The 13 Main Versions of Caligula-Film, Video, DVD
1.   May 1979- The Cannes Version- 210 Minutes- Mystery surrounds this
         cut of the film. Since Penthouse had not yet settled with either Gore
         Vidal or Tinto Brass at the time, we assume it carried the title of
         "Gore Vidal's Caligula". Lucky Fellows claims to have been at the
         screening. According to Noel Bailey, this cut also received some
         underground screenings in London. It has never been officially
         released, and no bootlegs are said to exist.

2.   Dec 1979- The Italian Version, "Caligola", basically the same as the
         forthcoming American edit of 156 minutes, but minus 6 minutes to
         please the censors, which it didn't. Showed up on Video in 1985 and
         quickly with-drawn due to a law suit with Penthouse Vs. Rossellini.
         This video version is the elusive one! (Check E-Bay!)

3.   Feb 1980- The American Edit, "Caligula", the same as the Italian edit,
         but runs a full 156 minutes. Released on Video in the USA in January
         1984, with a compressed running time of 148 minutes, even though the
         box says it runs 143 minutes. This version was billed as "unrated". As
         well, this is the version that was re-issued in 1991 on VHS as the
         "Special 10th Anniversary Edition", with the correct running time of
         148 min. These liner notes on the 1991 VHS ended up on the 1999

4.   Oct 1980-The full uncut version was brought to the UK in the fall,
         only to be seized by British Customs who declared it obscene.
         However, Guccione's lawyers asked for the film to be certificated so
         the British Board of Film Classification set about to cut the film to
         make it "releasable". Originally 10:28 minutes was cut, but then a
         further 4 minutes had to also be cut. The editors added 4 minutes
         of "softer" footage to bring the time back to 149.34 minutes. The film
         was granted a theatrical X certificate, and had a lengthy run at the
         Prince Charles Cinema in London. It was issued by Electric Video
         about 1982 as the 2 1/2 Hour version, but was deleted in 1984 by
         the Video Recordings Act which got rid of video "nasties". It wasn't
         until 2002 that this version of the film was shown on TV by Channel

5    Nov 1981- The American R-Rated Edit- This version was edited back
          to 103 minutes, but featured different camera angles some some
          different footage at the end of the Imperial Bordello Scene. The 1984
          Vestron Video release was time compressed to 101 minutes. At the
          end of this version, Bob Guccione in an afterword urged viewers to
          purchase the un-rated version. This version was issued on Laserdisc
          in 1988. Version #5 was the video version I first saw in 1990,
          and the theatrical release was the one I was supposed to see on
          my 1982 History class, but never got to. I also think that
          the Soundtrack, which was issued in June 1981 by mail order,
          and  then in stores by Christmas 1981, was to tie in with this
          version  and the one below. Read my notes on the 1984 Vestron

6.    1981-UK-98 minutes. Just as Penthouse created a short version of
          Caligula for the American market, so they did for the UK market.
          While version #4 played in London, a massively trunicated (but
          still rated X) print did the rounds in the Provinces. It turned up on
          video in 1990, carrying an "18" certificate and billed as the "1 1/2
          Hour version. It was issued on DVD in the UK, and is available from
, but no one in thier right minds would want to own it.
          The film is butchered, and the sound and picture quality are apalling.
          This is the only version commercially available in the UK. It is thought
          that #5 and #6 are identical, but I will keep them separate for the fact
          that #6 will be a PAL format on video, and UK packaging. 

7.    May 1984-The Italian Rossellini Edit, "Io Caligola", which ran about 84
           minutes. This may have featured new music and was dubbed from
           the English to Italian.

8.    1985-The re-release of the Rossellini Edit, which boasted "Scenes never
           before scene", and ran 129 minutes. This re-cut version
           was edited by Enzo Micarelli. The film's opening is restructered
           and the Killing Machine sequence is restored in full.
           Micarelli deleted the Lesbian tryst between Anneka and
           Lori, but retained almost all the hardcore Ship Orgy footage.
           This was issued on VHS in 2001, and the widescreen DVD
           (marred by poor sound and picture quality) in 2003. The
           PAL-video version ran 124 min. This was also dubbed in
           Italian, and featured new music by Enzio Rossellini. 

9.  1988-USA-148 Minutes. Like the 1984 VHS release (Version #3) this
         unrated Laserdisc is 148 minutes in length, but credited to 143 min.
         Nevertheless it's a slightly different cut of the film featuring
         extended explict footage in the Harem Monsters Orgy in Tiberius'
         grotto which has been described as "disgusting" by some viewers. This
         cut was also released in Russia on VHS in 1990.

10.   Sept 1999- The 162 Minute American DVD release which ran at 156
           minutes at the PAL speed. It's a little different than version #3, being
           a pre-release print. The DVD also included the "Making of  Caligula",
           a little piece of Penthouse Propaganda. This version sells at Amazon
           for a very reasonable price. Unrated DVD, released by Image
           Entertainment in widescreen and full surround sound. Also released
           on Region 2 format in 2001 by Dutch Filmworks in a cleaner print.

11.   Sept 1999-Image Entertainment produced an R-Rated version (The
          Red DVD) as a companion to the Unrated version above. This is
          different to and less interesting than the orginal R-rated version (#5)
          but at least it's in widescreen. Metropolitan Films in France have
          recently produced an edited version of the film (The White DVD)
          described as the "Edition Prestige" which is of similiar length.

12.   Nov 1999-UK-137 Minutes. Frusterated by the lack of a decent version
           of Caligula available in the UK (See version #6 above) and convinced
           that Guccione's interference had ruined the film anyway, a team from
           Film 4 set about creating a new cut of the film. Working from the
           banned uncut print, the Film 4 tea, deleted all footage shot by Bob
           Guccione (except for a few brief Ship Orgy shots) and restored
           sequences shot by Tinto Brass which had previously been deleted by
           the British Censors. However, unlike Version #8, they made no
           attempt to re-arrange the displaced scenes. This version was called
           "The Directors Cut" even thought Tinto Brass had nothing to do with
           it! However, both Helen Mirren and Malcolm McDowell both
           expressed thier support for Film 4's work. However Bob Guccione
           was not pleased, and made some angry phone calls! This version
           had it's debut on UK TV in November 1999.

13.  April 2003-Metropolitan Films of France have released this
           deluxe issued a PAL DVD edition of the film, described as
           the "Version Integrale". This version is superior to the 1999
           and 2001 DVD's. The title graphics are improved
           and the image quality is richer and brighter than any
           other previous DVD release. This version is time
           compressed, and the Celebration Feast scene is slightly cut.
          This double DVD features lots of cool extras, and runs
          148 minutes. It is available from

Ciao!  (And a huge thanks J.E. Chaffin & Ranjit for thier help on this!)

added May 9th 2003
edited Nov 11th 2003                                  
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No complete or satisfying version of the film has yet been seen. What we've listed below are the 13 most significant versions (Primarily Italian, US, and British) in chronological order. If you want to know which versions of Caligula to get, which ones are worth a look, and which ones should be avoided at all costs, then this list is for you. J.E. Chaffin 2003