Theodora, Slave Empress

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Theodora, Slave Empress
Theodora, Slave Empress.jpg
American poster for Theodora, Slave Empress
Directed by Riccardo Freda
Screenplay by
  • René Wheller
  • Claude Accursi
  • Raniero Cochetti
  • Riccardo Freda[1]
Story by
  • André-Paul Antoine
  • Riccardo Freda[1]
Starring Gianna Maria Canale
Music by Renzo Rossellini[1]
Cinematography Rodolfo Lombardi[1]
  • Lux Film
  • Lux Compagnie Cinematographique[1]
Running time
88 minutes
  • Italy
  • France[1]

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.



Theodora, Slave Empress was the first of director Riccardo Freda's film to obtain a wide distribution outside Italy.[2]


In a contemporary review, The Monthly Film Bulletin gave the film a negative review referring to the film as a "dispiriting experience."[1] The review referred to Freda as direction as "laboured" and that he "brings neither gusto nor honest vulgarity to the narrative"[1] The review also referred to the action scenes, stating that only the chariot race is staged with "any suggestion of real flamboyancy or flair" and the Canale's erotic dance before Justinian is "painfully unexciting".[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Theodora, Slave Empress "(Teodora, Imperatrice di Bisanzio)"". Monthly Film Bulletin. London: British Film Institute. 22 (252): 36. 1955. ISSN 0027-0407. 
  2. ^ Quinlan 1999, p. 119.


  • Quinlan, David (1999). Quinlan's Film Directors. B.T. Batsford. ISBN 0713477539. 

External links[edit]