Last Days of Pompeii, The (1935) Movie Script

Hail, Gaius.
My dear Lucius. What news from Rome?
Preparations are being made
for the emperor's birthday.
- I'm returning to Rome to see the games
- But we celebrate the birthday too.
Come, Gaius. Miss the games in Rome
for the sake of those in Pompeii?
And why not? There's no finer city
in the whole empire than Pompeii.
Always boasting, you Pompeians.
The beauty of your women,
the trading in your port.
- Even the violence of your earthquakes.
- Stay here. We'll make good our boasts.
What, earthquakes and all?
I hope not. Well, I hope we
shall meet again before you leave.
Halt! Look, your wild man
almost twisted his chain off.
He's dangerous. Do something. Fix it.
The blacksmith can fix it.
Marcus. Marcus, the smith.
- What's wanted?
- Job for you.
Don't wait for us.
Get them up to the arena.
He's worked on this link
till it's almost broken.
He's a terror.
- Prisoner of war?
- From Scythia.
- I picked him out of a batch of 200.
- For the arena?
Yes, I supply the arena
with slaves and wild beasts.
But he's more of a wild beast.
Beat him, flog him.
Only don't spoil him for the arena.
Beat a man held clown
by four soldiers?
Get him on his feet.
Marcus, what happened?
- Are you hurt?
- No, my sweet.
- Gaius Tanno, I hope you're well.
- Well entertained.
The smith should be in the arena.
Did you ever consider
fighting in the arena?
I'm a man of peace.
- For a peace lover, you're a handy fighter.
- That's different.
I can fight if I have to.
But I couldn't fight a man
who'd never harmed me.
You could make money.
Not that way.
I have enough money.
Well, of course.
If you're a rich man,
a few coppers wouldn't interest you.
This is for your work...
...and this is for saving my life.
Just about what the job is worth.
A man in chains...
...going to his death like a caged animal.
Makes a man count his blessings, Julia.
Smith, you interest me.
You said you had enough money.
I never heard anyone say that before.
I have a wife who loves me
and a baby son.
I work hard, eat hearty and sleep sound.
What more could I have?
You remind me of an acrobat
in the arena...
...walking on a rope
stretched high in the air.
- Walking on a rope?
- Yes.
A rope no wider than my thumb.
- I'm not walking on a rope.
- Oh, yes, you are. Every poor man is.
You think you're balanced nicely,
but only money can make you safe.
Some little unexpected thing,
and you're clown.
What does your wife think
of your ideas?
A woman is always ambitious
for her son.
I hope he will grow up
to be exactly like his father.
Idyllic, but impractical.
Here, buy something
for the young blacksmith.
Marcus, a silver piece.
What shall we do with it?
- Let's go to the marketplace.
- Don't you think we ought to save it?
The taxgatherer is coming
in a few days.
I have the money put aside for him.
Oh, this is a windfall.
Let's have a holiday.
We'll take the baby
to see the puppet show.
Oh, Marcus, he's only 6 months old.
Well, he might like the puppets
very much.
- How can you tell?
- I can tell you'd like them very much.
My sweet, the richest man in the world
can't have more than I have... between my hands.
That's a very pretty picture.
Good morning, neighbour.
We've just declared a holiday.
- Gaius Tanno gave us a silver piece.
- Gaius, the rich man?
He's the first noble I ever spoke to.
- Get ready, Julia.
- I'm ready.
- What about the forge?
- If anyone comes...
...tell them Marcus is too rich
to work today.
Julia, how would you like
to have some of that silk?
Silk? To wear when I cook
your dinner? Come along.
- How long before the baby can do that?
- Oh, at least a week.
He can have a ball anyway.
I thought we were going
to the puppet show.
Let's buy him a ball first.
He's never had a toy.
That ball. The white one.
Oh, it's too big.
Look, he couldn't even hold it.
He likes it.
How much?
The doctor. Someone tell the doctor.
Bring him to the forge. Hurry.
How long have I been lying here?
A few days.
The doctor is coming again soon.
- Don't try to talk now.
- The doctor?
What does he say about the baby?
You'll both be well again very soon.
Sleep now.
The doctor says he won't come again
unless he's paid first.
He must come.
I'll pay him when I can.
He says he has plenty of patients
who can pay him now.
Go with Calvus to our house
and get some rest.
- I'll stay with Julia.
- I can't.
Now, look here, Marcus.
This is the second time I've been here.
- This time, I won't go without the tax.
- Don't let my wife hear you.
- Well, where's the tax money?
- I told you, I had it put aside for you.
But it's gone, for the doctor
and for medicine.
Well, I'm here to get your tax.
- Give me a little time.
- Well, you've had it.
Bring the woman out.
Clear out the house.
You can't do it, I tell you.
She's sick.
- You can't put them into the street
- Look, here.
I don't want to do this, you know?
Don't you know anyone with money?
My neighbours are all as poor as I am.
Gaius Tanno. He'll help me.
Know him, do you?
He was very kind.
He gave my son a silver piece.
You just wait till tomorrow.
Gaius will lend me the money.
I'll give you till tonight.
But not another hour.
Ask your wife to stay with Julia.
Are you mad or drunk?
I can't let you in.
- It's life-or-death.
- It is to me too.
What do you suppose Gaius would do
if I let you rush in on his guests?
- He'd have the skin off my back.
- He was kind to me.
I want only a little. I'm desperate.
- It may mean two lives.
- Lives go cheap in Pompeii.
Let me see Gaius.
You start trouble
and you'll go to jail.
Go to the arena if you wanna fight.
That's the place where fighting pays.
- All right, you'll do.
- I'll be paid for this, won't I?
You put up a good fight and please the
audience, you'll get a gold piece or 2.
But remember you've gotta show
them something. Understand?
Now, get your sword and shield.
I have the money. Take it to the doctor.
