Saturday, November 19, 2011

Photo of the Day

A slave (George Bruggeman) watches Nero (Charles Laughton) enjoy eating a flower during the bloody Arena spectacle in SIGN OF THE CROSS.

QUO VADIS, DeMille style. Charles wanted to play Nero as effeminate ruler (i.e. as the near nude slave next to him indicates), which DeMille disagreed. The two apparently fought during production. Not one of my favourite PEPLUM films even if it has some great scenes within it. The script is muddled up. The film starts with the burning of Rome and then nothing about it...just to have the Christians demonized by it for the remainder of the story. But the ending, which can be seen as bleak is, in a way, its saving grace because it's such an uncommon one, certainly for Hollywood. Of course, there's the wonderful pre-code stuff, such as the photo above or Claudette's infamous donkey's milk bath scene. 


Thierry Robin said...

The image changed :)?

I too love all those pre-code movies.
I discover that period recently, with a cycle on TCM.

PEPLUM cinema said...

yes I changed the original image with a screengrab from the actual film

Pat Powers said...

Let's not forget Sally Rand naked but for a string of garland in full suspension, living crocodile bait in the arena. A real shame the Hayes Code put an end to free expression in American film for so long.