Ancient Rome, slavery, senatorial intrigue, the spread of Christianity, the Colosseum's circus of horrors - but Blasetti's credo of 'historical realism' founders on the proselytising melodrama of Cardinal Wiseman's source novel, and the result is awfully dull, until the spectacular violence of the climax. In her form-hugging costumes, Michèle Morgan (Fabiola) looks good enough to eat, a proposition almost put to the test by those Colosseum lions. Michel Simon as her dad, the genial Senator Fabius, is murdered far too soon for the film's own good: the appreciative way he eyes Fabiola is about all the picture has to offer by way of Roman decadence. An American dubbed version cut to 97 minutes is also around.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Jean-Georges Auriol, Corrado Parolini, Antonio Pietrangeli, Mario Chiari, Alessandro Blasetti, Vitaliano Brancati, Emilio Cecchi, Diego Fabbri, Cesare Zavattini|