Pompeii (movie)

Pompeii ( Pompeii ) is a US – German – Canadian peplum produced and directed by Paul WS Anderson , released in 2014 .


The film begins in 62 apr. AD at the time of the Roman Legion’s repression of a revolt of Celtic tribes. A young boy attends the massacre of his people and the death of his mother, all killed by order of the Roman senator Corvus ( Kiefer Sutherland ). After an ellipse, the story resumes in 79 in the Roman province of Brittany. A Roman nobleman witnesses a gladiatorial battle with boredom, when his interest is revived by the entry into the arena of a nameless young man, whom the crowd calls the Celtic ( Kit Harington ), and who slays his enemies with a lightning speed. The Roman buys the Celtic and brings him to his hometown, Pompeii. On the road, the column of slaves, of which the Celtic is a part, is overtaken by the horse-drawn carriage of a young Pompeian nobleman, Cassia ( Emily Browning ), accompanied by her maid. The car falls into a rut and one of the horses, panicked, mortally wounds himself with one of the pieces of his harness. The Celtic offers his help and, with the permission of Cassia, completes the horse to avoid more suffering, before taking his place among the slaves.

Cassia arrives at her place and finds with pleasure the streets of Pompeii, then in full feast of Vinalia (a feast of the vines). She returned from a year’s stay in Rome, capital of the empire, which she grew weary because of the arrogant attitude of the Romans. None of her many suitors have found favor in her eyes and she yearns for a quiet life with her parents. Meanwhile, the Celtic is taken care of by his new masters. In a brawl against the brother of one of the gladiators he killed in action, he gets noticed by the best local gladiator, Atticus ( Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), from the provinces of Africa. Atticus tries to argue with the Celtic. The latter seems jaded and refuses to tell him his name, but mutual esteem is gradually developing between them. Atticus is at the height of his glory and, according to Roman law, only one additional victory will enable him to be freed and regain his freedom; but the Celtic is convinced that the Romans lie to Atticus. Shortly after, Cassia’s parents welcomed a Corvus senator to Pompeii, whom they hoped could convince the emperor to invest in their ambitious urban project. Corvus turns out to be a devious politician: arguing that the emperor is not very interested in the project, he is willing to invest personally. It soon becomes clear that Corvus, in exchange for that, covets Cassia, whom he has come to find on purpose from Rome; but Cassia feels nothing but repulsion towards the senator. Festivities are planned in honor of Corvus: the owner of the two gladiators plans to have them fight to close the games.

At the end of the day, fumaroles begin to rise on the slopes of Vesuvius. Felix, a slave working in the stables of the house of Cassia, is busy walking Virès, his mistress’s favorite horse, when a landslide frightens the horse; Virès rears up and manages to escape, but Felix, drained of his saddle, is engulfed in a crevasse. At the festive party held in honor of Corvus, Cassia sees the Celtic and is troubled by her beauty. A seismic shock is felt, and soon after Virès returns galloping, packed and uncontrollable. Cassia asks the Celtic to calm Virès, before he gets hurt, what he does. In love with Cassia, the Celtic makes her saddle behind him and they gallop in the countryside, but they are quickly caught. Cassia postpones the fault on the horse and saves the life of the slave, but the Celtic is sentenced to 15 lashes that he endures without a scream. Back in his cell, he talks with Atticus and reveals his reasons for resenting the Romans and Corvus: it was Corvus who led the legion that massacred his people. Atticus reveals in turn that he also has reason to blame the Romans, who murdered his family. From then on, the friendship between the two men is sealed, and the Celtic reveals his name to Atticus: his name is Milo.

Corvus noticed Cassia’s feelings for Milo and ordered him to be killed right from the start of the fighting in the arena. Under the orders of the father of Cassia, who wants to flatter Corvus, the staging of the games is changed: the fight takes the form of a historical reconstruction: that of the repression of the rebellion of the Celts. Milo and Atticus, chained side by side with the other gladiators, face a legion of fighters dressed as Roman legionaries who greatly outnumber them. In a fierce fight, they slaughter all the opponents, then Milo breaks the eagle of the legion and proclaims his contempt for Rome. Furious, Corvus first wants to execute the Celtic, but Cassia bargains his wedding with Corvus against the life of the gladiator. Determined to break the will of Cassia who resists him, he is taken as a prisoner to his own villa under the care of his men. Corvus takes advantage of the smoke that then rises from Vesuvius to make him believe that he interprets the wishes of the god Vulcan and recover the favors of the crowd. He then sends his companion in arms to the arena, Proculus (Sasha Roiz ), to confront Milo in singular combat while the surviving gladiators are brought back into their cells. Proculus is a formidable opponent, even for Milo. But before the end of the fight, Vesuvius erupts for good and an earthquake collapses the basement of the arena. Corvus orders Proculus to kill Milo, but Milo seizes his opponent and rushes into a crevasse with him. Their duel continues in the basement. Milo takes advantage of the confusion to activate the command opening the doors of the cells of all the gladiators: the revolt breaks out and Proculus must flee the unleashed slaves.