He'll come now.
- Too late.
- Here's the money.
Marcus, my friend. Too late.
She never knew
when the little son died.
My poor friend.
Poor and a fool.
I've lost all I loved
because I was poor.
A year ago...
...a week ago,
I could have saved them.
- All my life I've been a fool.
- Steady, Marcus.
It cost me this to learn
what the world is really like.
Money is all that matters.
Well, I can get money.
It's easy to get money.
All you have to do... kill.
The god of war himself.
I knew this Marcus
when he was a blacksmith.
I won 1000 gold pieces
on you today.
The Wolf was nearly a match
for him though.
- He was a good fighter.
- Let's go and find Petronius.
- He owes me 500.
- And me 1000.
Wait here.
So even the great Marcus
cannot yet kill with a light heart.
I'm sorry for you.
Sorry for me?
You, a slave?
Every man's a slave.
- I, you, my master there.
- He's a rich man.
Money doesn't matter.
You're a fool.
Money is all that matters.
Without money, who cares for a man?
Who will listen to him?
They'll listen to me.
- And who will care for you?
- No one.
Well done, Marcus.
- A good fight.
- The best fighter in the empire.
Marcus, what a fighter.
You remember me, don't you?
You once saved my life.
I don't save lives.
Very good. Very witty.
But surely you haven't forgotten
Cleon, the slave dealer?
In your forge, the Scythian prisoner
would have killed me.
I remember.
I wonder why I stopped him.
I don't know why you should
look down on me, my friend.
Aren't we in the same business?
We both furnish amusement
for the people.
I risk my life with the man
I'm fighting.
You buy and sell poor wretches
to be slaughtered as a spectacle.
I'm not proud of myself, but by Jupiter,
compared to you, I'm a holy man.
You'll never be an old one.
It isn't brawn that survives, it's brain.
It's well-known that the rat
lives longer than the lion.
But who wants to be a rat?
I wouldn't do your dirty
work, not to save my life.
Did you see that backhand
stroke of the Wolf's?
He nearly got me with
it the first time.
- It's a good trick.
- Well, the Wolf's done his last trick.
- I wonder if the cub knows tricks yet.
- The cub? What are you talking about?
- Where's my father?
- Who is your father?
The Wolf.
Where is he?
There's a question for you.
Maybe there's a special
place for wolves to go--
Take your dirty, grinning faces
out of here. All of you. Get out!
- Don't be frightened.
- I'm not frightened.
I was just getting out of the way.
Know what to do
when the shouting begins, eh?
What are you doing here? Why aren't
you at home with your mother?
Oh, my mother's dead. She died in Gaul
I was born in Gaul.
- Where did you live after that?
- With the legion, the 21st.
My father was the best fighter
in the legion.
- Why was he in the arena?
- Well, you see, he had a little trouble.
It wasn't his fault.
But he's gonna win this fight
and then everything will be all right.
What happens to people
when they die?
Don't you know? I know all about it
on account of my mother having died.
You see, when people die
they go down to the River Styx.
And there's a boat and a ferryman.
And he takes them across
the river to the underworld.
...where all spirits are.
- Are there any soldiers of the legion?
- Oh, yes. Lots of father's comrades.
You're a soldier's son.
You don't have to be babied
and lied to.
Your father has gone
to join those comrades.
Across the river?
And he went bravely.
I'm sorry.
You're afraid I'm going to cry,
aren't you?
I don't cry.
He said he'd win this fight...
...and I could unbuckle
the winner's sword.
Do you want to unbuckle mine?
How would you like to be my son?
Haven't you got one?
Not anymore.
I'll make what's happened here today
turn into good for you.
Oh, my friends.
Never before in Pompeii
such merchandise.
Look at her. Sweet as a child.
An accomplished hairdresser.
Plays the harp. She's a real bargain.
- Can she scrub floors?
- Greetings, lady.
She's as good as the one
I sold you three months ago.
She'd better be stronger.
It's disgusting the way they die off.
- Lady, this one has a tough hide.
- That's what you said about the last.
- But, lady-
-it's Marcus.
- Hail, champion.
- Greetings, Marcus.
I'm betting on you tomorrow.
I see you're no gambler.
What can I do for you? A nice girl
to delight the heart of a fighter?
Nothing for me. I've come
to buy a tutor for my son.
By Mercury,
I have the very thing for you.
A Greek, speaks four languages.
A scholar, kind and steady.
Been in the same family
for 20 years.
- Let's have a look at him. Where is he?
- There, in the fourth pen.
You go first and talk to him.
See if you like him.
Maybe he won't like me.
That's a good one.
Hail, Greek.
Hail, Roman.
My father sent me
to see if I like you.
- Why?
- If I do, he'll buy you for me.
- Can you speak four languages?
- Yes.
- You know a lot of stories?
- Thousands.
- About soldiers and wars and fighting?
- Yes, but there are better stories.
Well... can tell me the ones you like.
I don't mind.
I like him, Father.
I remember you. You're the slave
who said money doesn't matter.
Buy me for your son.
You served one family 20 years.
Why are you here?
I dropped my young master's
cloak in the mud.
- I see.
- May I have him, Father?
- How much?
- Three hundred.
- What?
- Well, he's a scholar.
Well, I didn't know they cost that much.
It's beyond my reach.
But, Father, you said if I liked him--
But we don't have
that much money, Flavius.
He says he knows lots of stories.
- Two hundred.
- Make it 250.
Oh, Father.
Two hundred and forty-three.
- Forty-three?
- It's all I have. Here it is.
Oh, well.
It's a bargain.
Could you lend me a couple of pieces?
Pay you back
after the games tomorrow.
So money doesn't matter, eh?
- Is that tight enough, master?
- Yes.
Leaster, in these months
since I bought you...
...have you noticed any difference
in the way I fight?
