Caligula - The Ultimate Cut
40 years after its infamous release, a new ultimate cut showcases an unprecedented amount of never-before-seen footage detailing the story of Caligula, who seizes power and begins to dismantle the Roman Empire from within. The notoriously decadent film is finally presented in a (tasteful) manner allowing it to be considered in a new light. Starring a very British cast for a Roman epic, the thespians include Malcolm McDowell, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud, and of course Helen Mirren.
After assassinating the emperor Tiberius his adopted grandson Caligula seizes power and drags the Roman Empire down with him into madness through acts of violence, lechery, and humiliation.
Released in 1980, this “classic” remains notoriously famous for a nightmarish film shoot which saw combative creative differences and delays resulting in a marginalised feature sold purely on shock value, a decadent epic that caused a scandal. Long thought lost, producer Thomas Negovan secured unreleased negatives which has allowed the film to be restored to a new experience.
After a recent premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, far removed from the artistic quarrels of director Tinto Brass, writer Gore Vidal and producer Bob Guccione, Negovan approached this new version from a neutral perspective. His desire to elevate the actors gives greater strength to the narrative and provides a new approach to Emperor Caligula’s madness. Another major feat is that not a single shot from the original film was used, which makes Caligula – The Ultimate Cut a completely new feature film, one that is ready to be re-evaluated and rediscovered.