Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Fall of the Roman Empire

This movie flopped in 1964 because it is dull. The production values are sumptuous, and although there are several islands of fine acting separated by wide gulfs of unessential matter, the result is a brightly colored bore. Dimitri Tiomkin's score has no particular focus (just like the movie) and when it does show up, it is too obvious by far. Early on there is a weird smash cut between a scene of Stephen Boyd and Christopher Plummer drinking, and a scene of Plummer barking commands at a serving girl; it has the effect of a missing reel. As to that drinking scene, all I can say is that sometimes an uncorked bota is just an uncorked bota even if Stephen Boyd is doing the uncorking.

Better Roman or best friend?

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