Gold for the Caesars
Gold for the Caesars (Italian: Oro per i Cesari) is a 1963 peplum film starring Jeffrey Hunter and Mylène Demongeot. Originally planned as an American production, the film was later became an Italian-French co-production after the poor box office return of King of Kings. It was shot in Italy in 1962. The film is credited to André De Toth in the United States and both De Toth and Sabatino Ciuffini in Italy. Second unit director Riccardo Freda has claimed to have shot the entire film, while De Toth biographies make little input regarding his work on the film. Actress Mylène Demongeot has also backed up that Freda had took charge on the films set.
|Gold for the Caesars|
|Based on||Gold for the Caesars|
by Florence A. Sward
|Music by||Franco Mannino|
|Edited by||Franco Fraticelli|
Gold for the Caesars was an Italian-French peplum film produced by Joseph Fryd, Bernard Borderie and Freda's friend Attilio Riccio. The film was based on the Florence A. Seward novel of the same name. The film was originally intended to be made by MGM as early as 1961, but was put off after the box-office failure of King of Kings (1961). Fryd took over the production to make it a lower budget production in Europe. This also had the film's story drastically changed from the novel with a greater focus on the action than characterisation.
The film was shot near Terni in 1962. André De Toth is credited as the director in the American version of the film. The Italian version of the film credits Sabatino Ciuffini as the director, while De Toth is credited as the "supervising director". This would make the film Ciuffini's only directorial role. Second unit director Riccardo Freda, who is officially credited as a second unit director, stated that "I claim the whole film as mine from start to finish. The producers put De Toth aside on the second day of shooting. André De Toth did not shoot anything." In his memoirs, De Toth did not mention shooting the film nor did Anthony Slide's book De Toth on De Toth, which De Toth described the film as "a vacation, taking a breather between climbing new peaks. Unfortunately, I climbed the wrong one, and when I skied down one of the Swiss Alps, I broke my neck. And that wasn't on the schedule," which only had De Toth return to directing in 1968. Lastly, the films female lead Mylène Demongeot wrote in her own autobiography Tiroirs secrets stated that "De Toth seemed more interested in playing golf than in movies. He willingly left free ground to Riccardo Freda, who shot very spectacular scenes."
Gold for the Caesars was released in Italy on March 9, 1963. It was later released in the United States as Gold for the Caesars on June 1964 where it was distributed by MGM. The film was released on DVD by Warner Archives on-demand series.
In a contemporary review, "Dale." of Variety called the film "an acceptable piece of product that may satisfy the most undemanding filmgoers" A review in the Monthly Film Bulletin noted the film had a "ragged" and "unconvincing" storyline concluding that "even if all its virtues are negative, the film is agreeable enough to watch and its swift development prevents it from becoming too tedious."
- Curti 2017, p. 299.
- Curti 2017, p. 174.
- Curti 2017, p. 176.
- Variety's Film Reviews 1964-1967. 11. R. R. Bowker. 1983. There are no page numbers in this book. This entry is found under the header "June 17, 1964". ISBN 0-8352-2790-1.
- "Oro per I Cesari (Gold for the Caesars), Italy/France, 1962". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 31 no. 362. British Film Institute. March 1964. p. 41.