L’orgie romaine 1911 (The Roman Orgy)

lorgie-romaine

Also Known as Heliogabalus, Tyrant of Rome

 

Simple but fun French film takes place in Rome, 218 AD as Elagabalus enjoys being treated as the master he is as countless women take care of him. This ranges from them doing his clothes and giving him a bath. In one of the film’s best moments, a servant accidentally scratched Elagabalus so he sends the guy to the lion pits where he’s eaten before everyone goes back to the orgy (or more of a party). Those expecting some nudity of dirty stuff will be disappointed as the title is quite misleading but I’m going to guess it was used to get some folks into the theater expecting something more naughty. What is here is a pleasant little gem that gives us a fake history lesson in just eight-minutes. Director Feuillade manages to pack quite a bit into the short running time but there’s no question the highlight is the lion’s den, which actually manages to contain some mild suspense even though we know the actor is in no real danger. Another highlight comes towards the end when the always joking Elagabalus lets the lions join the party. The final five-minutes of this film are hand colored and it looks very good. Another major plus are the wonderful sets and nice costumes. Fans of early cinema will certainly want to check this one out.

Director: Louis Feuillade
Stars: Jean Aymé, Louise Lagrange, Luitz-Morat

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Author: Old Boy

Love the past and the future but live in the present