This film bears no resemblance to the novel by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, except that it is set in the same historical time period and depicts the eruption of Mount Vesuvius at the climactic finale. Foster is solid, if not moving, as an honest, powerful blacksmith whose son and wife are
crushed beneath the wheels of a nobleman's chariot. He decides that the only thing in life that matters is money and power, and he goes after them in the gladiatorial arena, slaying his opponents mercilessly. Then he kills a valiant adversary and finds the man's son waiting for his father after
the combat. In shame and remorse, he adopts the boy, Holt, who grows up to be Wood. Foster...