Last Days of Pompeii (1935)

Last Days of Pompeii (1935)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This epic account of life in the Italian seaport of Pompeii before the fatal eruption of Mount Vesuvius stars Preston Foster as a blacksmith who aspires to become a champion gladiator after his wife and child are killed.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

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Basil Rathbone
as Pontius
Alan Hale
as Burbix
Louis Calhern
as Prefect
John Wood
as Flavius
David Holt
as Flavius as a Boy
Wyrley Birch
as Leaster
Gloria Shea
as Julia
Wryley Birch
as Leaster
Henry Kolker
as Warder
Zeffie Tilbury
as Wise Woman
John Davidson
as Phoebus
Ward Bond
as Murmex
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Critic Reviews for Last Days of Pompeii

All Critics (2)

This may be the only film that gives us even a taste of what it would have been like to see a Bible story filtered through [the early-Hollywood-sound-era] aesthetic.

Full Review… | April 6, 2016

Pulpy sword and sandal film, whose highlight is filming the eruption of Vesuvius.

Full Review… | August 3, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Last Days of Pompeii

The events surrounding a boisterous father and his rebelling son are the main storyline around which the last days of Pompeji, leading to the ultimate catastrophe evolve. Expect Fanfares, Romans, Gladiators, Chariots, Slaves and lots of horrible acting with eyes staring beyond the sun, arms stretched out to proclaim the world's truth and the heart's deep sadness. I know that many actors in the early 30ies were still trained to act for silent movies or onstage so it is not really their bad but it makes the movie feel a bit silly and bloated. So does the "epic" storyline. The filmmakers are forcing the movie so delibaretly to feel like an "epic" (think Birth of a Nation) that it feels very bloated. Not 2 minutes without a hero falling, a hero prevailing, justice and truth being upheld or the wrath of the gods cast down on the puny humans, you get the picture. Once, Marcus (the lead) and his son go for some porridge, instead the scene ends with Marcus throwing out a customer out of the restaurant, taking care of rule and orded. Before, when Marcus and his wife want to go shopping (!) she is run over by a chariot and killed, alongside her baby. Basically, the screenwriters did not allowed any realism, dignity or slow pace to enter the film, which prevents you from empathizing enought with the characters and the world. The acting is not good, and it cannot all be a sign o' times. Basil Rathbone is stealing the show as Pontius Pilates, torn between his duty and his conscience, great acting ! Marcus and Flavius simply look silly next to him. . . The effects are not bad for the time, cityscapes crumbling (double projection) and statues collapsing. But it is far from anything spectacular or groundbreaking as we had seen in King Kong (1933), same production company and producer btw. You can stay away from this one, there are far more better AND relevant movies which came out in the 20ies and early 30ies you should invest your time in. H.

Henrik Schunk
Henrik Schunk

Super Reviewer

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