Demetrius and the Gladiators

Synopsis: The story picks up at the point where "The Robe (1953)" ends, following the martyrdom of Diana and Marcellus. Christ's robe is conveyed to Peter for safe-keeping, but the emperor Caligula wants it back to benefit from its powers. Marcellus' former slave Demetrius seeks to prevent this, and catches the eye of Messalina, wife to Caligula's uncle Claudius. Messalina tempts Demetrius, he winds up fighting in the arena, and wavers in his faith.
Genre: Action, Drama, History
Director(s): Delmer Daves
Production: Fox
Rotten Tomatoes:
101 min

Then, Christians, die you shall!

Go! Both of you!

Into your kingdom!

For the big fisherman.

(clap of thunder)

- Prefect. Where's the prefect of the guard?

- Here, sire.

- How long till sunrise?

- Two hours, sire.


My lady.

(Caligula) Wait here.


- Where's Claudius?

- In his own room.

Doesn'tyour husband sleep here?

- What have you to report?

- This is very interesting, sire.

This is the report of Pontius Pilate,

our governor in Jerusalem.

- The legends of a Messiah have...

- Don't waste my time with legends.

I want to know one thing.

Gallio and the lady Diana...

Why weren't they afraid to die?

Perhaps they're not dead, sire.

- Not dead?

- According to their superstition.

Their king, this Jesus,

claims to have "overcome death,...

...not only for himself,

but for all who had faith in him".

These are his words as a spy reported them.

You mean those Christians

thought they were going to live for ever?

- Ridiculous.

- Of course, but the point is they believed it.

Therefore they were not afraid.

Everyone's afraid of death.

Take you, my dear uncle.

Are you prepared to die now?

Of course you're not.

You're sweating. Your knees are shaking.

Very amusing.

Death's one inch from your heart,

one little push on the dagger.

Shall I, Claudius?

If you do, sire, my knees will stop shaking,...

...I will not sweat any more.

I won't be half as amusing dead as I am alive.

The question is:
are you alive?

Would you say so, Messalina?

As his wife, you're in

the best position to know.

My devotion to my husband

is well known, sire.

It's the talk of the Forum.

And your devotion to your emperor?

Your wife is truly beautiful, Uncle.

Except for her ears.

They're shaped like keyholes.

Who are your spies at court?

Never mind. I'll find out.

Suppose it were true. Suppose this Jesus

had found the secret of eternal life.

It's only superstition, sire.

Philosophers have disproved the idea...

Philosophers! Their brains are full of mildew!

I have the power of life and death

over every being in the empire.

My power is as great as any god's. True?

- True, sire.

- Then why should I have to die?

Why should I have to suffer death

like any plebeian, any slave?

- Is that logical? Is it?

- No, sire.

Perhaps there was a spell.

A spell to make one immortal.

Like a god.

What have you found out about the robe?

- The robe?

- Yes. The robe.

The robe of this Jesus.

Tribune Gallio was carrying it

at his trial today. Where is it?

The lady Diana gave it to a slave

as she left the hall.

She said something about it

being for the fisherman.


Yes, that fits.

One of their leaders is called the fisherman.

You're observant, Messalina.

It may please me to reward you.

I wouldn't let her sleep alone, Uncle.

No one in this palace can be trusted.

(Caligula) Prefect! Prefect of the guard!

He's calling for his guards

to find him the robe to bring him eternal life.

- He's mad.

- No.

Quite logical, when you consider that

most of the emperors go more or less mad.

Every emperor stakes his life

on the loyalty of the Praetorian Guards.

So if they can keep him alive at all,

why not for ever?

He nearly killed you.

Men do not kill what they despise.

Only what they fear.

Why don'tyou send for a slave to do that?

Or do you enjoy being on your knees?

With a tyrant, it's better to live on your knees

than stand erect and be killed.

And you have the blood

of the Caesars in you.

Rome was full of heroes once.

They're all dead...

...and their wives are widows.

(man) Our friends, Marcellus and Diana,

are with Him.

Let us not mourn them.

Let us rather envy them...

...that they could go joyfully

and with pride in the service of their belief.

Jesus spoke to us of death...

...the night he faced his own.

The night they took him before Pilate.

It was our last supper together.

After we had risen from the table,

he washed our feet...

...and then he spoke.

He told us that in his Father's house

are many mansions,...

...that he went to prepare a place for us there.

"That where I am," he said,

"there you may be also. "

Our friends are in our Father's house.

Some day we'll all walkthat same road,...

...and at its end we'll find them.

Find our master...

...and his everlasting love.

- Amen.

- (crowd) Amen.

I know whatyou say is true, Peter.

But it's still in my mind that

only yesterday they were warm with life.

Young, breathing,...


- Now it's...

- They never doubted.

I'm sorry, Peter,...

...but I loved them so much.

Even Jesus himself on the cross

thought he was forsaken.

I remember.

Only you, of all of us here, have that memory.

You saw him on his cross.

But we all saw desolation

give way to joy, death to life.

Friends, while I'm away in the north,...

...Demetrius will be

my eyes, my ears, my voice.

Come to him with your problems

as you would come to me.

This was our master's robe.

He wore it when he healed the sick.

He wore it when he comforted the sorrowing.

He wore it when he spoke to the multitudes

as no man has ever spoken.

He wore it when he went

to the cross to die for us.

Keep it for me.

Keep it.

You saved it for us.

- God be with you all.

- (crowd) God be with you, Peter.

Good morning, Demetrius.

- You never make a mistake, do you, Kaeso?

- I'd know your step anywhere.

- Peter's safely on the road.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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