What They Said About
C A L I G U L A
Gore Vidal: The whole venture, Im afraid, could give vulgarity a bad name.
San Francisco Chronicle: Movies like this could make people give up sex for Lent.
Bob Guccione: [It] is going to make history, like Citizen Kane.
New York Times: Mr Guccione may be on to something, though its not very profound.
Rex Reed: A trough of rotten swill.
Professor Frederick Logan: I definitely recommend people see this film.
Marilyn Michaels: Were Jewish and dont see such things.
Monthly Film Bulletin: By no means so awesomely bad as most critics have been pleased to report — but pretty bad all the same.
New York Magazine: I suppose Guccione will get a few Penthouse features out of the movie; I dont know what else its good for.
Newsweek: A two-and-one-half-hour cavalcade of depravity that seems to have been photographed through a tub of Vaseline.
Bernice Gerard, United Citizens for Integrity: I just about upchucked three times.
Bob Hunter, Sunday Northshore News: First of all, I wouldnt recommend it to anyone. And second, it was one of the most powerful, relentless motion pictures I have ever seen. It was a cinematic masterpiece…. It has to be understood that Caligula is the first truly great historical film to be made.
Washington Post: Such a mucky, distasteful melange of eroticism, brutality and pageantry that its difficult to believe any script... ever existed.
Martha Wright, vice chairman, Maryland Censor Board: The worst example of violence and obscenity ever exhibited in this country.
John Travolta: It was a very emotional experience.
Pat Prowd, Vancouver, BC: Chaplin would have done it much better.
Times Literary Supplement: Rancid is the word which best describes Bob Gucciones film.
Los Ángeles Times: Grisly tedium, relieved only by some unintentionally funny dialogue.
Malcolm McDowell: The producers added twenty minutes of porn.... An outrageous betrayal.... I thought it was too long. I wont be making any more pornographic movies.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer: As erotica, Caligula has all the potency of industrial-strength saltpeter; as drama it is leadenly lugubrious; as historical reconstruction it lacks veracity; as a film it is an unqualified disaster traits that the American public has managed to overlook in its vigilant quest for fresh thrills, as they have paid approximately $20 million to see it in the comparatively few cities in which it has played.
Judge Clarence G Yanosik: Grotesque... repulsive... would fatigue an overactive imagination.
Neil Gallagher, pastor, Church of Christ, East Providence, RI: The most outrageous and savage attempt to exploit the macabre nature of man in order to suck money from his pockets.
Doylestown Daily Intelligencer: The most perverted, despicable and offensive motion picture ever made.
Helen Mirren: It has a lot of bottoms in it.
Denver Post: Laughable if you still have the energy to react at all.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times: Sickening, utterly worthless, shameful trash.
Peter OToole: As for being erotic, Id say the film was about as erotic as bath night on a battleship.
The Tatler: Well-nigh continuous sadistic cruelty that had even a hardened New York audience gasping.
Sunday Times: It isnt even exceptionally boring, judged by the exacting standards of contemporary tedium.