Androcles and the Lion

Synopsis: Androcles is a Christian who follows that religion's teachings even as they apply to the treatment of animals. Seeing a lion in pain, he removes a huge thorn from the beast's paw, creating a friend for life. Androcles and a number of other Christians are evenutally arrested and condemned to death in the arena. They are to die by being eaten by lions. Is it too much to hope that one of the lions may have a paw that has healed recently and might remember who helped heal it?
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Production: Criterion Collection
Rotten Tomatoes:
98 min


[Trumpet Fanfare]

[Weapons Clattering]

Hail, Editor.

Hail, Cato.

You look rather pleased with yourself.

And I didn't think the top men

of Caesar's secret police ever smiled.

We have our moments.

Uh, by the way, Editor, Caesar has asked me

to help you put on the games.

I don't need help.

With my help,

your job will soon be much easier.

You will have at least 100 Christians delivered

to the Colosseum each week for the spectacle.

And where is this endless supply

to come from?

From everywhere... - throughout the empire

and in all the provinces.

I have been instructed to take

energetic security measures...

against this riffraff who question the divinity

of our gods and of our emperor.

I leave immediately

to start the roundup in Syracuse.

- [People Chattering]

- [Children Laughing In Distance]

- [Bell Jingles]

- [Raven Squawking]

- [Dog Whining]

Androcles? Androcles?

- Yes, dearie?

- [Loud Thump]

- Where are you?

- Did you call me?

Come out of there.

Feeding those filthy animals

at a time like this.

We've got to run for it.

There isn't a moment to lose.

- Get out of my way, you dirty thing!

- [Bleats Loudly]

At any rate, we'll be rid of you!

- [Goat Bleats]

- [Cat Meows]

- Must we no right now?

- Unless you want to be eaten by a lion.

The soldiers are rounding up Christians

for the emperor's circus in Rome.

And just guess whose name

is first on the list.

- Not mine?

- Oh, whose else?

They're hunting them down alphabetically,

and you would be called Androcles.

Why, oh, why couldn't your parents have

named you something sensible... like Zenocles?

You no ahead, dearie.

I'll stay here and wait for them.

What do you mean you'll stay here?

Don't you know what'll happen to you?

No happier fate could be mine, dearie,

than to be martyred.

Oh, no, you don't.

I'm onto your little tricks.

You're just trying to get rid of me.

The moment I'm none,

you'll be off the other way.

You think you're very smart, don't you?

Well, we'll see about that!

- You're hurting me, dearie.

- Now, then, get hold of that bundle.

But I'd much rather stay. Really.

On your way!

You'll have to get up earlier in the morning

to pull the wool over my eyes, you Christian.

- What about my pets?

- [Cat Meows]

Come on, boys. We've got to go now.

They stay here,

and good riddance to them.

And maybe they'll be fed to the lions.

Didn't you tell me

that they were Christians too?

Even the smallest sparrow.

Good. Then they won't mind being martyrs.

[Cat Screeches]

Not this way. Out the back, you fool.

Get a move on.

And don't try any of your tricks on me.

Hurry up.

Andy, will you please hurry!

- Nyah!

- [Bleats]

[No Audible Dialogue]

Well, how do you expect me to get across?

- Walk, dear.

- You want me to drown?

It's hardly up to your ankles.

I dare say, you wouldn't care a fig

whether I did drown or not.

No, dear. I mean, yes, dear.

You cruel brute.

You don't care how I feel

or what becomes of me.

Yes, dear. I mean, no, dear.

Always thinking of yourself.

Self! Self! Self!

Always yourself.

A man has to think of himself

occasionally, dear.

A man ought to think of his wife sometimes.

He can't always help it.

You make me think of you a great deal.

Not that I blame you.

Blame me? I should think not.

Is it my fault that I'm married to you?

No, dear. That's my fault.

That's a nice thing to say.


Aren't you happy with me?

I don't complain, my love.

"Don't complain."



[Low Growl]

I won't go another step.

Oh, not again, dear.

What's the good of stopping every two miles

and saying you won't go another step?

We must get to the hills before night.

There are wild beasts in the forest... -

lions, they say.

I don't believe a word of it.

Always threatening me with wild beasts...

to make me walk the very soul

out of my body...

when I can hardly drag one foot

before the other.

We haven't seen a single lion yet.

Even a lion would make a nice change, dear.

All right then.

If you're fonder of animals than your own wife,

you can live with them here in the jungle.

I've had enough of them and enough of you.

I'm going back.

No, dear, don't talk like that.

You can't go home.

Don't forget, you're my wife.

You'd be sent to Rome

and thrown to the lions.

And it would serve you right.

Well, aren't you going to stop me?

No, dear, not if you really want to.

Then I'll make my way through the forest...

and when I'm eaten by wild beasts,

you'll know what a wife you have lost.

- [Snarls]

- [Shrieking] Andy!


What is it, my precious, my pet?

What's the matter?

No, Andy. No.

No. You'll be killed.

Come back.


Did you see? A lion.

The gods have sent him to punish us

because you're a Christian.

- [Growls]

- Take me away, Andy.

Save me.

Meggie, there's one chance for you.

It'll take him

pretty near 20 minutes to eat me.

I'm rather tough.

And you can escape in less time than that.

- Don't talk about eating... -

- [Roars]

Don't you come near my wife.

Do you hear?

Meggie, run. Run for your life.

If I take my eyes off him, we're done for.

[Low Growl]

Oh. He's lame. Poor old chap.

He's got a thorn in his paw...

a frightfully big thorn.

Aw. Did you get an awful thorn

in your paw?

Has it made you too sick to eat the nice

little Christian man for your breakfast?

Oh. Then I'll get the thorn out for you.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Chester Erskine

Chester Erskine (November 29, 1905 – April 7, 1986) was a Hollywood and Broadway director, writer, and producer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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