The panicked crowd leaves the stands in disarray. The entire population of Pompeii now understands the danger and rushes to the port to flee the city by the sea. The gladiator owner manages to reach the port and pays handsomely sailors to embark alone without waiting for the crowd, but his ship ends up crushed by one of the many projectiles spewed by the volcano and which fall on the whole region. In the basement of the arena, Milo and Atticus meet again. Atticus wants to reach the port to escape the eruption, but Milo wants to find Cassia who saved his life. In the meantime, Corvus and Cassia’s parents were mistreated by the collapse. Cassia’s mother asks her husband to kill the detestable senator, but Corvus wakes up just in time and it is he who kills Cassia’s father. Milo arrives too late: Cassia’s mother, expiring, begs him to protect her daughter. Milo leaves for Cassia’s villa and manages to free her as a hail of projectiles and ashes rains over the city. As they leave the villa, a landslide takes the house and Cassia’s maid leaves it there. Meanwhile, Atticus, seeing the crowd build up in the harbor, understands that a leak in this way is impossible. While it is already turning back, a seismic wave causes a tidal wave that engulfs the neighborhoods closest to the sea. Atticus just escapes. Milo and Atticus find themselves again in the arena where they hope to find horses to flee the city, but they must avoid the legionaries who roam there. They are again facing Proculus and Corvus. Corvus taunts the gladiators and runs away with Cassia on her chariot. Atticus confronts Proculus alone while Milo pursues Corvus. Proculus ends up mortally wounding Atticus, but the latter manages to kill him, then, standing up with his fist raised, faces the burning cloud of ashes that submerge the arena:”I’m dying as a free man! ”

Milo, mounted on Virès, continues Corvus and, after many setbacks, eventually catch up. Cassia manages to free herself and, while Corvus confronts Milo, she connects the senator to a pillar, then Milo and she leave him to death while the projectiles and ashes bury Pompeii. Milo and Cassia flee on horseback, but the cloud catches them little by little. They finally choose to let the horse run away and die kissing each other.

At the end of the film, we see the casts of two Pompeians kissing each other. It’s Milo and Cassia.

Technical sheet

  • Original title: Pompeii
  • French title: Pompeii
  • Director: Paul WS Anderson
  • Scenario: Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, Julian Fellowes and Michael Robert Johnson
  • Artistic direction: Paul D. Austerberry
  • Costumes: Wendy Partridge
  • Photography: Glen MacPherson
  • Music: Clinton Shorter
  • Production: Paul WS Anderson , Jeremy Bolt, Don Carmody , Robert Kulzer and Martin Moszkowicz
  • Production Companies: Constantin Film and Impact Pictures ; Don Carmody Productions (co-production)
  • Distribution Companies: TriStar Pictures and FilmDistrict
  • Country of origin: United States , Germany and Canada
  • Original language: English
  • Estimated budget: approximately $ 100 million 1
  • Format: Color – 2.35: 1 IMAX – SDDS , Datasat, Dolby Digital – 35 mm
  • Genre: peplum
  • Duration: 105 minutes
  • Release dates 2 :
    •  Belgium , France : 
    •  Canada , United States : 


  • Harington Kit (VF: Benjamin Penamaria and VQ: Jean-Philippe Baril-Guerard ) : Milo
  • Emily Browning (VF: Noémie Orphelin and VQ: Catherine Brunet ) : Cassia
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (VF: Daniel Lobé and VQ: Patrick Chouinard) : Atticus
  • Kiefer Sutherland (VF: Patrick Béthune and VQ: Alain Zouvi ) : Senator Corvus
  • Carrie-Anne Moss (VF: Danièle Douet and VQ: Nathalie Coupal ) : Aurelia
  • Jared Harris (VF: Philippe Vincent and VQ: Jean-François Blanchard ) : Severus
  • Jessica Lucas (VF: Mbembo and VQ: Aline Pinsonneault ) : Ariadne
  • Sasha Roiz (VF: Loïc Houdré ) : Proculus
  • Currie Graham (VF: Mathieu Moreau and VQ: Benoît Gouin ) : Bellator
  • Joe Pingue (VF: Pierre-Jean Pagès and VQ: Manuel Tadros ) : Graecus
  • Dalmar Abuzeid : Felix
Source and captionFrench version (VF) on AlloDoublage Quebec version (VQ) on Doublage Québec 4



In 2007 , Roman Polanski begins to develop a film project about Pompeii, from the eponymous novel by Robert Harris published in 2003 . The film’s budget is now estimated at 130 million dollars 5 . The project does not materialize finally.

from Against all odds, a substantial budget is unblocked again and Paul WS Anderson is nominated as director. The script will be signed Julian Fellowes ( Emmy Award winner for Downton Abbey ), Lee Batchler and Janet Scott Batchler 6 . The film’s script is no longer related to Robert Harris’s novel.


