General Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor) returns to Rome a hero after his 3 year campaign. On his return he is sent to live with a retierd Roman General were he meets and falls in love with his adopted daughter Lygia (Deborah Karr), but the only problem is she is a Christian and wants nothing to do with him. Nero (Peter Ustinov) blaims the Christians for the burning of Roman and sends his Praetorian Guard to round them up so he can throw them to the lions, so Marcus sets out to save her.
This is a beautifully shot film with wonderful rich Technicolor photography. Director Mervyn Le Roy handles the huge cast brilliantly and sets up some great sequences (the best been Roman Army entering Rome and the final Area scene). Robert Taylor is good in the lead role and he gives a very belivable performance, as does Deborah Karr as a women torn between her love for Marcus and her Christian Religion. Peter Ustinov is perfectly crazy and is hilarious in his portrayal of Nero.
This is a entertaining film that kept me lock in for the entire 167 Minute running time and has to be one of the best Sword and Sandal epics of all time. If you like this, Id recommend Barabbas, The Robe and Demetrius and the Gladiators