Pornographic costume epic wasting the talents of a formidable cast and the breathtaking set design of Danilo Donati. The film is notorious for combining hard-core sex sequences (about five minutes' worth in a two and one-half hour film) with a roster of major stars; perhaps fortunately,
stars and hard-core sex never appear in the same scene. Desperate to surround his vanity porno project with an aura of class, Penthouse
publisher Guccione paid presumably vast sums to Gore Vidal for a story and screenplay; Vidal had his name removed from the credits. Unpleasantly violent, often
dull, and only intermittently sexy.