End The main couple is unveiled: it will be rising star Kit Harington and Emily Browning , respectively hero of Thrones ( Game of Thrones ) and Sucker Punch 7 . At the end of March, it is announced that Kiefer Sutherland would be the main antagonist of the film


Filming took place at Cinespace Film Studios in Toronto and the real Pompeii 8 site .

Home Review

In the United States, the film receives generally bad or very mixed reviews in the press. Rotten Tomatoes, a UK- based news aggregator, gives the film an average of 25 out of 100 based on 93 press reviews and comes with the following critical consensus: “This big-budget peplum lacks the energy and scripting weight needed to be better than ‘a guilty pleasure. ” 9 . The US site Metacritic , another critical aggregator, giving it an average of 40 out of 100 based on 29 reviews 10 .

In France, critics, few, also oscillate between the mixed and the bad. The site Allociné gives the film an average rating of 2.3 on a scale of 5, based on 6 reviews published in the press or on the Internet 11 .

Box office

In the US, the film opens in 2658 theaters on the weekend of February 22-23 1 . The film garners 10.3 million dollars during this first weekend of operation, which represents a poor start performance, although it is not as bad as that of the previous film, The Three Musketeers , released in 2011 (8.9 million) 12 . The box office of the weekend is then largely dominated by The Big Adventure Lego , already at the head of the box office during the two previous weeks. The start of Pompeii is still better than the previous peplum, The Legend of Hercules by Renny Harlin, Released in the US on January 10 and had collected 8.9 million dollars in revenue during its first weekend 12 .

The film’s launch is significantly better elsewhere in the world, with around $ 22.8 million worth of recipe at its various startups in the 32 countries where it is broadcast. It has a good start in South Korea ($ 3.6 million, second place at the local box office) and in Russia, and good starts in France, Brazil ($ 1.5 million) and Mexico ($ 1.3 million), but not in Italy ($ 1.4 million) 12 .

As of February 27, 2014, the film had accumulated just over 36.235 million dollars in revenue, of which about 13.4 million in the US and about 22.8 million elsewhere 13 .

In France, the film is released on February 19, 2014. Operated on 301 copies, it brings together about 338,600 admissions in the first week 14 , 15 .


This article does not sufficiently mention its sources (June 2017).If you have reference books or articles, or if you are familiar with quality websites dealing with the topic discussed here, please complete the article by providing useful references to its verifiability and linking them to the ” Notes ” section. and references »

In practice: Which sources are expected? How to add my sources?

The historical errors are numerous:

– The amphitheater of Pompei was not destroyed by an earthquake, but covered with ashes: we can still see it almost intact.

Pompei did not have a lighthouse.

– under the Empire, a senator did not direct an army as such.

– Pompei was covered with ashes, and not hit by a tsunami and “lava balls”

– Pompei has never been “rival” or “opposed” to Rome, its citizens were Romans for centuries, and the rich Romans came to vacation in Pompei, like the Parisians in Deauville.

– Never would a senator have had the power to massacre a patrician family, especially under a debonair emperor like Titus.

Finally, no revolt of Celts of Brittany is reported at the time.

– No source mentions the presence of black gladiators, black slaves were rare and expensive and only the wealthiest families in Rome could get them.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ a and b Forecast: ‘LEGO’ Set to Crush ‘Pompeii’ This Weekend  [ archive ] , article by Ray Subers 20 February 2014. Accessed st March 2014.
  2. ↑ (en) Release dates [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database .
  3. ↑ “French dubbing sheet of the film”  [ archive ] on AlloDoublage , accessed February 17, 2014.
  4. ↑ “Quebec dubbing sheet of the film”  [ archive ]
  5. ↑ Aurelie Garreau, ” Roman Polanski resuscitates Pompeii ”  [ archive ] , on AlloCine , (accessed August 22, 2013 )
  6. ↑ [1]  [ archive ] , Pompeii revisited by Paul WS Anderson . Accessed March 4, 2013
  7. ↑ [2]  [ archive ] , Emily Browning joined the cast of Pompeii . Accessed March 4, 2013
  8. ↑ (en) Filming locations [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database
  9. ↑ “This big-budget sword-and-sandal adventure lacks the energy and storytelling heft to amount to more than a guilty pleasure. » Page from the film  [ archive ] on the Rotten Tomatoes website. Accessed st March 2014.
  10. ↑ Pompeii Reviews  [ archive ] on the website Metacritic. Accessed st March 2014.
  11. ↑ Press reviews of the film on Allociné  [ archive ] . Accessed st March 2014.
  12. ↑ a , b and c Weekend Report: ‘LEGO’ Obliterates ‘3 Days,’ ‘Pompeii’  [ archive ] , article by Ray Subers of Box Office Mojo 23 February 2014. Accessed st March 2014.
  13. ↑ Box office of the movie  [ archive ] on Box Office Mojo. Accessed st March 2014.
  14. ↑ Box French Office for the week of February 19, 2014  [ archive ] on Allociné. Accessed st March 2014.
  15. ↑ French box office of the film  [ archive ] on Allociné. Accessed st March 2014.

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