Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS (aka Costantino il grande/1961). Director: Lionello De Felice.

Cornel Wilde [The Naked Prey] is cast as Emperor Constantine, who as a general beat back the barbarian hordes, in this fictionalized story of his trials and tribulations and his relationship to his Christian mother Elena (Elisa Cegani); wife Fausta (Belinda Lee of Footsteps in the Fog); and her evil brother, Maxentius (Massimo Serato), who accuses Constantine of murdering his own father, among other melodramatic elements. Then there is the secondary romantic couple, also Christians, Livia (Christine Kaufmann) and the centurion, Hadrian (Fausto Tozzi). The multi-national cast in this Italian epic isn't bad, and there is some excellent widescreen photography (Massimo Dallamano) of sweeping battles and the like. Wilde has his usual commanding presence.

Verdict: Not bad historical epic with an interesting cast. ***.

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