You seem to grow more careful, master.
You're right.
When I'm out there fighting
I keep saying to myself:
"Suppose I am killed.
What will become of Flavius?"
So this is the great Marcus.
Marcus is my name.
Could you be Murmex?
Murmex of Carthage.
- I'm gonna win this fight, you know?
- I didn't know it was settled.
There'll be wailing in your house
tonight. The gods are on my side.
- Have you sacrificed to Mercury?
- Mithras is my god.
Your mistake.
Mercury is the god of braggarts.
You talk too much. Come on and fight.
I told you I'd win.
Congratulations, Murmex.
Hail to the new champion.
Your great Marcus seemed to be
afraid of getting hurt.
Whoever said Marcus was good?
Next time, they'd better get me
a real fighter.
The truth, Leaster.
Master, it will heal...
...but you've fought in the arena
for the last time.
I was too careful.
- So the lion's day is over.
- Still, I don't envy the rat.
You may in days to come.
I've looked forward to this.
Do you remember you said
you wouldn't do my dirty work?
- Not to save your life?
- I still say so.
Will you say so
when your son is hungry?
Makes you wince, doesn't it?
I always have work for men like you...
...if they're not squeamish.
Well, let me know when you're ready
to bring slaves from Libya.
Come on, get them in line!
Don't you know how to handle slaves?
We have a 1 O days' march to the coast!
Stop it!
Cleon doesn't pay for dead slaves.
You'll have plenty of trouble
all the way back.
They know they're going to the arena,
they'd as soon die on the way to it.
I must have the full number
or Cleon won't pay me.
Look here. Let me tell this man
if he makes any more trouble...
...his son will go into the arena too.
All right, tell them all.
You see, you'll have no more trouble
with them now.
Why, he was the fiercest of them all.
Until he saw his son in danger.
Which one do you want?
I like the red one.
But I like the blue one too.
Well, then we'll get a blue one
and a red one.
Father, I'm so glad you're back.
Sweetmeat, young master?
- Father?
- He'll be sick.
- He'd better have some porridge.
- But I don't like porridge.
See that?
- Truly?
- Certainly.
All right, hold my horse.
- Let me read your future, master.
- I make my own future, mother.
No one does that.
I have no faith in soothsayers.
Off with you.
Well, my son,
did you have a good day?
Oh, yes. And I'd like to see
the puppet show again.
We'll get a favouring wind
at moonrise, Marcus.
- Better get aboard early.
- I shall, captain.
Are you going away again, Father?
Yes, I'm sailing tonight.
- Where are you going?
- To Judea... bring back Arabian horses
for the chariot races.
I wished you wouldn't go so soon.
This is an easy journey.
Just to buy horses.
I'll make enough money
to attempt something bigger.
- Bigger horses?
- Perhaps.
Someday we'll live in a big house...
...and you shall have a real horse.
We'll never have a care in the world.
- I hate to leave him again.
- Marcus.
I've searched the town for you.
Men who work for me
can't idle in wine shops.
- I've got orders to give you.
- Not to me.
I've made a contract
on my own account.
What? With the money
I've paid you, eh?
- Then, you must let me in on it.
- Listen, little man...
...someday you slave dealers
will take orders from me.
- I'm gonna be head of the arena.
- You? Your fighting days are over.
- All you can do is brag.
- Think so?
Master, you didn't mean that?
- You want to be the head of the arena?
- Why not?
Men like Cleon sit behind the scenes
and grow rich in safety.
Why shouldn't I get there,
where the money is?
You'd be responsible
for the slaughter of helpless slaves?
- What's it matter if I do or another?
- It matters to your own conscience.
A conscience in Pompeii?
I know the world for what it is.
- I mean to get money and I don't care how.
- No, master.
- She's lying.
- I didn't win, did I?
- Don't listen to her.
- What did she mean?
- Keep out of this.
- What's the trouble?
She foretold I couldn't win.
She's quite right. The dice are loaded.
- Old hag.
- You son of an ape!
You brave man, you noble warrior.
Give me back that money, you cheat!
- A woman of my own race.
- Where does she live?
- Street of the tanners.
- Show me the way.
Come, Flavius.
Young master.
She needs porridge.
Good night, mother. Come, Flavius.
- A kind man.
- I'm not kind.
You try hard not to be, but I can see.
I see a journey.
- You are going.
- Yes?
It's the turning point in your life.
You will be offered the choice
between success and failure.
Be sure you know
which you are choosing.
- I shall know.
- And the son..
Who is no son.
How can she know that?
She's like the wise women
of ancient Greece.
The child will meet with a great man.
- Where?
- In Judea.
- But my son isn't going with me.
- Take him.
Take him to the man.
The greatest man.
Greater than anyone yet known.
The greatest man in Judea.
He will help the child
when help is needed.
And his spirit will direct the child.
- Should I take him?
- She sees things that we can't, master.
A great man to help him?
Success for me?
The ship won't sail without us,
will it, Father?
No, the ship is waiting
to take us to Judea...
to find our fortunes.
Landlord, have those fresh horses
saddled quickly.
They'll be ready in a few minutes.
Stay here tonight.
No. I'm pushing on to Jerusalem.
I have important business there.
It must be important
if you go on in this storm.
I'm taking my son
to the greatest man in Judea.
The greatest man in Judea?
- He's here.
- What?
In there.
- Who is that man?
- The man you're looking for.
The greatest man in Judea
sleeping in a stable?
He was born in a stable.
Master, the horses are ready.
Old man, I'm going to Jerusalem to see
Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea.
- He didn't believe me.
- Who would?
He will someday.
For His Excellency, Pontius Pilate,
dispatches from the eastern border.
Dispatches from the eastern border.
The insolence of these desert tribes.
And Herod encourages them.
- Would he dare, Excellency?
- He has dared.
