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Main Story Lines Funny Thing Happened at the Forum Set in a Roman neighborhood not the same Rome seen in Ben Hur and Spartacus Pseudolus attempt to win freedom by securing a girl for his master Hero Filled with plot twists mistaken identities phony danger In the end everything works out Gladiator Maximus has been named keeper of Rome and its empire by dying emperor Marcus Aurelius so that rule might pass from the Caesars back to the people and Senate Marcus neglected and power hungry son Commodus has other ideas however Escaping an ordered execution Maximus hurries back to his home in Spain too late to save his wife and son from the same order Taken into slavery and trained as a gladiator by Proximo Maximus lives only that he might someday take his revenge and ful ll the dying wish of his emperor The time soon comes when Proximo s troupe is called to Rome to participate in a marathon of gladiator games held at the behest of the new emperor Commodus Once in Rome Maximus wastes no time in making his presence known and is soon involved in a plot to overthrow the emperor with his former love Lucilla Commodus sister after whom he lusts and also the widowed mother of Lucius heir to the empire after his uncle and democratic minded senator Gracchus General Features The Trojan Women 1971 Based on Euripides play Prod on stage 1963 1964 Hard to get funding for screen prod Filmed in Spain Revolves around Trojan women in immediate aftermath of fall of Troy to Greeks Focus on Hecuba wife of Priam Cassandra Hecuba s daughter Andromache Hector s wife and Helen Changes No gods Filmed outdoors not on a stage Chorus role expanded Greater emphasis on Hecuba and her suffering Cast Hecuba Katherine Hepburn Cassandra Genevieve Bujold Andromache Vanessa Redgrave Helen Irene Pappas Observations Clear where sympathies lie Hecuba Helen villian Women heroes dignity Greeks men hypocrites Close to Euripidean themes More brutal on screen Political connection Anti war sentiments of 1960 America Vietnam France Algeria Greece Junta Hercules Muses modernized version ancient greek goddess Loose rendition of myth Alcmene isn t mother Hera is so they don t have to explain Zeus adultery Hades is villain instead of Hera Elements added Pegasus Clash Philoctetes Doesn t kill children Megara love interest must be won Labors driven from search for himself and true heroism Becomes modern sport celebrity hero store drink shoes Movie makes fun of modern culture celebs Pop culture satire Marilyn Monroe constellation Thebes Big Apple NYC Aphrodite s Secret Victoria s Secret Hermes gives Hera Flowers FTD ower company Main Characters Funny Thing Pseudolus Zero Mostel Lycus pimp Phil Silvers Senex dimwit husband Michael Hordern Domina wife Patricia Jessel Philia kind prostitute Annette Andre Hero star crossed son Michael Crawford Miles Gloriosus braggart soldier Leon Greene Erronius old neighbor Buster Keaton Hysterium Jack Gilford Gladiator Maximus Russell Crowe Commodus Joaquin Phoenix Marcus Aurelius Richard Harris Lucilla Connie Neilsen Promixo Oliver Reed Senator Gracchus Derek Jacobi Juba Djimon Hounsou Senator Falco David Scho eld Themes Issues Gladiator Underlying theme is less appealing and audience is worn out Like Ben Hur Focus on man Maximus who seeks personal revenge against roman of cial Respect for family Like Spartacus Features a gladiator who uses skills to ght against corruption decadence that Rome has come to symbolize Focus on one male character Like BH and Spartacus Opponent has different values Messala and Crassus Romance Lucille Deceased wife Focus on ahistorical question Should empire continue or should the republic be restored Names Terms Etc Decline of ancient lms Spartacus last successful roman movie of it s time Cleopatra 1963 Most expensive and hyped movie of its time 1960 lming starts Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra becomes ill stop lming Filming moved to Rome and restarted Prod becomes expensive Offscreen affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Tim Burton creates scandal Completed in 1964 4 academy awards Too long 4 hrs edited to 3 Disjointed plot Commercial failure made millions but almost bankrupt the studio Fall of the Roman Empire 1964 Critically acclaimed Commercially unsuccessful Bankrupts producers Rise of Artsy lms about the ancient world and of comedies satires of the ancient world 1950s Serious Roman epics with some comic relief Batiatus in opening scene of Spartacus 1960s Rome more increasingly subject to comedy and satire Not big budget not aimed at mass audiences not shown in main theaters Examples of older comedies based on ancient world The Three Ages 1923 Parody of intolerance Traces love through the ages Argues that love hasn t changed much Roman Scandals 1933 Farce Satire Contemporary humor Argues that ancient world is not far from our own Matri phony Three Stooges 1942 3 stooges help beautiful girl who is desired by evil Roman emperor Not based on any ancient work Rome just the setting Roman Legion Hare 1955 Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam transport to ancient Rome Audience follows antics Not set on any ancient work Rome is merely just the setting Roman Comedy background and features Flourishes 3rd and 2nd cent BC Chief poets Plautus and Tererile Prod at festivals on temporary theaters Carnival like atmosphere Plots romance and mistaken identities Stock Stereotypical characters Henpecked husband being nagged Overbearing wife Young man in love Good hearted prostitute Boastful solider Wily slave Role reversal was a key element and source of comedy Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 1966 Broadway production in 1962 Unlike other roman movies based on ancient work of literature of roman comedy Type of Humor Jewish American Humor TV Radio experience Vaudeville separate acts grouped together and burlesque Pranksters Tricksters low lifes Marx Bros Milton Berle Year one Split Set Verbal puns Sight Visual gags American Aspects Slave desire to be free not in original roman plays Prominent display of female bodies 1960s value James Bond s girl Playboy Hollywood parodies Roman epic parodies anti epic Political satire in broadway play and cinematic versions Parody of Toga movies Monty Python s Life of Brian 1979 Satire of contemporary British west society Education system class system legal system religion church British humor Biggus Dickus Latin jokes Parody of Toga movies esp Ben Hur and Spartacus Cacoyannis Trojan Women 1971 Based on ancient tragedy Follows ancient play closely semi realistic

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FSU CLT 3510 - Study Guide

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