CALIGULA (USA 1979)
Caligula is a spectacular, sensation-seeking and very cruel history drama as well as a sex- and porn film at the same time. Above all, it succeeded as a cruel history drama and sex film, because only strong shortened versions were screened in cinemas in those days.
Well, so what? Caligula is a breathtaking experience even if hardcore scenes are missing. However, with hardcore scenes, the film is not only getting brand hot, but also pleasant and additional provocative. If this film is actually about porn depends on the existing version. Even a 90 min. taking version of this - in this respect - immoderate work was screened on TV. You should better watch the 156 min. version, in which not only the cruelty of the film is revealed, but also delightful shot lesbian performances, ejaculations a.o.
By the intense hardcore scenes in Caligula do not come from Tinto Brass. In his 142 min. taking origin version, Brass shot porn in a legal sense - the film IS a big sex orgy finally - but sex scenes were not put in the centre of scenery as usual. The producer Bob Guccione filled this gap. At the end of Tino Brass' shooting, he called the crew together (in Brass' absence) and shot the relating scenes, which made Caligula to become the most large-scaled hardcore movie in film history.
The Golden Age of Porn was on its maximum and Caligula ought to be the first porn which acting combines sex in a believable way - the first real full-length hardcore movie. The good thing about it: The hardcore scenes fit in the whole film as if they have always been there. In a smooth way, Guccione ties to erotic scenes and completes wonderfully of what Tinto Brass sadly recoiled from.
Caligula is until now the only porn with real stars - even this did not happen voluntary. Peter O'Toole i.e. knew that Tinto Brass wanted to set up work in a very explicit way, but porn was out of the question. McDowell, who can be watched in lots of soft sex scenes with ex-playmate Teresa Ann Savoy, was astonished, but not angry like O'Toole.
At some point, he has sex with a horse. We do not see any details, fortunately.
By all we know today, circumstances under the Roman imperator Caligula were indeed as shown in the film. It shows in very opulent images and in front of detailed setting how misuse of power and decadence coined this period and how insanity is in a man who stands on the top of all. At the end this man is murdered by other maniacs and whose beneficiaries, even just like in reality.
Direction: Tinto Brass
Actresses/actors: Malcom McDowell, Teresa Ann Savoy, Peter O'Toole, Helen Mirren, a.o.
Run: 156 min.