He encourages their raids
and probably profits by them.
This chief of the Ammonites wouldn't
dare so much without Herod's help.
Since Herod works against you secretly,
can you not do the same to him?
I would...
...if I could only find a man.
Your Excellency...
a horse dealer from Pompeii
is waiting to see you.
- A horse dealer?
- He insists it's important.
Who would be procurator of Judea?
Riots and plots.
The people against Rome,
the people against each other.
If I have a quiet moment, horse dealers
come and clamour at my threshold.
- Who is he? What does he want?
- His name is Marcus.
He used to be a gladiator.
He was the champion.
Marcus, the gladiator.
Yes, I've heard of him.
Trading in horses now?
Thank you.
Send him in.
Well, what do you want?
"Permission for Marcus,
dealer from Pompeii... cross the Jordan to buy horses."
This is only a routine matter. Why--'2
- Your son, I suppose?
- Yes, Excellency.
His name is Flavius.
He's 7 years old. He--
Very interesting.
My good man, what is all this?
There's nothing important in this,
yet you insist on seeing me.
You bring a child,
and you both watch me... though you expected me
to burst into flames.
I'm sorry, Excellency.
I thought it would do no harm
to help the prophecy come true.
Prophecy? What prophecy?
It was prophesied that the greatest man
in Judea would help my son.
- How could you help if you didn't see him?
- Oh, I see.
You're giving aid to the Fates?
If you want a thing well done,
do it yourself.
So even the Fates need an overseer.
Well, I've seen your son
and I won't forget him.
Little boy, sit down over there.
Let us not drive fate too hard.
Tell me...
is it true that you were once
a champion fighter?
Yes, Excellency.
You know, Marcus...
...a man like you would be useful
to someone who could employ him.
Anyone can employ me
for a price.
Sit down, Marcus.
Thank you, Excellency.
- So you came here to buy horses.
- Yes, Excellency.
A pity to pay for them
when they could be had for nothing.
- How?
- Oh, just an idea.
- Unfortunately, it would require my help.
- Yes?
And that, in my official capacity,
I could not give.
Why not?
It would make trouble for me.
I detest trouble.
There's a chief of the Ammonites
who annoys me.
The horses I was speaking of...
...belong to him.
He has many fine horses,
this Ammonite chief?
Wonderful steeds. And this desert barbarian
is rich. He has treasure.
- In gold?
- I believe so.
Oh, not enough to make it
worth Rome's while...
...but a sum that you and I
would be well content to share.
- Share?
- A sudden foray, desperate men...
-...led by the sort of man I think you are.
- I have no men to lead.
The dungeons here are crowded...
...with just the men
for such a lawless enterprise.
...the interview is ended.
- But, Excellency-
- Goodbye.
Oh, and one thing more.
It has been prophesied
that four nights hence...
a horse dealer will sleep at the inn... the village of Amman
across the Jordan.
Why, Excellency?
Oh, merely a prophecy.
I thought you believed in prophecies.
I should believe in this one
if I were you.
- I believe in you, Excellency.
- Not in my official capacity, please.
As an official, I shall have
forgotten you in an hour.
As a private citizen...
...I shall look forward with interest
to your return to Jerusalem.
Master, what are we waiting for?
- Why are we here in Amman?
- Oh, don't worry me.
- Go in and see if Flavius is asleep.
- Yes, master.
Are you the horse dealer
who believes in prophecies?
- What do you mean?
- I don't know what I mean.
- That's what I was told to say.
- Yes.
I'm the horse dealer
who believes in prophecies.
Oh, you are, eh? Well, here we are.
- Who's we?
- Your men.
All been in jail just long enough
to be spoiling for a fight.
If you think you're able to handle us,
you'd better start in trying.
How's that for a start?
That's all right.
I've got a lot more. Wait here.
Leaster, don't wake Flavius.
I'm leaving at once.
- Yes, master.
- No, not you.
When morning comes
take him back along the road we came.
There's a village this side of Jericho.
Eleah, it's called.
- Where we stayed with the woman
- Yes, wait there.
Yes, master.
I can do it, my son.
All that I owe you,
everything I've promised...
...this venture means all that.
The baggage...
What do you need for your journey?
Nothing but my sword.
So this is my army.
A fine lot of cutthroats.
- In a fight, you'll run like rats.
- It's a lie. We want to fight.
Keep your mouth shut. I'm talking.
I was once Marcus, the gladiator.
Now, I'm your leader.
If any man doubts that, speak up.
We're going to raid the Ammonites.
They have horses, you're on foot.
They are fighters.
I don't know what you are.
But you'll come back riding
or you won't come back at all.
Bad day for the Ammonites, eh?
These men don't wanna go back
to Jerusalem, do they?
- Well, they'd be safer in hell.
- They'd better scatter then.
They can keep the horses
they're riding.
What about me?
What do I get before I leave?
You're not leaving.
Well, I can't go back to Jerusalem
I know too many jailers there.
You're going with me.
- To Jerusalem?
- And then to Pompeii.
I'll fix it. You're a good man, Burbix.
- Nobody ever told me that before
- Maybe "useful" is the word.
Do you want to hear
something really funny?
- Yes.
- I trust you.
- You can.
- You're in charge. I'll ride on ahead.
I don't have to tell you to guard
those packhorses well.
You don't think I'm a fool, do you?
I know the loot's on them.
All right. I'll see you in Eleah.
- What's so important in Eleah, a woman?
- No, a child.
I've done it, Leaster. We're rich.
And it's only the beginning.
- Master.
- Where's Flavius? Flavius!
Master, don't. He can't hear you.
- Why not?
- He-- He--
It happened yesterday.
A traveller was at the inn...
...his horse outside.
Flavius mounted somehow.
The horse took fright and threw him.
He hasn't moved nor spoken since.
This can't be.
It can't be.
