Sensual, Lavish story of Messalina with Belinda Lee
Title: MESSALINA VENERE IMPERATRICE [Messalina Imperial Venus]
Also Known As: LOVES OF MESSALINA
director: Vittorio Cottafavi
starring: Belinda Lee · Spiros Focas · Carlo Justini ·
Giuliano Gemma · Gian Carlo Seracia · Giulio Donnini
In the 1st Century
AD Rome, the Emperor Caligula has been murdered and Claudius is proclaimed
the new Cesar. A plotting nobleman arranges for Claudius to marry the
young Messalina, hoping to wield her like a puppet and control the throne.
However, Messalina, with plans of her own, kills her new husband immediately
and begins her mission of taking over the Roman Empire.
A sprawling, epic
film from director Vittorio Cottafavi, graduate of Rome's Centro Sperimentale
with a Law degree in 1938. But rather than pursuing a career as a lawyer,
he entered the motion picture industry, writing scripts and working as
an assistant director to Vittorio De Sica. He helmed his first movie in
1943 and became known for his lavish productions, allowing him to easily
drift into the booming
"sword-and sandal" market. Mr Cottafavi is best known for his
AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN. From the mid-60's, he concentrated exclusively
on directing television series, under contract to RAI [Radio Televisione
Italiana] until his death at age 84, December 1998.
British born actress
Belinda Lee left England for Italy in the late '50 after a messy divorce
with her manager husband Cornel Lucas. In Rome, while working on this
film, she met mondo filmmaker Gualtiero Jacopetti (the director for MONDO
UNCLE TOM, et al). The two became lovers. Two years later,
while he was shooting WOMEN
OF THE WORLD in Las Vegas, she flew to the States to join him.
Belinda, Jacopetti and co-director Paolo Cavara (of WILD
EYE fame) decided to take a road trip to Los Angeles. Tragically,
they lost control of their speeding car. It flipped. Belinda Lee was thrown
from the car and died of a broken neck, March 1961. She was 26.
Italian film in English language; widescreen format (16:9), uncut (91
minutes), DVD encoded for ALL REGION NTSC WORLD FORMAT; extras include
selected theatrical trailers.
Recommended for Adult Audiences