Movies with Latin in them

Cambrinus

Civis Illustris
Agreed. It is, essentially, a pornographic film; I remember - unwittingly -organizing a university Classics trip to the cinema to see it, 30 years ago. Some first year students were shocked by it, as was I. Not Peter O'Toole's best moment..........
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
Agreed. It is, essentially, a pornographic film; I remember - unwittingly -organizing a university Classics trip to the cinema to see it, 30 years ago. Some first year students were shocked by it, as was I. Not Peter O'Toole's best moment..........
I do not recall seeing O'toole in Sebastian... (or maybe I haven't put enough attention to the actors' play except Trevigli's and James')

I do however recall his good creation in similar film (nudity, gore and roman amorialism aspect) - Caligula 1979 (original uncut version).
The film featured very little latin language, however I found it very interesting (It appears that both Tinto Brass and Gore Vidal did their homework well - apparently they must have read works of Suetonius, Tacitus and Casius Dio - aspect of Caligula's scandalous behaviour and his "deviations"). Apart from Peter O'toole's, I found the creations of Malcolm McDowell, Teresa Ann Savoy and Hellen Mirren very good (not to mention the "cult" opening scene - the coin with blood tear and music by Prokofiev...)
IMO, the british actors and their performance made the film "european" despite its label "Made in USA";)
 

Bestiola

Speculatrix
Staff member
I do not recall seeing O'toole in Sebastian... (or maybe I haven't put enough attention to the actors' play except Trevigli's and James')

I do however recall his good creation in similar film (nudity, gore and roman amorialism aspect) - Caligula 1979 (original uncut version).
The film featured very little latin language, however I found it very interesting (It appears that both Tinto Brass and Gore Vidal did their homework well - apparently they must have read works of Suetonius, Tacitus and Casius Dio - aspect of Caligula's scandalous behaviour and his "deviations"). Apart from Peter O'toole's, I found the creations of Malcolm McDowell, Teresa Ann Savoy and Hellen Mirren very good (not to mention the "cult" opening scene - the coin with blood tear and music by Prokofiev...)
IMO, the british actors and their performance made the film "european" despite its label "Made in USA";)
Heh the critics thought that movie was ghastly but I somehow liked it....:) I think it depicted quite well the decadence of Rome of that time.
 

Ana Maria

New Member
Wow, I have many movies to watch! What would you have to say about The Name of the Rose?(1986) It is one of my favourites, and it has Latin phrases. I have also read the book, the printed edition I read has left the Latin passages untouched, so I had to try and translate them just to understand what all the passages meant. It was awesome!
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Several phrases were ungrammatical, and poor Latin, I remember.
*the grammar Nazi rears his militant head*
 

malleolus

Civis Illustris
I don't know whether this has been added to the list yet - probably not, because it's more of a documentary - namely BBC's "Colosseum - A gladiator's story". Most of the protagonists,e.g. Verus or the lanista speak proper and understandable Latin.
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
Wow, I have many movies to watch! What would you have to say about The Name of the Rose?(1986) It is one of my favourites, and it has Latin phrases. I have also read the book, the printed edition I read has left the Latin passages untouched, so I had to try and translate them just to understand what all the passages meant. It was awesome!
I read the 1983 edition translated by Weaver and enjoyed the book for its historical and social context.
I don't know whether this has been added to the list yet - probably not, because it's more of a documentary - namely BBC's "Colosseum - A gladiator's story". Most of the protagonists,e.g. Verus or the lanista speak proper and understandable Latin.
Amice, the film is available on Youtube, I have seen it some time ago. Quite interesting as far as historical context is considered.
 

malleolus

Civis Illustris
Has any of you watched "The Hunger Games" ? I know there is no Latin dialogue in it but I found the Roman names of some of the protagonists quite interesting.It's probably just a matter of time until some student will decide to hand in a paper on this.:rolleyes:
 

Ana Maria

New Member
I love the Name of the Rose (1986)! Just the spirit of the movie is so enchanting... A medieval monastery transcribing the old Latin and Greek works - and of course: the library :cool:
Yes...THE Library!!!!! In the same order of ideas, has someone watched Agora?? 2011 I think...about the Alexandria Library and how it got distroyed? I don't remember if Greek was spoken, or even Latin, but the subject is interesting.
 

Ana Maria

New Member
Which reminds me of a personal favourite: Goodbye Mr Chips, the 1939 version starring Robert Donat, where he plays a Latin teacher at an English public (ie private) school. One scene particularly sticks in the memory, where a schoolboy is reading out a passage of Caesar in class, using the old English pronunciation: absolutely authentic, I should think -- gives you a real window into another world. At a later point in the film the Latin teacher complains about the new pronunciation: "Take a word like Vye-sissim -- well, now you'd have them say We kiss'em!", he cackles, as if that was the knock-out punch. Ah, but it's a wonderful film. Don't waste time on the later Peter O'Toole version or indeed the modern TV remake.

Which further reminds me of 'The Browning Version', again the earlier version (1951) with Michael Redgrave, who absolutely nails the part of the severe, apparently cold-hearted, classics teacher in emotional crisis. That one has more to do with Greek (Aeschylus, specifically) than Latin, but watch it anyway, do. Not to be confused with the daftly inferior remake starring Albert Finney, who can't even pronounce the Greek (utterly destroying his credibility as a pedantic pedagogue).
Hello, do you know where Goodbye Mr Chips can be watched online? I liked the fragment on youtube. Thanks!
 

Nikolaos

schmikolaos
Staff member
Has any of you watched "The Hunger Games" ? I know there is no Latin dialogue in it but I found the Roman names of some of the protagonists quite interesting.It's probably just a matter of time until some student will decide to hand in a paper on this.:rolleyes:
The nation is called "Panem", which a character says in the last book comes from panem et circenses. It's basically supposed to be all the worst parts of Rome in a futuristic setting.
 

Lucius Aelius

Linguistics Hippie
The nation is called "Panem", which a character says in the last book comes from panem et circenses. It's basically supposed to be all the worst parts of Rome in a futuristic setting.
I remember when my sister was reading it and she was talking about it and said "tesserae" and she said it like "tess-ur-ay".
I glared at her and very slowly said the word like "tess-ur-eye".
She glared back and responded "tess-ur-ay".
This went on for a good 45 seconds before she gave in.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
I remember when my sister was reading it and she was talking about it and said "tesserae" and she said it like "tess-ur-ay".
I glared at her and very slowly said the word like "tess-ur-eye".
She glared back and responded "tess-ur-ay".
This went on for a good 45 seconds before she gave in.
To be fair to your sister, pronouncing the diphthong ae like "ay" is correct for traditional English pronunciation of Latin words, just as i is pronounced like "eye" in a borrowed plural like "alumni".
 
Top