Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The long-forgotten Italian historical epic Herod the Great (AKA Erode il Grande, 1960), dramatizes the dark final years of the title figure, an evil Judean Tetrarch notorious for sending Christ to the cross in league with Pontius Pilate. The story begins with Herod (Edmond Purdom) and Antony's shared defeat by Rome (when the two men foolishly decide to form an allegiance and go head to head with the colossal Empire), and ends with Herod's slide into insanity following Christ's death. Throughout, the ruler exhibits utter lunacy, raving constantly and spewing forth torrents of unbridled anger; the picture's overtone thus remains bleak, despairing and relentlessly gloomy throughout (take it or leave it). Arnaldo Genoino directs; Damiano Damiani, Federico Zardo, Tourjansky and Fernando Cerchio co-scripted.
aristocracy, espionage, indictment, jealousy, power, revolution, royalty