The Last Days of Pompeii
Adventure / Drama
Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack
Preston Foster as Marcus
Alan Hale Sr. as Burbix
Basil Rathbone as Pontius Pilate
John Wood as Flavius, as a Man
David Holt as Flavius, as a Boy
Louis Calhern as Prefect
Dorothy Wilson as Clodia
Wyrley Birch as Leaster
Gloria Shea as Julia
Frank Conroy as Gaius Tanno
William V. Mong as Cleon, the Slave Dealer
Murray Kinnell as Simon, Judean Peasant
Henry Kolker as Warder
Edward Van Sloan as Calvus
Zeffie Tilbury as The Wise
The film is set around the time of Jesus Christ. Marcus is a blacksmith who is happy with his life, for he has a beautiful wife named Julia and six-month old son. Tragedy occurs when his wife and child are run over by a chariot in Pompeii. With the little money has, he pays for medicine and a doctor. He needs more money, so he turns to become a gladiator and wins his fight, but unfortunately his wife and child die.
Upset with his lack of money, he becomes a bitter professional gladiator, becoming richer with every fight he wins. During one fight, he kills his competitor and finds out he has been taking care of a young boy by the name of Flavius. Feeling regretful over this, he takes care of the boy and buys a slave by the name of Leaster to teach him. His new life affects his job in the arena and he loses his first fight, leaving him wounded. Left with no job, Cleon, a slave dealer, presents him with a job. At first Marcus is supercilious, but ends up taking his offer and invades an African village for slaves.
Marcus encounters a fortune teller who informs him that Flavius will be saved by the greatest man in Judea. They both head to Jerusalem to see the man Marcus believes is the one, Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea. Yet, during his trip, a man informs him that the greatest man is situated in the stable, but Marcus does not believe what the man is telling him.
When Pilate finds out about Marcus’s old life as a gladiator, he offers him a job to invade the chief of the Ammonites, for he is not on his side. During this invasion, Flavius is thrown off a horse and close to death. Eventually, Christ saves his life. This is when Pilates condemns Christ to death.