Not again.
I will not let it be.
Such skill as I have in medicine
is useless.
- Doctors.
- There are none nearer than Jerusalem.
Then I'll ride to Jerusalem.
Carry him before me.
His heart is scarcely beating now.
On such a ride
it would surely stop forever.
Flavius, I've brought you everything.
Happiness, riches. It's all for you.
There's a young man, a wandering healer
passing through the village...
...on his way to Jerusalem.
The poor people call him master and lord.
- What can he do?
- Perhaps he can help.
What harm to ask?
Have mercy on my son.
Flavius... son.
What does the teacher require of me?
I'll give him as much money as he wants.
He won't take money.
Whatever a man can do,
I'll do for him.
- There must be something. He's poor.
- Poor?
He's the richest man in the world.
His Excellency will come here
as soon as the trial is over.
I hope so. Two clays lying hidden
in his palace like a thief is--
Please, like a confidential messenger.
You may be glad I concealed you
until Pontius could see you.
Luckily you've seen no one
and no one has seen you.
A messenger from Herod
arrived last night.
- It seems the Ammonites were raided.
- Really?
And Herod demands punishment
of the guilty men.
Well, then let me get out of town.
Those horses we stole are--
I sent those horses round the city
to wait for me beyond the gates.
My son and my old slave are with them.
They won't know what's happened to me.
Let me give Pontius my accounting.
You'll see him
as soon as the trial's over.
- Whose trial is it?
- A man accused of treason.
He wanted to be a king.
Then be ye all witness to this.
I am innocent of the blood
of this just person.
I have washed my hands of it.
The prophetic horse dealer.
A successful journey?
The treasure of the Ammonites
was not overrated.
Will you send for your secretary
and see that I've divided fairly?
- There's no need. You won't cheat me.
- No, Excellency.
You've done more for my son
and me than any man can--
Than any man can thank you for.
What have I done?
What have I done?
I am not myself.
Just now I have been forced
to condemn someone.
Poor man.
I found no fault in him.
But I must try to keep the peace.
...unreason, hatred.
Oh, let men wallow in the quicksand
they have made of life.
- Pin your faith to gold, Marcus
- I chose it long ago.
You're wise. Now go.
You must leave Jerusalem
with your loot.
- Herod's messenger is here.
- I know.
I haven't seen him yet.
I'll contrive to delay him until you're
out of reach. You've no time to lose.
Thanks to you,
I'll be a rich man someday.
Take care. There's tumult in
the city, crowds and rioting.
Mobs quickly turn to looting.
Guard your gold carefully, Marcus.
After all I've clone to get it, neither
god nor man shall take it from me.
- What's happening?
- The executions.
The mob going with
the condemned man.
Every cutthroat in the city
is in that mob.
- If they suspect what's on them-
- You'll lose your gold.
- Can we get through that way?
- Yes.
Quick, bring the horses. Hurry!
Take the horses through. I'll come last.
You. God be praised.
- Save him.
- Who?
The teacher. The master.
- He is condemned?
- Yes, look!
You said you'd do anything.
You have a sword. They'll crucify him.
- What can I do? One man alone?
- You can die for him.
Come on, you'll lose your treasure.
Try to save him.
When your world crumbles about you...'ll understand
what you have done today.
You have rejected him.
Don't look back, Flavius. Look ahead.
Think how happy we're going to be.
We're going to be rich.
Now we can have that big house.
The finest house in Pompeii.
That's more like it.
- Good steel.
- The finest Damascus.
- What do you think of it, Leaster?
- I'm not a judge of swords, master.
Flavius will be proud of this.
A noble's son couldn't have better.
- How much?
- Six thousand.
- What?
- Well, what is 6000... the richest man in Pompeii?
The head of the arena.
- You old robber.
- Give him a note to Burbix.
My money is in the strongroom
at the arena.
The whole town is looking forward
to the games tomorrow, Marcus.
It's going to be a good show.
The new prefect wants to be popular
with the citizens.
My son is coming. Be off.
- Hail, Flavius.
- Greetings, Crassus.
Good morning, Father.
- What's Crassus been selling you now?
- Oh, nothing much. Wait.
- Look at that.
- What a beauty.
Draw it.
The finest steel. Go on, try it.
Feel the balance.
- What do you think of it?
- I never saw better.
It's finer than any of your others.
I'm glad you like it.
It's for you.
Thank you, Father.
It's for a special occasion.
A messenger came overland
this morning...
...brought word that an old friend of
mine is stopping at Pompeii to see us.
- His ship should arrive in a few days.
- Who is it, Father?
A man I haven't seen in many years.
He laid the foundation of our fortune.
Do I know him?
You saw him once
but you wouldn't remember him.
- Where did I see him, what's his name?
- We were in Jerusalem.
His name is Pontius Pilate.
- Could he be the man I try to remember?
- No, no.
How many times have I told you
that's only a childish dream?
There never was such a man.
Greetings, Marcus, Flavius.
The new prefect is coming down
to the quadrangle.
He wants to see the preparations
for the games.
- He's afraid we won't do him credit.
- He is, is he?
I'll come at once.
My cloak, Leaster.
Show Burbix your gift, my son.
By Jupiter, what steel.
- You could out through chains with that
- Could I?
Well, you might
if you were fool enough to try.
I suppose there's no use asking you
to come to the arena with me.
- Well, Father, you know I--
- That's all right, my boy.
I have bigger plans for you
than following in my footsteps.
- Where's that cloak?
- Be sure to speak to the prefect...
-...about the slaves we need.
- Of course.
I was at the jail and they've only
a handful of condemned men...
-...and one escaped on the way.
- Another runaway slave?
Where do they go?
If the prefect expects his games
to do him credit, he'll get me the men.
- Father, must you have more men to kill?
- Now, Flavius...
...we won't go over that again.
