Androcles and the Lion (1953) - Rotten Tomatoes

Androcles and the Lion (1953)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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.
Classics , Comedy , Drama , Faith & Spirituality
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


Jean Simmons
as Lavinia
Alan Young
as Androcles
Victor Mature
as Captain
Robert Newton
as Ferrovius
Maurice Evans
as Ceasar
Gene Lockhart
as Menagerie keeper
Alan Mowbray
as Editor
Noel Willman
as Spintho
John Hoyt
as Cato
Jim Backus
as Centurion
Lowell Gilmore
as Metelius
Woody Strode
as The Lion
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Androcles and the Lion

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (3)

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.

Full Review… | March 4, 2015
Top Critic

[A] pompously stagebound and unhappily cast spectacular.

June 24, 2006
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.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

The imported British supporting cast, including Robert Newton, behave like fish out of water under Chester Erskine's shambolic direction.

Full Review… | March 4, 2015
Radio Times

A good adult story for kids, set in ancient Rome.

Full Review… | March 4, 2015
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for Androcles and the Lion


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 nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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