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Julius Caesar (1970)

A not very well-known version – in comparison to the more famous Marlon Brando film of 1953 – of Shakespeare’s play, made in Britain but with a few top American stars in leading roles somewhat at variance with an array of notable British acting talent.

In 44 BC, Roman emperor Julius Caesar (John Gielgud) cements his power through military victories, sparking fears among senators like Brutus (Jason Robards), Casca (Robert Vaughn) and Cassius (Richard Johnson) that Caesar will seize absolute control.

Brutus and his fellow conspirators murder Caesar, triggering a civil war between the conspirators and forces led by Caesar’s best friend, Marc Anthony.

Jason Robards seems rather unhappy in the role of Brutus (Charlton Heston went so far as to say that Robards gave possibly “the worst performance by a really good actor” in film history) but lovers of Shakespeare and good performances will find much that is rewarding.

Heston is quite potent as Marc Anthony, Robert Vaughn makes a superbly sneaky Casca and Diana Rigg is sexy and sly as Brutus’ wife, Portia.

The Senate set, prominently featuring a bust of John Gielgud as Caesar, was later used in the movie version of Up Pompeii (1971).

Mark Antony
Charlton Heston
Jason Robards
Julius Caesar
John Gielgud
Richard Johnson
Robert Vaughn
Octavius Caesar
Richard Chamberlain
Diana Rigg
Christopher Lee
Jill Bennett
Decius Brutus
Derek Godfrey
David Dodimead
Metellus Cimber
Michael Gough
Cinna the Conspirator
David Neal
Preston Lockwood
Popilius Lena
John Moffatt

Stuart Burge