We decided long ago to let
that subject alone.
Don't you fret about
how I make my money...
and I won't worry about
how you spend it.
Those horses for tomorrow... made a good deal.
- I was always good at a horse deal.
Remember the first one
I helped you with?
You see, it's useless.
He'll never listen to me.
He'll never change.
Come, help me to get ready.
Clodia will be wondering
what's become of me.
Leaster, I've got a ship at last.
The day for action is almost here.
If only the danger for you
were not so great.
Only one thing worries me.
- Are you sure that island is still free?
- I am.
There's no wealth,
no people to enslave.
No Roman soldier
has ever set foot on it.
An unspoiled world.
When we go, come with us.
Marcus will be glad of me
after you're gone.
If only I could tell him the truth.
But he'd smash the whole thing.
And I can't let him.
I'll make sure the way is clear.
I'll be back tonight. Watch for me.
Oh, it's the friend.
Greetings, friend.
- Is all well, Phoebus?
- It's good to see you.
- We've missed you.
- What's kept me away, do you think?
Great news! I have a ship.
- For us?
- To escape to the island?
Yes. Some night soon, you can reach the
waterfront in twos and threes unnoticed.
- How soon?
- After the games are over.
The search will be relaxed. They won't
need slaves for the arena then.
Before anyone knows what cargo the ship
carries, we'll be beyond their reach.
You've saved us from torture and death.
You've hidden us here, kept us fed
and clothed, given us hope.
But do you really believe
there's any place...
-...where runaway slaves can be safe?
- I know the place where I'm taking you.
Where Rome cannot reach us?
- Rome owns the world.
- This island is forgotten by the empire.
The man who brought me up
told me where it is.
- I'll lead you there. Have faith in me.
- Yes, friend.
You know, I haven't seen Clodia
for two whole days.
- It's been so long.
- Soon we'll be together forever.
- Is it really true?
- Yes.
I won't be hiding and trembling
at every sound? I'll be free?
Except for me.
It seems so strange.
You risk disgrace and death to help us,
yet none of us know who you are.
I'm a man who loves you.
- Isn't that enough?
- I suppose it is, since you're the man I love.
But why do you do all this for slaves?
Clodia, did you ever try
to recapture a dream?
A dream?
It's like strain of music
I can almost remember...
...and yet it slips away.
- I've been haunted by it since I was a child
- But what is it?
It was a voice. I can't hear the words,
but I can see a man's face.
He looks as though he pitied
the whole blind and suffering world.
As though he knew the world
could be so brave and beautiful.
That men could help each other
to live and be happy.
That's not a child's dream.
My father says there was no such man...
...but even if it is only a dream,
I believe that such a world could be.
On our island,
we'll try to make it true.
There will be no more slavery,
nor flogging and torture and agony.
Who's there?
- Hide me.
- I know him. His name is Drusus.
- He's been flogged.
- Drusus.
He was running.
Soldiers may be on his heels.
- Could they have followed you here?
- No, I threw them off.
They've gone...
- Why did you run away?
They said I was a thief.
I was condemned to the arena.
I never stole.
But Marcus needs slaves...
...for the games tomorrow.
Marcus, the butcher.
Excellency, why can't your soldiers
capture these runaway slaves?
Singular that so many
have been able to avoid capture.
Someone is helping them.
What fool would risk death by torture
for the sake of slaves?
I should like to know.
What do you keep behind
those locks and bolts?
My fortune, Excellency.
It's a safe place.
Would the prefect care
to inspect the barbarians?
- The Britons who are to fight tomorrow?
- Yes.
Captives from Agricola's campaign.
I wonder why we trouble ourselves
with that wretched island.
- After it's conquered what good is it?
- Don't you believe we can civilize it?
Those people? They'll always be
barbarians. What will they ever do?
Here's a savage fellow.
A sort of chief, they tell me.
- He looks capable of fighting 20 men.
- Well, there you are.
What'll the battle look like if I have
a handful of slaves to fight these men?
I'll take care of that.
Throw some water on him.
These Britons don't know
how to use their fists.
Your pardon, Excellency.
- Well?
- Pontius' ship has dropped anchor.
What? Order the galley
to be made ready at once.
Your pardon. Pontius Pilate
has arrived sooner than expected.
I must go out and bring him ashore.
Pontius? He's a very distinguished man.
I've never met him.
Then give me the pleasure
of dining with us today.
To meet Pontius? Thank you, I will.
Whatever the motive,
you still will give me pleasure.
Welcome to my house, Pontius.
I've looked forward to this day
for many years.
The house of Marcus.
It's well-established.
Founded upon a rook. I'm glad.
You founded it.
Now, where's my protg?
Where's Flavius?
I sent a messenger
to look for him in the town.
- I wish you could stay for the games.
- I must go on to Rome tonight.
This prefect who asked himself to dinner,
what sort of man is he?
Just a prefect. You know,
great idea of his own importance.
Come, you must rest and bathe
before we dine.
They fought each other.
Ever heard better stories
than our host tells?
I'm not judge of the reminiscences
of self-made men.
You flatter me. It's not my work.
- Pontius is responsible.
- I? Nonsense!
- All that I am, you made me.
- Then I've a good workman.
- Don't you agree, Aulus Martius?
- Oh, assuredly, Pontius.
Fine specimens.
They should look well in the arena.
The arena.
Do you realize that tomorrow's games
may be a failure?
They are my games.
I'll take the responsibility.
You must. It's your soldiers
that must capture the runaways.
Allow me to attend to it.
Fine grapes grow in your vineyard,
It's good to taste again
the fruits of Italy.
The gods are propitious.
Your son doesn't even arrive in time
for the family worship?
I hardly know how to apologize.
I arrived before I was expected.
How was the boy to know?
Where can he be?
- What is it, Leaster?
- The captain of the city guard...
