Androcles and the Lion

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 6


Audience Score

User Ratings: 75
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Movie Info

With George Bernard Shaw safely in his grave, RKO chief Howard Hughes had no qualms about twisting and bending Shaw's +Androcles & the Lion to accommodate his own notions of entertainment. Happier, wiser heads prevailed before the Hughes-commissioned "Vestal Virgins" sequence, complete with near-naked dancing girls, was foisted on the public. Originally, Harpo Marx was to have played Androcles, the simple-hearted Christian tailor whose friendship with a lion saves himself and his friends from martyrdom in the Roman Colosseum. A few days into shooting, however, Harpo was replaced by Alan Young, who was okay but not in Marx's league. RKO habitués Jean Simmons and Victor Mature co-star as, respectively, a courageous Christian girl and the bullheaded Roman captain who falls in love with her. Every Shaw play has one character who acts as the playwright's alter ego; in +Androcles, it's none other than Caesar himself, here wittily essayed by Maurice Evans. Director Chester Erskine co-adapted the play for the screen with Ken Englund; serving as producer was Gabriel Pascal.


Critic Reviews for Androcles and the Lion

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (4)

  • Bernard Shaw's satirical comedy on Romans and Christians provides the basis for a fair film offering. Picture is a curious mixture of basic comedy and Shavian wit.

    Mar 4, 2015 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • [A] pompously stagebound and unhappily cast spectacular.

    Jun 24, 2006

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The intellectual content of the drama suffers from staging that is dull; the fantasy and drollery of it seem curiously clumsy and slow.

    Mar 25, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Bernard Shaw's irreverent views on Christianity, so brilliantly expounded in that exceptionally poor play of his, Androcles and the Lion, have, in Gabriel Pascal's even poorer adaptation, lost a deal of their original sharpness.

    Jun 19, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The imported British supporting cast, including Robert Newton, behave like fish out of water under Chester Erskine's shambolic direction.

    Mar 4, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A good adult story for kids, set in ancient Rome.

    Mar 4, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Androcles and the Lion

  • Apr 29, 2011
    The production design and direction are unimaginative but this is loaded with wonderful performances from both the American actors as well as the great cast of English thespians who have a wonderful time with Shaw's witty dialogue.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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