The Fall of the Roman Empire

The Fall of the Roman Empire ( The Fall of the Roman Empire ) is an American film directed by Anthony Mann , released in 1964 and placed in the context of the decline of the Western Roman Empire .


This long film chronicles the last moments of the Roman emperor and philosopher Marc Aurelius and the beginnings of the reign of his bloodthirsty and violent son Commodus .

It is a film of action and reflection that talks about the beginnings and causes of the decline of the Roman Empire, at a time when the Empire is still at its peak, radiating from the Mediterranean East to the West until north of Europe. It is also the story of the rivalries within the imperial family and the generals surrounding the emperor. The film addresses courage, honor, love, friendship, fidelity, lust, jealousy, doubt, deceit, excess, madness, strategy, power always in search of power and efficiency, and the consequences of this progressive or violent loss of power. Finally, it is through the history of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his son Commodus the story of the difficult government of an empire at the edge of the

Technical sheet

  • Original title: The Fall of the Roman Empire
  • French title: The Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Director: Anthony Mann
  • Second Team Realization: Andrew Marton , Yakima Canutt
  • Screenplay: Ben Barzman , Basilio Franchina , Philip Yordan
  • Sets and costumes: Veniero Colasanti , John Moore
  • Photography: Robert Krasker
  • Second team photograph: Cecilio Paniagua
  • Sound: David Hildyard , Gordon K. McCallum
  • Editing: Robert Lawrence
  • Music: Dimitri Tiomkin
  • Production: Samuel Bronston
  • Associated production: Michal Waszynski , Jaime Prades
  • Production Companies: The Rank Organization , Samuel Bronston Productions
  • Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Filming language: English
  • Format: color by Technicolor :
    – 35 mm version – 2.35: 1 Panavision – monophonic
    – 70 mm version – 2.20: 1 Ultra Panavision 70 – 6-track stereo sound (Westrex Recording System)
  • Genre: Peplum , Drama , Historical Movie
  • Duration: 188 minutes
  • Release dates:
    •  United Kingdom :
    •  United States :
    •  France :( Cannes Film Festival 1964 )


  • Sophia Loren (VF: Nathalie Nerval ) : Lucilla
  • Stephen Boyd (VF: Jean-Claude Michel ) : Livius
  • Alec Guinness (VF: Gérard Férat) : Marc Aurèle
  • James Mason (VF: René Arrieu ) : Timonids
  • Christopher Plummer (VF: William Sabatier ) : Commode
  • Anthony Quayle (VF: Pierre Leproux ) : Verulus
  • John Ireland (VF: Henry Djanik ) : Ballomar
  • Omar Sharif (VF: Pierre Fromont ) : Sohaemus
  • Mel Ferrer (VF: Serge Lhorca ) : Cleandre
  • Finlay Currie (VF: Jacques Berlioz ) : a senator
  • Eric Porter (VF: Pierre Asso ) : Julianus
  • Andrew Keir (VF: Georges Atlas ) : Polybius
  • George Murcell (VF: Serge Sauvion ) : Victorinus, the tribune
  • Norman Wooland : Virgilianus

And, among the uncredited actors:

  • Robert Rietty (VF: Roland Ménard ) : the narrator
  • Guy Rolfe : Marius
  • Friedrich von Ledebur : a barbarian


  •  Golden Globe Award 1965: Best film music to Dimitri Tiomkin

Around the film

  • The Roman Forum designed by Veniero Colosanti and John Moore decorators is one of the greatest sets ever built for a film. The construction of this 437-meter-long and 251-wide forum began on a 27-hectare site in Las Matas, near Madrid , Spain.. 1,100 workers spent seven months erecting 601 columns, 350 statues and 27 full-size buildings, the highest part of the decoration being the temple of Jupiter whose equestrian statue, located on the roof, was more than 86 meters high. above.
  • The Fall of the Roman Empire is on the list of the least profitable films in the history of cinema, with only $ 1.9 million in revenue in North America for a budget of more than $ 20 million.
  • Charlton Heston was scheduled to take on the role of Livius, who was ultimately played by Stephen Boyd, his opponent in the movie Ben Hur . Richard Harris was to play Commode, but it was Christopher Plummer who inherited the role.
  • This work inspired the movie Gladiator to Ridley Scott . It should be noted, irony of history, that Richard Harris, who was to play the role of Commode in the Mann version, holds that of Marc-Aurèle in Scott’s.
  • Stephen Boyd is dubbed here by Jean-Claude Michel , French voice of Charlton Heston five years earlier in Ben-Hur (1959). The actor was then opposed to Stephen Boyd.

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