Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans

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Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans
Directed byDominic Brigstocke
Written by
Based on
Distributed byAltitude Film Distribution
Release date
  • 26 July 2019 (2019-07-26)[1]
Running time
92 minutes[2]
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$3.6 million[3]

Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans is a 2019 British comedy film based on the best selling Horrible Histories stories by author Terry Deary and the 2009 and 2015 CBBC TV series. The film production of one of the stories was announced in March 2016. The film is a co production between Altitude Film Entertainment, CBBC, BBC Films and Citrus Films. It went on general release 26 July 2019.[4]


Atti, a Roman teenager with brains but no muscle, is always coming up with schemes, but one of these upsets Emperor Nero. For his punishment, he is sent to cold wet Britain on the fringe of the Roman Empire.

Whilst in Britain, he is captured by Orla, a feisty Celt, but they eventually come to an understanding, but to Atti's horror, when he is returned to his regiment, he finds himself pitted against Orla and her tribe at the Battle of Watling Street.[5]



The rights to a film were optioned from the Horrible Histories author, Terry Deary. The project was filmed in Bulgaria and in the United Kingdom.[7][8]


Box office[edit]

Rotten Romans opened to $754,973 in the United Kingdom.[3] As of 19 September 2019, the film has earned a total of $3.5 million at the box office.[3]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 69%, based on 26 reviews, with an average rating of 5.76/10. The website's consensus says, "Charmingly broad and appropriately goofy, Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans lands its punchlines often enough to entertain its target audience."[9]

Peter Bradshaw gave the film 3 out of 5 stars. He describes Derek Jacobi reprising the role which made him famous in 1976 as the Emperor Claudius as the film's most sensational coup. Bradshaw calls the film "a decent bit of school holiday entertainment" although he felt the broad humour was aimed at very young audience, and not as good as the film Bill, which was produced by the writers and actors from the television series of Horrible Histories.[10]

Wendy Ide gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, and felt that the film lacked some of the "essential rottenness", because of the linear format of the film instead of the skit based structure of the series "lacks the punchy hit rate of gung ho, gross out that made the series such a deliciously uncouth pleasure."[11]


  1. ^ Warner, Sam (1 March 2019). "We're all Fartacus in first trailer for Horrible Histories movie". digitalspy.com. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  2. ^ "HORRIBLE HISTORIES". bbfc.co.uk.
  3. ^ a b c "Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans (2019) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans". Filmoria.co.uk. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  5. ^ White, James (3 October 2018). "Horrible Histories Movie In The Works". Empire. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  6. ^ "BBC - Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans gets cinema release date - BBC Films". BBC. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  7. ^ Doward, Jamie (27 March 2016). "Horrible Histories: the Movie is coming soon, says creator Terry Deary". The Observer. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  8. ^ Grater, Tom (3 October 2018). "'Horrible Histories: The Movie' reveals cast and first look". Screen Daily. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  10. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (26 July 2019). "Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans review – the empire strikes back". The Guardian.
  11. ^ Ide, Wendy (28 July 2019). "Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans review: too much teen drama". The Observer. The Guardian.

External links[edit]