Caligula [1979]

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Abishai100, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. Abishai100
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    Abishai100 VIP Member

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    Caligula (Italian: Caligola) is a 1979 Italian-American erotic historical drama film focusing on the rise and fall of the Roman EmperorCaligula. It stars Malcolm McDowell, Teresa Ann Savoy, Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, John Steiner and John Gielgud. It is the only feature film produced by the men's magazine Penthouse. Producer Bob Guccione, the magazine's founder, intended to produce an explicit pornographic film with a feature film narrative and high production values. He also cast Penthouse Pets as extras in unsimulated sex scenes filmed during post-production by himself and Giancarlo Lui.

    Guccione hired screenwriter Gore Vidal to draft the film's script and Tinto Brass to direct the film. Brass extensively altered Vidal's original screenplay, leading Vidal to disavow the film. The final screenplay focuses on the idea that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" (source of information from top: Wikipedia).

    McDowell portrays the maniacally corrupt Roman emperor Caligula with an insidious flair, and the film captures an era-relevant 'aura' of unsightly decadence and meaningless cruelty (and of course gratuitous gluttony and lust).

    We know from anthropological studies of 'odd' cultures (e.g., Ancient Rome, Sparta, Pygmies, etc.) that human groups have engaged in very unusual practices/rituals --- e.g., Spartan soldiers fighting with their genitals exposed, Aztecs engaging in cannibalism rituals and human sacrifice, Hindu dowry bride-burnings, African tribes exercising genital mutilation on women as initiation 'deeds,' and 'unholy' Roman emperors 'sanctioning' wanton behaviors for the 'glory of the empire.'

    Well, Caligula manages to characterize all of the unmitigated bizarreness of social activity, and if you've ever felt 'flustered' by our modern age 'Wall Street obsessive consumerism hustle-and-bustle,' you might consider some of the insanity and over-exuberance of Caligula's Rome. The film even includes a scene of arena-spectacle blade-entangled mass beheadings of 'expendable' humans.

    This controversial and obviously 'iconic' film is arguably the West's version of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses controversy. That's why I hesitantly but laboriously afford this unusual film 4/5 stars, if I award a 'comparable' explicitness-inquiry film such as Milos Forman's pornography-industry legalese masterpiece The People vs. Larry Flynt 5/5 stars!

    I would refrain, however, from advising anyone to watch this film inebriated/intoxicated, as its stark 'realism' is sufficiently 'stimulating.'


    {interpretation dialogue}
    ====

    CALIGULA: Come to me and become naked...
    SLAVE-GIRL: I am beautiful to you?
    CALIGULA: You are a sweating creature of perfected lust.
    SLAVE-GIRL: I am your love-servant!
    CALIGULA: If you were an ugly man, I'd have your arms broken.
    SLAVE-GIRL: Take me into your bounty.
    CALIGULA: I fear I will be remembered as a 'pillow-father.'
    SLAVE-GIRL: Do not destroy me...
    CALIGULA: I told you; if you were an ugly man, I'd break your arms!
    SLAVE-GIRL: Love me!
    CALIGULA: I won't drool, but I will consummate my prayers of manhood.
    SLAVE-GIRL: Thank you...
    CALIGULA: Remember one thing, slave-girl; I am your savior.
    SLAVE-GIRL: It will be my only prison.

    ====


    Caligulaposter.jpg
     
  2. g5000
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    g5000 Diamond Member

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    It's a porn flick.

    Sir John Gielgud was mortified to find out he had participated in what turned out to be a porn film.
     
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  3. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    I used to take dates to go see it.

    Good times.
     
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  4. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    Teri Weigel...unforgettable. I didn't have to Google, that just stays with you
     
  5. Syriusly
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    Syriusly Diamond Member

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    Why is this being reviewed?

    I saw it then- it was not just soft porn- it was bad soft porn.
     
  6. g5000
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    g5000 Diamond Member

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    Um. You must not have seen the XXX hardcore version.
     
  7. Syriusly
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    Syriusly Diamond Member

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    What I saw then was considered 'x'- what would be considered soft porn now- lots of nudity, simulated sex.

    Bad acting, bad writing, horrible direction.
     
  8. g5000
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    g5000 Diamond Member

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    There were two versions released. One was soft porn, the other was XXX hardcore porn, nothing simulated.
     

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