Julius Caesar (1914)

Genres - Historical Film  |   Sub-Genres - Tragedy  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - Italy   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Once again the Italians do what they did best in the early 1910s -- create an epic historical drama. And once again, as in Quo Vadis, they delve back into their own history, this time focusing on the life history of Rome's most famous emperor. The film begins with Caesar's brief marriage to Lucius Cinna's daughter, Cornelia, and his subsequent banishment from Rome, shows his return 20 years later and his rise, his conquests and finally, his assassination by Brutus. Perhaps Anthony Novelli was miscast as Caesar -- reviews of the day hint that he just didn't have the presence needed for the role -- but that's of little consequence next to fierce battle scenes, the burning of Rome and thousands of extras. Audiences of the day were impressed by the sheer scale of this and other Italian productions. In the days when the feasibility of feature-length films was still being hotly debated, no one questioned a film like Julius Caesar running six reels, or more.