Cinema: Foul Play in the Forum

The Fall of the Roman Empire. Chopped into five or six half-hour parts, this movie could serve for that all but vanished art form, the Saturday afternoon serial. It might not top Tarzan of the Apes, but as a Child's Garden of Gibbon it obstreperously fills the bill. There are poisonings, chariot races, hairbreadth escapes, and slaughtered barbarians enough to satisfy the most bloodthirsty ten-year-old.

More discriminating moviegoers will see at once that this 2nd century Rome is really that special, insular world of the cinema spectacular, a mise en scene now as familiar as Main Street. Producer Samuel Bronston constructed a...

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