The Sign of the Cross

Synopsis: A Roman soldier becomes torn between his love for a Christian woman and his loyalty to Emperor Nero.
Genre: Drama, History
Director(s): Cecil B. DeMille
Production: Paramount Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

Burn, Rome! Burn!

"If in the melancholy

shades below

"The flames of friends and

lovers cease to glow

"Yet mine shall sacred last

"mine, undecay'd

"Burn on through death

"and animate my shade

"Lo, the blaze aspires!"


Go away, Tigellinus.

The fire is spreading.

Look at this.

I was in excellent voice, too.

The fire,

I dare remind you...

the fire is growing.

The fire?

I'd hoped it would.

Rome will be destroyed

when I die.

Why not while I live

and can see it...

And enjoy it?

But the palace is threatened.

It will fall.


I will build another.

A fabulous one...

so that Nero can be housed

like an emperor.

And like a god, immortal Caesar.

Yes, now go away.


there are angry rumors

that you set fire to the city.

Caesar might do well

to avoid the blame.


What are you jabbering about?

Who blames the master of the world?

Caesar, when thousands

are perishing...

Let us hope that most

of the dead are Christians.

They're increasing.

Did you know that?

We've hunted and killed

them like rats.

Yet the empire

swarms with them.

A dangerous superstition,


that teaches that the meek shall inherit

that which belongs to the mighty...

that accepts another god

in place of myself.

It shall not live, Caesar.


Yes, divine Caesar.

These rumors about my setting fire

to the city.

Couldn't we shift

the blame to...

The Christians?

If the populace could learn

to fear and hate them...

they might destroy them...

where my own minister

has failed.

Now go away.


"Lo, the blaze aspires!

"The glowing ocean reddens

with the fires

"Confessing Jove

"Then swift from

all sides pour

"The hissing brands

"The curling volumes rise

"And sheets of rolling smoke

"involve the skies"

Devil's luck.

How much now, Strabo?

A couple of pig's eyes.

All I got.

Well, trap a Christian.

They hide in their holes

like rats.

I got a nose for them.

Nero's reward.

Two hundred pieces.

Who are you?

Titus, a stranger in Rome.

How do you know me?

You were described to me.

Where do you come from?


I was sent by Paul,

apostle of...


Not here.

Since the great fire,

we have lived in terror.

If they killed out all the Christian lice,

me and you would have to go back to work.

Are you meeting tonight?

Yes, near the Cestian Bridge.

I'll tell them Paul's message

and how...

Devil take them! You put

a Christian curse on them!



Hey, those are mine.

Hey, look out where you're throwing

those sheep knuckles, will you?

Get your skinny shins

out of here.

Hey, Strabo!


The sign of the cross.

Flowers. Roses.

Flowers. Roses. Flowers.

You ought to close up shop

on a day like this, Tybul.

Why today?

Well, the rains are over and everybody's out.

You ought to give yourself a holiday.

If I played,

I'd bring the rains back.

You would.

Look, Christians!


Down there.

I know. There was a sign in the dust.

Come on, there are Christians!


Down there. Come on.

Down there. Look.

Come on.

Who are they?

Does anybody know?

Look, they caught

some Christians!

They got some Christians

down here. Come on.

Come on.

Hurry! Hurry!

What's that?

I don't know.

Sounds like a street fight.

Good. Let's go and see.

Come on.

Come on, Philodemus.

Come on! Come on! Look!

Nero's lions are going to eat.

Vile killers,

that's what they are!

The dirty Christian dogs!

They ought to kill all of them.

Come on, come on,

let's stone them.

Keep them back. If they kill them,

we won't get our money.

Hang on to them!

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Waldemar Young

Waldemar Young (July 1, 1878 – August 30, 1938) was an American screenwriter. He wrote for 81 films between 1917 and 1938. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Sign of the Cross" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 3 Oct. 2022. <>.

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