livius (Stephen Boyd) as his successor instead of his son Commodus (Christopher Plummer) with devastating results for himself. Sophia Loren, James Mason as Timonides, Anthony Quayle, John Ireland, Omar Shariff, and Mel Ferrer round out this all star cast. Anthony Mann directed this 3+ hour film which will hold your interest, nonetheless. Ben Barzman, Basilio Franchina, and Philip Yordan (Broken Lance (1954)) are the credited writers. Dimitri Tiomkin's Score was nominated for an Academy Award.

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