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period: Caligula


Milonia Caesonia (Helen Mirren) was a former prostitute, and daughter of a prostitute, with a notorious reputation who rose to become Roman Empress through her marriage to Gaius Caligula.

Definitely a Tinto Brass movie, despite the Gore Vidal screenplay, this production caused a bit of a fuss. Unsurprising when the IMDb summary says:

Only one movie dares to show the perversion behind imperial Rome, and that movie is ‘Caligula’, the epic story of Rome’s mad Emperor. All the details of his cruel, bizarre reign are revealed right here: his unholy sexual passion for his sister, his marriage to Rome’s most infamous prostitute, his fiendishly inventive means of disposing those who would oppose him, and more.

Some of the cast rapidly distanced themselves from the movie amid claims that Bob Guccione had filmed additional scenes with pornstars; Helen Mirren, as far as I am aware, did not do so, and indeed said she was grateful to the movie for giving her financial security for the first time in her acting career.

Whatever, rewatching it now after watching Rome on television one wonders what all the fuss was about – then I watched the longer uncut version.

The makeup

Giuseppe Banchelli was the makeup artist.