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Caligula (1979) (import)

186 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Helen Mirren, Malcolm McDowell, Peter O´Toole
  • Directors: Bob Guccione, Giancarlo Lui, Tinto Brass
  • Format: Import, Dolby, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Run Time: 151 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0037RDEK6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,918 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Import from The Netherlands with English soundtrack
Erotic spectacle film, which at its premiere caused a stir because of the multitude of explicit scenes of sex and violence. Rome in the period 37-41 AD. Caligula, the new emperor, after he killed his uncle. Tiberius Caligula is an ambitious and vain man that spares nothing and no one in his mad lust for prestige and power. State Affairs he does with disdain, he would rather spend his time with sadistic perversions and seksorgiën. Unstoppable he steams off on his own demise. Caligula was a scandalous success with the original release, mostly because of the unsparing way in which producer (and Penthouse publisher) Bob Guccione sex feasts of the Roman emperor had visualized. Despite the dubious reputation Caligula now valued as a wonderful epic.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

177 of 185 people found the following review helpful By Dr Stephen Marcus Ogley on 25 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD
It's very rare to see a version of Caligula in this country above 90 minutes. This is the complete and uncensored version - a Dutch import, but it plays in English. This version does contain hardcore sex, sometimes carelessly inserted into the finished movie as it was. Young Italian director Tinto Brass's original vision was to be shattered, forcing him to withdraw his name from the movie. Producer Bob Guccione fired Brass for over-filming and running up huge costs from filming beyond what was financially acceptable. Guccione then took control of the film, and assisted by Giancarlo Lui later sneaked back onto the set and shot 6 minutes of hardcore sex which was later edited into the film. Lui re-cut, re-edited and changed parts of Gore Vidal's script to fashion what is possibly the most expensive porn film ever made, which bore little resembalance to Tinto Brass's original vision.

Despite the troubled production, Caligula could be looked at as a masterpiece of cinema, for various reasons. It's a wonder it ever got released at all. Still it maintains its power to shock and repulse - the power of cinema has never been so evident as what it is here. Caligula has beautiful lavish sets, semi-beautiful photography, a stunning classic score, epic orgy scenes, and superb performances from British thespians Malcolm McDowell, Sir John Gielgud, Peter O'Toole and Helen Mirren. McDowell and O'Toole are particularly outstanding in their performances, and none of the 'thesps' take part, or appear in any of the sexually explicit hardcore scenes. Thank goodness.

If you haven't ever watched Caligula and you're not easily offended then subject yourself to this version. If you have seen the film, watch it again because it still remains to be seen, and deserves a place in the 21st Century.
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171 of 180 people found the following review helpful By Brady Orme VINE VOICE on 21 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD
Ah, "Caligula"... Is it Hardcore drivel, or a highbrow masterpiece on a level with "I, Claudius"? (With Hardcore drivel inserted, of course). Whatever your opinion, it can only be surmised that all participants hadn't a clue what they were getting themselves into. The director(s), the actors, even the editors seem like innocents here; and the story behind it is one that can hardly be believed, in the context of the modern esteem "period" works are held.

Bob Guccione, Penthouse Scion and overall Peddler of Smut had dreams of producing something that would survive the ages and be held as a work of high regard (with hardcore bits in it). Hence, erotic director Tinto Brass was hired for the job - and somehow Guccione and Brass persuaded some of the greatest British Thesps of the period to sign on to acting in it. How? simple. NONE of them had any idea of what they had gotten themselves into. Had Brass been given Final Cut them perhaps their sensibilites wouldn't have been too scorched, but Guccione, horrified with the film that Brass had presented, locked the poor hack out of the editing room, re-cut the film with a blunt instrument (resembling a dirty spoon, most probably) and added many hardcore inserts. Hence, a Legend was born - a near-pornographic epic with John Gielgud in it. Only in America...

Over the years, the film has been presented in many truncated forms; in 1979 the BBFC massively cut the film down to 1 Hour 42 minutes from it's original 2 Hours 36 minutes. But now, for the first time in this country we can see the full film in all it's (smutty) glory.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Philoctetes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Following some of the other reviews reprinted beneath this new Caligula DVD I foolishly thought I would be getting 2/3 different cuts of the same movie: sort of, 1) Oh My!, 2) Goodness Gracious Me!, and 3) Fetch my Smelling Salts!!!

What you get is just the one. CALIGULA UNCUT, Tinto Brass directing with pornographic inserts directed by B. Guccione. Penthouse Films International, no less.

Penthouse Films International, people. So no more pretence of dismay or sneering disregard for the hardcore bits. You're watching it because it's a film about carnality, about the body being abused, raped, tortured, tantalized and tossed out again. I can't decide now having sat through all 2.5 hrs, with only a very slight use of the FF button, whether this film could be used to wean someone off of an addiction to pornography, or to wean them on to it.

Other reviewers complain of hardcore 'drivel' (should that be 'dribble'?) but it is the scenes of lascivious torture and murder which really sicken the soul. The murder of Tiberius (Peter O'Toole, playing older than Sir John Gielgud) by Macro; the execution of Macro by Caligula (a killing contraption worthy of Clive Barker); the rape and the later torture and murder of the young officer, accused of treason in so far as he is an honest Roman when the population is made up of crooks. Alongside all of this and the rather garish and typically Tinto Brass vulgarity, those late night scenes of sex shot by Guccione at least have honest intent, and being 'filmed' as part of a major movie production, by porn standards they're almost beautiful.

Does such a point of view make you recoil? Then ask yourself: why is this notorious movie now available uncut and over the counter with a standard 18 certificate? Because we have changed.
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