Bruce Payne as Cassius in Cleopatra

"Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look,
He thinks too much; such men are dangerous."

--From Julius Caesar (I, ii, 194)

Now whether you consider Cassius a villain or a hero depends on whether you consider Julius Caesar a hero to the people of Rome or a tyrant who was a danger to the republic.  In the film, Cleopatra, Caesar is presented somewhat sympathetically but history suggests otherwise.  For good or for ill (and many think for ill), Julius Caesar created the Roman Empire that dominated and subjugated most of Europe of the time. He was on his way to having himself crowned Emperor when Cassius and Brutus "cut" short his ambitions, as it were, by assassinating Caesar on the infamous Ides of March.  We raise the question above. You decide.

What we do know for sure is that Bruce makes a handsome Roman, as these photos testify.   He looks admirably heroic in Roman armor and helmet, a garb that displays his remarkable features to excellent advantage.

We will see Bruce play a Roman again in The Apocalypse, where the villainy of Emperor Domitian is considerably less ambiguous.

So have yourself a "Roman Holiday" with these pics...


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