Julius Caesar (miniseries)
|Written by||Peter Pruce
|Directed by||Uli Edel|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||200 minutes|
Julius Caesar is a 2003 mini-series about the life of Julius Caesar. It was directed by Uli Edel, and written by Peter Pruce and Craig Warner. It is a dramatization of the life of Julius Caesar through 82 BC to his death in 44 BC. It is of note that it is mostly historically accurate and being one of the last two films of Richard Harris being released in the year of his death. The series was originally broadcast on TNT in two parts, airing June 29 and 30, 2003, and involved location shooting in Malta and Bulgaria. Run time is 178 minutes and the DVD has a making-of featurette. The slogan is His Time Has Come. It was released on DVD, in 2004 in the United States and in 2005 in the United Kingdom. The film was nominated for 2 Emmys and currently has a 6.8 out of 10 stars with nearly two thousand votes on IMDB.
The series begins in 82 BC when Julius Caesar is a eighteen-year-old man. He is out in the town with his daughter Julia when news comes that Lucius Cornelius Sulla is just outside the city walls and intends to take the city with his army. The guards sent with the news post death lists on the senate door. When he sees that his father-in-law's name is there he rushes to his house to try to help him escape. However, Pompey arrests him and takes him to Sulla. Caesar's mother, Aurelia, asks Sulla to show him mercy; out of respect for her, he promises to let Caesar live if he divorces his wife, Cornelia, but Caesar refuses. Sulla lets him go but orders Pompey to kill him and bring his heart to him. Pompey follows Caesar and tells him to leave Rome, which he does. Pompey buys a swine's heart from the market and tells Sulla that the heart is Caesar's.
Meanwhile, Caesar is captured by pirates who intend to ransom him for money. When the Romans crew sent with the message of the ransom don't return, the pirates plan to kill him. Caesar bargains to fight one of them for an extra day and wins. However he has an epileptic attack and the pirates believe him worthless, deciding to throw him in the sea; but just before they do the Roman boat returns with the money and they let Caesar go. Back in Rome, Sulla dies of a heart-attack and Caesar is allowed to return home. While he was gone Cornelia became very ill and Julia befriended the young daughter of Caesar's rival Marcus Porcius Cato, Portia, her brother Marcus and their cousin Brutus.
When Cornelia dies from her illness, Caesar swears at her funeral that he will make Rome a better place to live in. Around this time the same pirates who held him captive are cutting off the grain supply. The senate send Pompey to deal with the problem after Caesar convinced them that he will not take the city with his army like Sulla did. Several years later Pompey returns to Rome and Caesar has achieved the consulship. On the day of Pompey's triumph Julia, Portia and Marcus decide to go, and Portia insists on dragging Brutus along with them. At the triumph, Caesar has one of his epileptic fits but is aided by Calpurnia, daughter of a wealthy man in Rome. At Pompey's welcome home party, while Pompey gets on well with Julia, Caesar notices Calpurnia who he doesn't remember from their encounter before.
Caesar swears to his mother that he will make a name for himself. Julia realizes that her father needs an alliance and offers to marry Pompey in order to obtain his legions. Pompey agrees and he marries Julia. In marrying her, he agrees to allow Caesar to take his legions to Gaul, despite the fact that the senate wished to send Cassius. Calpurnia tells Caesar that she knows about his "falling sickness" and he confesses that it shames him. Before he goes to Gaul, Caesar marries Calpurnia and the two of them remain in contact through letters.
While sacking a town in Gaul, Caesar comes across a strong-willed warrior who refuses to give in to the Romans attacking his home. He tells Caesar his name is Vercingetorix. Caesar asks him why he is willing to die for something that will be destroyed no matter what, and the warrior replies "because it is mine". Admiring his strength of will, Caesar lets him go, giving him a horse. However, later on, the same warrior chief summons a huge army to fight Caesar's legions at the Battle of Alesia. Outnumbered and surrounded, Caesar's army nevertheless emerges victorious.
Meanwhile in Rome Julia dies in childbirth, and Pompey begins to turn against Caesar who he fears is becoming too powerful. He allies with Cato to attack Caesar politically. Caesar sends Mark Antony to talk to the Senate, but this makes the situation worse. Pompey begins planning to attack Caesar before he can march to Rome, but is too late. Caesar makes his way back to Rome and crosses the river Rubicon with his army.
