Caligula: The Ultimate Cut

Absolute power corrupts

Shadowed by the torment of the murder of his entire family, the young, wary Caligula (Malcolm McDowell) eliminates his devious adoptive grandfather Tiberius (Peter O’Toole) and seizes control of the declining Roman Empire as it descends into a spiral of depravity, destruction and madness.

A treatise on the corrupting influence of power, this extensive reconstruction of the notorious 1980 spectacle, CALIGULA: THE ULTIMATE CUT restores the complete performances of McDowell and iconic British actress Helen Mirren, as the promiscuous ‘Caesonia’, from an unprecedented amount of never before seen footage. This restoration is based on the original narrative as conceived by writer Gore Vidal, and had its world premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. With John Gielgud, Teresa Ann Savoy.

Showcasing the sumptuous costume designs of two-time Oscar winner Danilo Donati (Federico Fellini’s CASSANOVA, ROMEO & JULIET), CALIGULA: THE ULTIMATE CUT features an entirely new score by Troy Sterling Nies as well as a new animated title sequence by graphic artist Dave McKean (Arkham Asylum, The Sandman).

“This really feels like the film that was originally promised by Bob Guccione back in the late 70’s, when he referred to it as a “package of excellence”. Caligula is the transgressive erotic masterpiece it always could have been.” (Cinapse)

“A surprisingly spellbinding reimagining of one of cinema’s most infamous disasters, “Caligula – The Ultimate Cut” is a stunning achievement.” (Morbidly Beautiful)

“Archivist Thomas Negovan has done the impossible. Using 96 hours of footage shot by Tinto Brass, Negovan reconstructed ‘Caligula’ into a historical epic about the titular power-crazed and debaucherous emperor who helped usher in the downfall of Rome. Importantly, this version of the film is still incredibly horny. Nudity abounds and there are plenty of orgy scenes, they just aren’t the sole focus of this version. Plus, this new cut of ‘Caligula’ lets audiences rediscover the award-worthy performances by McDowell as Caligula and Mirren as his wife Caesonia.” (Dread Central)

Friday, August 16
Doors 7:15 pm | Movie 7:45 pm *Start time subject to change. Please arrive on time.
Advance tickets HERE

Sunday, August 18
Doors 8:00 pm | Movie 8:30 pm *Start time subject to change. Please arrive on time.
Advance tickets HERE


CALIGULA: THE ULTIMATE CUT (Tinto Brass, 2023 / 179 / NR) Shadowed by the murder of his family, Caligula eliminates his devious adoptive grandfather and seizes control of the Roman Empire alongside his wife Caesonia before descending into a spiral of depravity, destruction, and madness.


*Must be 18+ for entry. Must be 19+ w/ID for bar service.
*Rio Theatre Groupons and passes OK. Please redeem at the door.
*We recommend purchasing your tickets in advance at www.riotheatretickets.ca. If a screening or live event is not sold out, the remaining tickets will be available for in-person purchase at the Rio Theatre’s Box Office prior to showtime (subject to availability).
*Our box office is typically open 30 minutes before showtime. All seating is General Admission; please arrive 20-30 minutes prior to showtime to ensure great seats, and time for treats at concession.
*If you are looking to redeem either a Rio Theatre gift certificate or Groupon to any regular Rio Theatre screening: You can either email us in advance <[email protected]> and give us a “heads up,” or do it at the box office prior to showtime. 

*All Rio Theatre tickets are final sale.

Caligula: The Ultimate Cut (2023) reimagines the controversial 1979 film with a focus on historical accuracy and narrative coherence, stripping away much of the original's graphic content to highlight the dramatic essence of Rome's infamous emperor. This version, featuring enhanced digital restoration and a nuanced portrayal by Malcolm McDowell, emphasizes psychological depth and historical context over explicit scenes, making it more accessible while preserving the grandeur of the original's sets and costumes. The Ultimate Cut offers a refined, definitive interpretation of Tinto Brass's ambitious vision, balancing the spectacle of Imperial Rome with the dark personal saga of Caligula.

About The Rio

Voted the #1 Independent Theatre in Vancouver, the Rio Theatre is a multimedia venue featuring arthouse, mainstream and cult-classic cinemas as well as live entertainment. Built in 1938, the Rio has been fully restored with a state of the art digital projector, surround sound, a huge stage and 420 luxurious seats.

1660 East Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Phone: 604.879.3456

Info Line: 604.878.3456

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