...with a message for the prefect.
He says the prefect gave orders
to follow him here.
- Where is he?
- I sent him to the terrace, Excellency.
If you'll excuse me.
This may be interesting news
to you too.
I hope so. Where is Flavius?
He came in a few moments ago, master.
He's changing his clothes.
Tell him to hurry.
I can hardly wait to tell him
he's going with you.
May we have a favourable wind tonight.
To think that the last time I saw you...
...all you owned was carried
by a few packhorses.
But you haven't changed.
Looking at you...
...I fancy myself back in Jerusalem.
On that day, years ago...
you hurried out of the city
with your treasure.
Loan hear you saying
"Neither god nor man
shall take it from me."
How can you remember
my very words?
I seem to remember everything
about that day.
Things that happened
only yesterday...
...are not so vivid.
At last.
Pontius, this is my son.
A thousand pardons, Excellency.
- I didn't know you'd arrived.
- I'm glad to see you, Flavius.
- I suppose you don't remember me.
- Yes, I remember you.
But there's something else
I'd hoped to remember.
Come with us, Pontius,
while I tell him the news.
The last time I saw you,
I couldn't have leaned upon you...
...not very comfortably.
Very good, Excellency.
Pontius, I must take my leave of you.
I am honoured by our meeting.
- Good night.
- Marcus, good night.
- My soldiers are better than you think
- News of the runaways?
They've caught a slave
who knows the hiding place.
Don't worry about the fight tomorrow.
I'll make him speak.
- We'll catch them before dawn.
- Splendid.
- Now, Flavius--
- Father. Father, I must-
Pontius has gratified the greatest wish
of my life.
He's going to take you
with him to Rome.
- Rome?
- You can be a great man, my son.
Sponsored by an aristocrat,
all the money you can spend.
- There's every chance you may be a noble.
- But-
Everything I've ever hoped for you
is within your grasp.
- You leave for Rome tonight.
- No.
Listen to me, Father.
There's no way I can spare you.
I'm not going to Rome. I'm not going
to do any of the things you've chosen.
- What do you mean?
- You've made plans for me to be a noble... the prefect, I suppose.
He's gone to torture a man
to make him betray his fellows.
- A heartless swine like--
- Silence!
Shall I keep silent forever
in the face of injustice and brutality?
The poor, the persecuted.
There must be someone to speak for them.
Take the world as it is.
I can't. I know
there's something better.
My boy, I've heard such ideas
a long time ago.
They are dreams.
Beautiful dreams, I know...
...but only dreams.
Was it a dream that once
I knew a man of pity who said:
"You shall love your neighbour
as yourself"?
- There never was such a man, I tell you
- Don't lie to him, Marcus.
- There was such a man.
- What happened to him?
I crucified him.
Now, I remember.
The crosses on the hill.
I know now what he meant.
That man accomplished nothing
but his own death.
His teachings will never die.
Have you ever heard
what else that man said?
"Sell all you have
and give to the poor."
Where would you be
if I'd listened to his teachings?
You'd be a labourer...
...sweating all day for a few coppers
as I did when I was young and foolish.
I've done everything I could
to spare you the sorrows of the poor.
You're a rich man's son with a fine
house and slaves to wait on you.
You've had everything
that money has to offer.
I made that money for you.
I know you did.
And I won't benefit by it any longer.
If you don't want my money,
what do you have to give the poor?
- Flavius, come back here!
- No, no, Marcus...
...let him go now.
Why did you tell him
his dream was real?
For years I've tried to blot
that memory from his mind.
And from your own too, haven't you?
You can't.
I know.
Master, the galley is waiting
to go out to the ship.
Come see me aboard, Marcus.
Don't let this make a breach
between you. And remember...
when the boy sees reason again...
send him to me in Rome just the same.
He's young-
He still believes in things.
And you and I are wiser?
What is truth?
But who is this friend?
Who in Pompeii would help slaves?
We don't know.
But he's the man who'll save us.
Friend, what's happened?
Quick, out of here.
The soldiers have got a slave
who knows this place.
- They're torturing him. He'll tell.
- What shall we do?
Scatter and try to reach the ship.
It's our only chance. Hurry.
- He's a spy. He's a spy, I tell you.
- Stop!
- This is our leader, our friend.
- That's Flavius, the son of Marcus.
- You're raving.
- Drusus, listen.
- He's Flavius!
- You're mistaken.
I've seen him with his father,
the man who sends us to the arena.
- Deny it.
- He's the son of Marcus.
- He can't deny it. Can you?
- Friend?
No. I am Flavius, son of Marcus.
- We're lost.
- Death!
- Let me explain. Please-
- Spy, traitor!
Listen to me!
Clodia, am I a spy? Do you believe it?
No, he's not a spy.
Phoebus, he saved your life.
- Yes.
- Apelles, he brought you here.
- I know.
- You know the penalty...
...for helping slaves escape.
He's risked his life every day.
- How can he be a traitor?
- Don't believe him.
- Filthy spy!
- Listen to me.
No torture could make me betray you.
I'm no longer the son of Marcus
I'm one of you now.
We'll escape together. The ship is ready.
Tomorrow we'll be free.
- A beautiful day, Leaster.
- Yes, master.
The whole town is streaming toward
the arena. Isn't it time you started?
See how Vesuvius is smoking.
The old mountain hasn't looked like that
in the memory of man.
A special portent for your games, master.
I quarrelled with Flavius
last night, Leaster.
I should have reasoned with him,
not lost my temper.
I was too hasty.
- I want to tell him so. Send him to me.
- He's not here.
- Gone out already? Where?
-I-- I don't know.
- When did he go?
- Master, I...
His bed is undisturbed.
He must have left the house last night.
- And not come back?
- Not yet.
- It's not possible he'd leave like that.
- Something may have happened.
