[[caption-width-right:350:Jean Simmons {{Fanservice}}]]

What happened to the Roman soldier who won Christ's robe at the Crucifixion?

That is the origin of the plot of the 1942 book by Lloyd C. Douglas and the 1953 movie based on it that starred Creator/RichardBurton, Creator/VictorMature, Creator/JeanSimmons, Michael Rennie, and Jay Robinson. It was directed by Henry Koster. Music/AlfredNewman composed the music.

Our VillainProtagonist Marcellus Gallio (Burton) is the soldier who crucified Jesus and won [[TitleDrop The Robe]]. Marcellus is driven mad from the touch of the robe, which is then taken away from him by his slave Demetrius (Mature) who has converted to Christianity. Marcellus soon embarks on a quest to recover The Robe and destroy it, believing this will restore his sanity. There's also the matter of his childhood sweetheart Diana (Simmons), who loves him and waits for him in Rome, even though Emperor UsefulNotes/{{Caligula}} himself (Robinson), has taken a fancy for her.

A year later, it received a sequel, ''Film/DemetriusAndTheGladiators'' (1954), in which both Mature and Robinson reprised their roles.

!!The movie has the following tropes:

* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Let's just say that this isn't the most rigorously researched dramatization of ancient Rome.
** The Romans certainly weren't arresting Christians during the reign of Caligula. There's no indication that the Romans even noticed the new cult until the expulsions of Claudius, but more securely the time of Nero a good quarter-century later.
** Caligula uses the RoyalWe, is called emperor, etc. In actuality the Romans still paid lip service to the idea of a republic and the "emperor" would have been called ''princeps'', which translates out to "[[JustTheFirstCitizen first citizen]]"; that said, the title ''imperator'' (the root word for TheEmperor) would have been used as a marker of martial prowess.
* AudibleSharpness: When Marcellus and Paulus the centurion are yanking out their gladii before having a duel.
* BibleTimes
* TheCaligula: the man himself (played by Jay Robinson).
* TheCasanova: Marcellus is this at the beginning. In the first scene one of his girlfriends is upbraiding him for cheating on her.
--> '''Diana''': All your enemies seem to be women.
* ChildhoodMarriagePromise: Diana says that Marcellus made one when they were children. And she wants to hold him to it.
* DramaticThunder: If a sound effect can be a LargeHam, it is in this movie. Demetrius, desperate to save Jesus from arrest, finally runs into a man who tells him that it's too late. When the man says "My name is Judas", there's a sudden loud clap of thunder followed by a dramatic ScareChord. There's more Dramatic Thunder later as Jesus dies on the cross.
* EpicMovie
* TheFaceless: In a tradition that is as least as old as the ''Ben Hur'' stage plays, Jesus's face is never shown, not when he's riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and not when he's being crucified a week later.
* HappinessInSlavery: When introducing Demetrius to the Gallio household, Gallio's slave Marcipor says "To be a slave in this household is an honor."
* HeelFaithTurn: Marcellus
* HeroicBSOD: Being witness to Jesus' crucifixion has caused Marcellus to come down with an epic case of constant nightmares and insanity. (Marcellus, for his part, blames the titular Robe for his madness.)
* IHaveNoSon: Marcellus's father Gallio is definitely not on board the Jesus train. "You've chosen to make yourself an enemy of Rome. From this night on, I have no son."
* KangarooCourt: Marcellus's treason trial as conducted by a smirking, slouching Caligula is not exactly a model of jurisprudence.
* LargeHam: Richard Burton's default setting was Large Ham, and he really goes to town in this one. Lots of glowering and bellowed lines. Jay Robinson as Caligula plays Caligula this way as well, although of course all actors playing Caligula are required by law to make him a LargeHam.
* TheQueensLatin: Not always followed; many characters are played by Americans and sound American. Richard Burton, who was Welsh, sounds quite English. Most notably on display by Caligula, whose actor was American, but played the role sounding like [[Series/RedDwarf Arnold Rimmer]].
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Diana ensures her execution along with Marcellus by giving Caligula one of these, describing him as "Vicious, treacherous, drunk with power, an evil, insane monster posing as emperor."
* ReassignedToAntarctica: Marcellus is sent to Judea, a backwater province on the Roman fringes, because he pissed Caligula off. One of Marcellus's colleagues describes Jerusalem as the "worst pesthole in the empire."
* RoyalWe: Caligula, who is basically the crown prince, uses this.
* SlouchOfVillainy: Caligula does some dramatic slouching on his throne while conducting Marcellus's trial.
* SwordAndSandal: Good old Ancient Rome, land of slave auctions and funny helmets.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: Naturally, when Marcellus flings away his gladius rather than kill Paulus, it sticks in a tree.
* TwinThreesomeFantasy: The clear implication behind the offering of two gorgeous young women slaves in [[BedlahBabe harem outfits]] that are being sold at the slave auction. In fact they are the only slaves that draw Marcellus's interest, but he's outbid by Caligula.
* WideScreenShot: the first movie released using [=CinemaScope=]. Because of this, it's one of the few movies to feature two distinct cuts: one in widescreen, and the other in traditional Academy ratio, complete with scenes reblocked and formatted to suit the narrower viewing method.