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Film / Julius Caesar (1970)

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Julius Caesar is a 1970 film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play of the same name. It is the first film adaptation of the play to be made in colors, and was directed by Stuart Burge.

In 45 BC Rome, the growing ambition of Julius Caesar (John Gielgud) is a source of major concern to his close friend Marcus Junius Brutus (Jason Robards). Gaius Cassius Longinus (Richard Johnson) persuades him to participate in his plot to assassinate Caesar, but they both sorely underestimate Mark Antony (Charlton Heston).

The star-studded cast also includes Robert Vaughn as Casca, Richard Chamberlain as Octavius, Diana Rigg as Portia, Jill Bennett as Calpurnia, Christopher Lee as Artemidorus, André Morell as Cicero and Michael Gough as Metellus Cimber.

See also the 1953 film of the same name, which already starred Gielgud (as Cassius). The 2003 Julius Caesar miniseries, meanwhile, is not based off Shakespeare.

Julius Caesar provides examples of:

  • Circling Vultures: Circling vultures are seen flying over the desolate battlefield of Munda in the opening.
  • Crowd Chant: Whenever there's a crowd scene, the crowds keep chanting "CAESAR! CAESAR!", due to him being supremely popular among the Roman citizenry after all of his victories.
  • Desolation Shot: The film opens on the desolate battlefield of Munda with skeletons and destroyed war chariots, and Circling Vultures flying above it all.
  • Graffiti Town: Graffitis of Caesar's name have been written on many walls in Rome.
  • Opening Narration: The film opens on a narration about how Caesar was reconducted as Consul, waged war against Pompey's sons and had his last battle in Munda.
  • Say My Name: Upon Caesar's return as he meets up with Mark Antony, a soothsayer shouts his name and warns him to "beware the Ides of March".