I, Claudius (Limited
Time Offer - This 5-Disc-Set is available FREE
with minimum purchase of 20 Cinema
Roman history comes alive in this magnificent
award winning 13-part series. I, Claudius ranks among the most
acclaimed productions in BBC history. Tracing the lives of the last of
the Roman emperors, it's an epic of ruthless ambition, shocking debauchery
and murderous intrigue set in one of history's most fascinating eras.
Bearing witness to the saga is Claudius, whose stutter and limp have marked
him a fool--yet whom prophecies have foretold will one day rule Rome.
Stars: Derek Jacobi, Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed, George Baker,
and John Hurt.
This collector's DVD edition set includes a unique documentary feature,
The Epic That Never Was (1965, 71 min.), a remarkable behind-the-scenes
look at Alexander Korda's ill-fated 1937 screen adaptation of I, Claudius.
Starring Merle Oberon and Charles Laughton, the chronicle of this uncompleted
masterpiece is an unforgettable coda to this truly classic series.
- Disc One:
Episode 1: A Touch of Murder
It is 54 A.D. and Claudius, Emperor of Rome, also known as Claudius
the Idiot, is near death. Relating events prior to his birth, he recreates
the intrigues of his grandmother, Livia, during the reign of her husband,
Augustus. Consumed by ambition to see her son Tiberius (stepson to
Augustus) gain the throne, she murders the heir but is foiled in her
plan to make a match between Tiberius and the Emperor's spoiled daughter,
Episode 2: Family Affairs
Livia finally arranges a match between Tiberius and Julia by
poisoning Julia's husband and forcing Tiberius to divorce his wife.
She eliminates her own son, Drusus, when he displeases her. Tiberius
ruins his mother's plans when he abuses Julia and is sentenced to
Episode 3: Waiting in the Wings
Livia continues her schemes to place Tiberius on the throne.
She murders the Emperor's heirs and blackmails a Patrician youth
in order to expose Julia's sexual exploits to her doting and indulgent
father. Livia's grandson, Claudius, a sickly child with the reputation
of an imbecile, receives an omen that he will rule Rome. Tiberius
returns from exile; Julia is banished.
- Disc Two:
Episode 4: What Shall We Do About Claudius?
Tiberius leaves for the frontier and Claudius, now in his late
teens and an advid student of history, learns of his grandmother's
schemes. Livia weaves a web of lies to discredit Postumus, the next
heir, while Claudius is married in a ceremony marked by the cruel
mocking of his family.
Episode 5: Poison Is Queen
Augustus learns of Livia's destruction of members of the family;
however, Livia slowly poisons the Emperor and through bribes alters
his will, making Tiberius next in line. She orders the murder of
Episode 6: Some Justice
Tiberius becomes Emperor after the death of Augustus. Germanicus,
brother of Claudius, has died of suspected poisoning and his wife
is determined to bring those responsible to justice. Tiberius is
implicated but Livia ensures that the Governor of Syria is convicted.
- Disc Three
Episode 7: Queen of Heaven
Aided by the ambitious Sejanus and obsessed with perverted pleasures,
Tiberius destroys his enemies. His son, Castor, tries to warn the
Emperor about Sejanus, but Castor's wife, Livilla, poisons him in
order to marry Sejanus. Sejauns arranges a divorce for Claudius presenting
his own sister, Aelie, as Claudius' second wife.
Episode 8: Reign of Terror
Tiberius eliminates his relatives, while Sejanus and Livilla
plot to gain the throne. Tiberius refuses to allow their marriage,
and Livilla urges Sejanus to assassinate Tiberius. Warned of the
plot, Tiberius arrests Sejanus, who is murdered in his cell by the
Praetorian Guard. Claudius divorces Sejauns' sister and Tiberius
names Caligula as heir.
Episode 9: Zeus, By Jove
Tiberus dies at Capri and Caligula is Emperor. Caligula goes
insane, declaring himself and his sister divine. Gemellus, the 12
year old heir to the throne, is murdered by the Emperor. In a fit
of madness, Caligula murders his sister and their unborn child.
- Disc Four
Episode 10: Hail Who?
Caligula, who has turned the palace into a brothel, marries the
mother of his baby daughter. Claudius, appointed doorkeeper in the
palace, lives in the poor quarter of town. Conspirators murder the
imperial family, and Claudius is declared Emperor by the Praetorian
Episode 11: Fool's Luck
Claudius' first act as Emperor is to pass the death sentence
on Caligula's murderers. He has married the beautiful young Messalina,
who, however, desires the handsome Silanus. Her plots nearly cost
Claudius his life, but his love for her blinds him.
Episode 12: A God in Colchester
While Claudius wages a successful campaign in Britain, his bored
wife passes the time by taking a succession of lovers. She schemes
with her latest lover to restore the Republic. Their bigamous marriage
prompts Claudius' ministers to take action. Unwittingly, Claudius
signs a warrant for her execution.
- Disc Five
Episode 13: Old King Log
Claudius, old and tired, is persuaded by his minister, Pallas,
to marry Agrippinilla, a corrupt woman who is Pallas' lover. Despite
premonitions that he is sealing his own death warrant, the Emperor
is persuaded by his wife to make her son, Nero, heir. Claudius completes
his history and awaits his death with resignation.
Documentary: The Epic That Never Was (1965, 71 min.)
This is a remarkable behind-the-scenes look at Alexander Korda's
ill-fated 1937 screen adaptation of I, Claudius. Starring Merle
Oberon and Charles Laughton, the chronicle of this uncompleted masterpiece
is an unforgettable coda to this truly classic series.