A.D. (1985)

Genres - Epic, Historical Film  |   Sub-Genres - Religious Epic, Hagiography, Historical Epic  |   Run Time - 180 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Filmed in Tunisia on a budget of 30 million dollars, the five-part, 12-hour miniseries A.D. was the final installment in a historical trilogy which included Moses the Lawgiver and Jesus of Nazareth. Covering the years 30 to 69 A.D., the teleplay, co-written by Anthony Burgess, chronicled the political intrigue which plagued the Roman Empire, with such key players as the emperors Tiberius (James Mason in his final role), Caligula (John McEnery), Claudius (Richard Kiley), and Nero (Anthony Andrews) calling the shots. Meanwhile, the death of Jesus Christ (played by Michael Wilding, son of Elizabeth Taylor) not only sparked a widespread monotheistic religious movement, but also resulted in devastating factionalism amongst the various Jewish sects of the era. Offsetting the true events are a number of fictional subplots, among them the romance between Jewish slave girl Sarah (Amanda Pays) and Roman soldier Valerius (Neil Dickson), and the tempestuous relationship between male and female gladiators, Caleb (Cecil Humphreys) and Corinna (Diana Venora). The huge cast included Ava Gardner, making her TV-movie debut as the scheming Agrippina. The winner of an Emmy award for Best Film Editing, A.D. was broadcast by NBC from March 31 through April 4, 1985.

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Keywords

apostle, Christianity, Roman-Empire