Theodora, Slave Empress
|Theodora, Slave Empress|
|Directed by||Riccardo Freda|
|Music by||Renzo Rossellini|
|Edited by||Mario Serandrei|
|Box office||₤592 million|
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Theodora, Slave Empress (Italian: Teodora, imperatrice di Bisanzio) is a 1954 film about Theodora, a former slave who married Justinian I, emperor of Byzantium in AD 527–565. It was directed by Riccardo Freda.
- Gianna Maria Canale as "Theodora"
- Georges Marchal as "Justinian I"
- Renato Baldini as "Arcal"
- Henri Guisol as "John of Cappadocia"
- Irene Papas as "Faida"
- Olga Solbelli as "Egina"
- Roger Pigaut as "Andres"
- Nerio Bernardi as "Belisarius"
- Carletto Sposito as "Scarpios"
- Alessandro Fersen as "Metropolita"
It was also distributed in France by Lux Compagnie Cinématographique de France as Théodora, impératrice de Byzance. The film was the first of director Riccardo Freda's film to obtain a wide distribution outside Italy.
In a contemporary review, The Monthly Film Bulletin spoke of the film in negative terms, calling it a "dispiriting experience". The piece referred to Freda’s direction as "laboured", stating that he "brings neither gusto nor honest vulgarity to the narrative". Regarding the action scenes, the reviewer felt that only the chariot race was staged with "any suggestion of real flamboyancy or flair" and that Canale's erotic dance before Justinian was "painfully unexciting".