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Constantine and the Cross

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Constantine and the Cross
Constantine and the Cross.jpg
Home video cover
Directed byLionello De Felice
Screenplay by
Story byFulvio Palmieri[1]
Produced by
CinematographyMassimo Dallamano[1]
Edited by
Music byMario Nascimbene[1]
  • Jonia Film
  • Jadran Film
  • Beaver Attractions[1]
Release date
  • January 1961 (1961-01) (Italy)
Running time
120 minutes
  • Italy
  • Yugoslavia[1]

Constantine and the Cross (Italian: Costantino il grande) is a 1961 historical drama film about the early career of the emperor Constantine, who first legalized and then adopted Christianity in the early 4th century. The fictionalised film only stretches as far into his life as the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in AD 312.

It was also known as Constantine the Great or Constantino il Grande - In Hoc Signo Vinces.[2]


Constantine wins a battle and is sent to Rome. On the way he and his friend Hadrian are attacked by bandits. Hadrian is nursed back to health by some Christians, including Livia. The bandits were sent by Maxentius, Constantine's rival for power.

Constantine watches some Christians be eaten by the lions. He jumps into the arena to defend a surviving child, and asks for the other Christians to be set free.

Livia is arrested. Hadrian, who has fallen in love with her, arranges for her to escape from prison. Constantine is blamed, Maxentius persecutes Christians and attacks Constantine in Gaul.



Filming took place in August 1960, with locations in Yugoslavia and studio work in Rome.[3] While filming a scene in Rome Cornel Wilde was scratched by a lion.[4] Filming was completed by November.[5]


Constantine and the Cross was released in Italy on January 1961.[1] It was released in the United States in December 1962.[1]


The New York Times called it "one of those ponderous costumed tabloids that's trampled history to death and turned what's left of its fragments into boring banalities."[6]

The Monthly Film Bulletin said "the familiar ingredients of this tired spectacle - lions, fair haired Christian girls, torture chambers, battles, assassination attempts, intrigue - fail to arouse any noticeable excitement in the director or the cast."[2]

The movie was one of Belinda Lee's more widely seen European films.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Kinnard & Crnkovich 2017, p. 41.
  2. ^ a b CONSTANTINE THE GREAT "(Costantino Il Grande - In Hoc Signo Vinces)" Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 29, Iss. 336, (Jan 1, 1962): 153.
  3. ^ This Hose for Exhibition With 36 others Bristow, Winifred. Picture Show; London (Aug 27, 1960): 3-4.
  4. ^ Wilde Scratched by Lion New York Times 1 Sep 1960: 30.
  5. ^ "Rome". Variety. 16 November 1960. p. 77.
  6. ^ The Screen: 'Constantine' Tramples History to Death The Cast By BOSLEY CROWTHER Special to The New York Times 14 Mar 1963: 8.
  7. ^ Vagg, Stephen (September 7, 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.


  • Kinnard, Roy; Crnkovich, Tony (2017). Italian Sword and Sandal Films, 1908-1990. McFarland. ISBN 978-1476662916.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 November 2021, at 07:40
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