Pompey, Cato and Brutus immediately decide to leave to regroup their own troops in Greece. Upon his return to Rome Caesar is made Dictator. He then catches up with and defeats Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus, who then flees to Egypt. After the battle Caesar pardons the captured soldiers of Pompey, including Brutus to whom he says that if anyone wants peace they shall have it. Pompey arrives in Alexandria and is immediately killed by the regent for the boy king Ptolemy XIII in Egypt. When Caesar arrives he is given Pompey's head as a gift but is not pleased to know of Pompey's death. Then Cleopatra VII meets and seduces Caesar, and before he leaves he installs her as rightful Queen of Egypt over her brother Ptolemy. Going on to Utica to find Cato and his son, Caesar wins the Battle of Thapsus. Upon hearing of his allies' loss Cato, who didn't fight in the battle, commits suicide by falling on his sword.
With the Civil War over, Caesar returns to Rome with his new ally Cleopatra and their son Caesarion. This disturbs several of the senators, who plot against Caesar thinking he wants to become King. Cassius, the principal mover of the plot, convinces his brother-in-law Brutus, who was spared earlier by Caesar, to join them and end Caesar's reign as Dictator. Calpurnia has a dream about Caesar's death and begs him not to attend the Senate that day but he ignores her advice. When he takes his seat on the Ides of March, the plotting senators mob Caesar, stab him several times and then flee from the building. Calpernia learns of the plot from Brutus's wife Portia and rushes to the Senate to find him dying alone on the floor.
- Jeremy Sisto as Julius Caesar, second Dictator for life
- Richard Harris as Lucius Sulla, Rome's strong man who disliked Caesar but ultimately paved the way for his Dictatorship
- Christopher Walken as Cato the Younger, ardent Republican who fought Caesar in the senate and the battlefield
- Valeria Golino as Calpurnia, 3rd and last wife of Julius Caesar
- Christopher Noth as Pompey the Great, Rome's greatest General outdone by Caesar
- Pamela Bowen as Aurelia Cotta, Caesar's mother
- Heino Ferch as Vercingetorix, Chief of the Arverni tribe of the Gauls who tried to stop Caesar's Gallic War
- Tobias Moretti as Gaius Cassius, led Pompey's fleet in Caesar's Civil War and prime plotter of Caesars murder
- Samuela Sardo as Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt and lover of Caesar
- Daniela Piazza as Cornelia, wife of Caesar and mother of Julia
- Nicole Grimaudo as Julia, daughter of Caesar, wife of Pompey and dies after her son is born
- Sean Pertwee as Titus Labienus, a lieutenant under Caesar; he defected to Pompey once he knew Caesar was marching on Rome and died in the Battle of Munda, the last battle of the war
- Paolo Briguglia as Marcus Cato, son of Cato
- Kate Steavenson-Payne as Portia, wife of Brutus
- Ian Duncan as Brutus, senator and friend of Caesars who is the most famous for turning on Caesar and participating in his murder
- Jay Rodan as Mark Antony, a cousin, friend, and military commander of Caesars who would eventually get revenge on Caesars murderers
- Christian Kohlund as Lepidus, Caesar's best supporter in the Senate who allied with Mark Antony after his murder
- David Foxxe as Pothinus, regent of King Ptolemy XIII
- Anna Cachia as Atilia, wife of Cato and mother of Marcus Cato
- Christopher Ettridge as Apollonius Molon, Greek philosopher and teacher
- Colin Maher as Casca, senator who was actually the first person to stab Caesar
- Brendan Hooper as Bibulus, son in-law to Cato who fought against Caesar in the war
- John Suda as Tillius, Senator and assassin of Caesar
- Chris Gatt as Ligarius, Senator and conspirator
- Clive Merrison as Catullus
- Denys Hawthorne as Spurinna, soothsayer who warned Caesar of the Ides of March
- List of historical drama films
- List of films set in ancient Rome
- 1st century BC
- First Triumvirate
- Gallic Wars
- Caesar's Civil War