It is a movie about discovery and acceptance
Stephen M. Keohane | MA USA | 12/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most of the movie centers around political intrigue between Constantine and those in Rome who want to usurp his power and prestige. There is a good amount of Roman battle scenes (Civil war). A very small part of the movie is also taken up fighting the barbarians.
However, it is a good example of just what Christian Martyrs by the tens of thousands had to endure (death) before Constantine came on the scene. Some here say that it is not factual. Yet evidence from antiquity is strong that Constantine did have a conversion due to divine intervention. He was alone among emperors to fight for religious freedom. Constantine did not convert immediately after seeing the cross in the sky. But the stage was set. His mother (Helena/to Catholics: St Helena) is portrayed very well in this movie.
In this movie, I was glad to see that we see in the Christians of the time, a sincere, unwavering love for Christ. How else could they go so willingly to their deaths.
At such a very small price for this fully restored and digitally enhanced film, you just can't go wrong."
Denis Kistner | Houston, TX | 11/05/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I am unable to rate this movie, because this Mac Filmworks DVD is virtually unwatchable. The picture quality is extremely poor. The colors appear washed out, and the picture is out of focus. If you taped this off of late night TV on an old VHS recorder and then copied it several times, you would still get a better product."
Strong Plot Weakened by Blotchy DVD
Martin Asiner | Jersey City, NJ | 03/19/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS director Lionello de Felice brings to the screen a period of time in Western history that is much misunderstood and even less recognized in history texts. The Roman Empire in the early 300s was a strange and unwieldy quilt of multi emperors all of whom ruled various subsets of what had once been a unified empire. There was an emperor for the Eastern provinces and another for the western. And in both there was a sort of junior emperor called a caesar. Cornell Wilde is Constantine, son of one of these caesars. His father is killed in battle, and Constantine is soon elevated to the emperorship as a result of a smashing victory over a barbarian army. The film is historically accurate in many areas, but suffers from an inexcusably poor job of transferral to DVD which includes blotches and blips aplenty. De Felice captures the historical sweep of events that must have seemed confusing even to contemporaries but due to a deft hand behind the camera never manages to lose the interest of the viewer.
Wilde begins the film as a hothead, who seems to be unwilling to heed the advice of his caesar father. As event follows event, we can see his slow maturation on several levels. As he moves to Rome to get embroiled in the power struggle that will later elevate him to emperor, Wilde becomes more astute as one who gets on the job practice as a young emperor to be. He meets and later marries Fausta, fetchingly played by Belinda Lee, who in real life died in a car accident just a few months before the film was released. Fausta is a woman who is torn between her love for Constantine and her knowledge that her brother and he must soon collide in a lethal duel for the crown. The film has several dramatic highlights. The much discussed scene of the moon morphing into a cross stands out. Further, De Felice had to stretch a tight budget so that a few hundred extras could sub for the tens of thousands that were seen in other films like Ben Hur and Spartacus. The film does not mention that in real life Constantine executed Fausta for fear that she had cuckolded him with a son from a prior marriage. The historical Constantine is mostly remembered as the first Roman emperor who made Christianity as the empire's official religion. Wilde is convincing as a ruler who slowly comes to value acknowledging a faith that places peace over mindless war. CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS is one of those rare films that entertains even as it instructs. It succeeds well enough for one to overlook the admitted flaws. Recommended"