He thinks I am still in a rage.
That's it, Leaster. He's giving me
a chance to cool down.
- He'll be back.
- Marcus!
Marcus! Good news.
A message from the prefect.
The whole company of runaway slaves
was captured.
- They tried to escape by sea.
- How many?
- About two score.
- Here's a real stroke of luck.
Pompeii will see something today.
- This will be a real show.
- Master-
This has more meaning
than old Vesuvius smoking.
- I trust they're good fighting men.
- A fine, hardy lot, the message said.
- Good.
- Who are captured?
Who? You don't suppose
I know their names, do you?
- Master-
- Leaster, order my chariot.
Rejoice today. The omens are all good.
Jupiter is pleased and favours you...
...his people of Pompeii.
Happy the people for whom
the great prefect provides such games.
Be not afraid of gods'
or man's displeasure.
Today is yours. On to the games!
Hail, Titus.
Marcus. Have you heard of the capture
of the runaway slaves?
Of course, fortune favours us.
Don't be late for the games.
- This is where your leader brought us.
- Into a trap.
- I'm trapped too.
- Pretending to be one of us.
- Your father knows you're here
- He'll be released.
- Yes, he'll sit and watch us die.
- I tell you, no one knows I'm here.
You'll believe me when
I stand beside you in the arena.
Take the women out.
- Come on.
- No.
- Come.
- No, I'll stay with him.
The men are going to the arena.
What good are women in a battle?
- Go, Clodia.
- Don't make me leave you.
Remember this,
if we had a lifetime together.
-...I couldn't love you more.
- What's the trouble? Come on.
I see it's not the custom in Pompeii
to applaud the prefect.
That's only because
they don't know you yet.
- Was he captured?
- Yes, tell his father.
It's Marcus!
- Hail, Marcus!
- Hail, Marcus!
Really, one might suppose that
you were paying for the games.
The people know I can amuse them.
They are not so hearty to those
who merely govern them.
Tell me, does all this applause
cost you much?
Oh, no, Excellency. It's spontaneous.
How pleasant for you.
- Well, what is it?
- Master, Flavius.
- What's happened?
- He's with the slaves.
- They caught him helping them escape.
- What? Blind, reckless folly!
- Why, it's a capital crime-
-it's the death penalty. The law of Rome.
Your indulgence, Excellency.
- Well, is everything ready to begin?
- There is some difficulty.
If you'll have patience for
a few moments, I'll return at once.
- Master.
- I'll get him out.
Flavius, what have you done?
Why didn't you send for me?
- You can't do anything.
- I'll get you out.
- No, these men must die.
- It's the law of Rome that condemns them.
- It condemns me too. Goodbye, Father.
- No, the warder shall release you.
Why doesn't Marcus return?
Really, this is a poor way to
gain the favour of the people.
I can't understand the
reason for the delay.
I came to see fighting. Is Marcus
trying to make a fool of you?
He takes too much upon himself. Give a
signal for the slaves to be driven out.
Let the games begin.
The young man there, he's no slave.
Release him.
- No slave? How did he get here?
- Don't waste time, release him.
- You'll have 100 gold pieces.
- They're numbered. If one is missing-
- Five hundred!
- I can't.
A thousand. Release him, I say.
He's my son.
I have a son too. I can't risk my life.
I am head of the arena
I order you, release him.
I dare not.
Ready there, your turn next.
Quick, march!
Forgive me.
Stop. You there, stop!
- What?
- Don't take my son.
- Are you crazy?
- I'm Marcus, head of the arena.
- Leave my son.
- I don't take orders from you.
That's my son. There, that one.
Don't take him. I'll stop the games!
No one but the prefect
can stop the games.
The prefect says men who fight and come
out alive will be set free, tell them.
- Hail, Marcus.
- Let me through.
Why should we fight?
There's no chance.
Do you want to be flogged
or die fighting like a man?
- I stand beside you.
- You believe me now.
- Stop the games.
- Are you mad?
- My son is there. There among the slaves.
- Why is he there?
He was captured with the others.
- Helping them escape?
- He's reckless, young. Stop them!
He's committed a crime,
struck at Rome.
- He's my son.
- So at your command...
-...the law of Rome should be set aside.
- He will be killed.
If he were my own son,
I could not do it.
People of Pompeii, I appeal to you.
My son is there!
Save him.
Demand the games be stopped!
My son, they'll kill him!
Citizens, I've given you games!
You cheered me!
This one thing, stop the games!
Flavius! Flavius!
Flavius, my son!
To the public treasury!
The keys! Unlock the door.
- Let go!
- Let them out!
Let go, old man!
Keep back!
- Quickly, up!
- Let us save ourselves.
Yes and we'll save Marcus' gold too.
Let us escape.
I'll lead you to a ship,
but not without Marcus' gold.
Marcus! Here, with me!
Flavius... son.
My son.
My son.
My son.
Help him!
The warder.
Help him.
You ask my help.
You who could have
let my son go free!
Marcus, Marcus.
Have mercy on my son.
Have mercy on your--
I cried that once...
...and he heard me.
Marcus, here's your money.
Quick, to your own wharf.
- We'll get it on the boat.
- Throw it away.
- What? Why, that's your treasure.
- Throw it in the street.
Pick up the wounded.
Save all you can.
Get them to the boat at my wharf.
- Where to now?
- To Marcus' wharf.
Bring the treasure!
Oh, help him please.
You did save me after all.
God of mercy... let me save my son.
Stop, hold the boat!
Take those people off!
Get them aboard, quick!
Make ready to cast off.
Stand back. I bring the city treasure.
Unload that boat.
- Cast off.
- Hold the boat, I tell you!
- Take those people off.
- Not for any treasure.
- In Caesar's name!
- No!
You fool!
Bring that boat back! I order you!
The men at the oars, shoot them!
So many years ago.