The Affairs of Messalina (1954)

Genres - Epic  |   Sub-Genres - Historical Epic, Sword-and-Sandal  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - Italy, USA  |  
  • AllMovie Rating
    5
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

The Affairs of Messalina is a French/Italian historical spectacle produced in the wake of the internationally successful Fabiola (1949). Mexican film luminary Maria Felix essays the role of Messalina, the scheming wife of Roman emperor Augustus who searches for love by walking the streets of the Eternal City. Also in the cast is an Italian specialist and silky seductresses, Gianna Maria Canale. It is difficult to believe that any producer/director could go wrong with lavish sets, exotic costumes, and two of the most glamorous actresses on Earth, but Carmine Gallone (who previously helmed the 1937 Fascist-financed epic Scipio Africanus) achieves the impossible: Affairs of Messalina makes Roman decadence as dull as dishwater. Originally released in Europe in 1951 under the deceptively short title Messaline, Affairs of Messalina was mercifully cut to ribbons by its American distributor Columbia Pictures in 1954.

Characteristics

Keywords

Chinese-American, community, cruelty, decadence, emperor, empire, evil, gang-war, Italian-American, Italy, love, Roman-Empire, star-crossed-lovers, street-smart, teenagers