Historical films set in Italy


In another topic, someone mentioned the movie Gladiator. I wanted to list some other Ancient Rome movies, but I couldn’t think of any other than Spartacus. What other movies are about Ancient Rome? Do you love any films that are based during another era of Italian history?


Those are the first two I thought of as well. Ben Hur is another classic movie that takes place in Ancient Rome. There are also several movies about Julius Caesar (and that’s what most of them are called, too). I sort of remember hearing about a movie about Pompeii that came out recently, but I could just be thinking of that Bastille song.


Perhaps you are referring to Pompeii that came out in 2014 and is starring Kit Harington (aka Jon Snow from Game of Thrones).

I remember it being quite good, exceeding my expectations.

Pompeii - Official Trailer


Ben Hur was the first that came to my mind too, followed by Spartacus.But what about… Caligula? And I think there was something about Nero too.

And of course The Passion of the Christ, which puts the Romans in the position of Bad Guys.

And finally, I think I mentioned it earlier somewhere: Asterix and Cleopatra
…although technically, most of that is set in Egypt.


The scenic the view and the people gains lot of good ratings when comes on italy were in italy was the best known for historic filming this made good credits in theaters itself.:grin:


In another era of Italian history? Does the time when The Godfather movies were made count? The modern era. Perhaps not?
There’s the famous film ‘Cleopatra’, staring Elizabeth Taylor. I’m not really into historical films all that much, but I sometimes like looking at the sets and scenery. I’ve tried to like Ben Hur because I have an aunt who just adores that movie, but every time I try to watch it and enjoy it, I just can’t do it.


Does “Romeo and Juliet” count - starring Claire Danes and Leonardo di Caprio and fairly faithful to Shakespeare’s play. It’s set in Verona.


I think that “Sparctacus” made in 1960 and directed by Stanley Kubrick is set in Italy. There are a lot of scenes which are set in a gladiator school near Rome and scenes inside the Senate.


Did you like this movie? You said it’s faithful to Shakespeare’s play, so maybe that’s a good thing? I don’t know. I really enjoy movies, but not necessarily historical ones.

Years ago I had a boyfriend who was obsessed with Claire Danes. I didn’t even know who she was and therefore had to do some research. I had forgotten all about that until you mentioned Claire Danes here in this post. May I ask you, do you think she’s good in this movie? Maybe I’ll order this movie via YouTube over the weekend.


“Rome” - which isn’t a film but a two-season series. Historically it’s not 100% accurate, but it doesn’t claim to be so. I think it’s worth watching because of the visuals and the small details of daily life, dress codes, social strata etc. It covers the fall of Julius Caesar and the rise of Augustus. Has anyone else seen it?


Does recent history count? If so I’d recommend “Tea With Mussolini” made in 1999. It’s a semi-autobiographical novel about a young boy. Historically, it covers the final stages of the rise of fascism just before the 2nd World War. Later, when the film jumps forward 5 years, the early years of the war, the oppression of Italian Jews and the entry of the US into the war in 1941 are all part of the plot.

The film is set in Tuscany - first in Florence and, later, San Gimignano.


@Berta I wouldn’t count that version, just because none of it was even filmed in Italy. It doesn’t have an Italian vibe to me at all. It gives off a more South American vibe (probably because that’s where a lot of it was filmed). @Melii It’s faithful because it uses all of the original text, but also modernizes it. For example, they use guns but the brand is “Sword” so that it could work with Shakespeare’s text. I think Claire Danes was good in it. It’s not her best work, but it’s a solid performance.