Satyricon (1969 Polidoro film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gian Luigi Polidoro
Produced by Alfredo Bini
Screenplay by Rodolfo Sonego
Based on Satyricon 
by Petronius
Starring Ugo Tognazzi
Don Backy
Music by Carlo Rustichelli
Cinematography Benito Frattari
Edited by Giancarlo Cappelli
Release dates
  • 27 March 1969 (1969-03-27)
Running time
120 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

Satyricon, also named The Degenerates, is an Italian film from 1969 directed by Gian Luigi Polidoro. It was a pre-emptive attempt to cash in on the expected success of Fellini Satyricon. Just like the more famous version made by Federico Fellini it is loosely based on Petronius's work, Satyricon, a series of bawdy and satirical episodes written during the reign of the emperor Nero and set in imperial Rome.


Encolpius and Ascyltus are two corrupt boys raging for the mean streets of Rome at the time of the empire of Nero. Both boys engaged in constant conflict for the love of the young Gitone, which often allows himself to Ascyltus, infuriating lover Encolpius. For a misunderstanding, the three boys end up in the house of a rich freedman: the crude Trimalchio, who in his rich dinner amazes guests with exuberant courses.
Escaped from the house of rough man, Ascyltus Encolpius and continue to fight for Gitone until one makes friends with the poet Eumolpus, while the other died of diseases. Gitone is only now, in the company of Encolpius, but it can not satisfy her amorous pleasures because of a curse hurled at him by the god Priapus, the protector of the cocks. After inheriting a rich mansion by chance by a senator named Pomponius, Encolpius, Eumolpus and Gitone go in a city where their troubles do not end because of the magic spells of a witch, soothsayer of the god Priapus.


Content, changes, and controversy[edit]

An essential change to the story was that the rivalry over a boy is now over a girl. The director and producer were accused of corruption and obscenity, and fined for the production.[1]

Rivalry over the title[edit]

Polidoro managed to claim the name first, ultimately forcing Fellini to rename his movie Fellini Satyricon.[1]


To prevent the film from competing with Fellini's, United Artists reportedly bought the distribution rights to keep it off the market.[2] However, lobby cards and posters for Italian, Belgian, Spanish, and English language screenings are known to exist, and are occasionally sold on the internet, although most of the non-Italian versions avoid the name of Satyricon and use The Degenerates (or translations of that word) instead. A possible explanation is that the film was distributed outside the USA. It has also been released on VHS by domovideo and a cut and cropped version has been known to air on the Italian channels Iris and Mediaset Italia 1 at some time after the year 2000.

The soundtrack by Carlo Rustichelli has been released as vinyl album in 1969 by Cinevox,[3] and as CD in 2010 by Saimel.[4]


  1. ^ a b "IMDB trivia". Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  2. ^ "IMDB trivia". Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  3. ^ "Discodogs entry". Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  4. ^ "CD Universe entry". Retrieved 2012-11-28. 

External links[edit]