Caligula: I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man, and therefore I am . . . [softly] a god.

I shall wait for the unanimous decision of the Senate, Claudius…

Claudius: All those who say aye, say aye.

[crickets chirping]

Caligula (confidently): Aye.

[crickets still chirping]

Caligula (screaming): AYE!

Senators (fearing reprisals, in overlapping voices): Aye! Aye! Aye!…

Chaerea (sotto voce, in disgust): He’s a god now…

[Whenever someone mentions the Mormon doctrine of deification, I think of this snippet of text from the script of the 1979 movie Caligula, which was excerpted by Matthew Sweet as an intro to Ugly Truth in his 1993 album Altered Beast. I never saw the movie, but it was produced by Penthouse icon Bob Guccione, and reportedly was the only movie Roger Ebert ever actually walked out of.]


  1. Aaron B says:

    Ebert’s original review of Caligula made such an impression on me when I read it years ago, that it has stuck with me after all these years. In the final line of the review, he quotes another moviegoer, as she exits the theatre: “That was the worst piece of sh*t I’ve ever seen.”

    OK, come to think of it, I may be thinking of “I Spit on Your Grave.” Anyway, both reviews were scathing.

  2. Kevin Barney says:

    No, Aaron, you’ve got it exactly right, that was Caligula for which Ebert gave that quote.

  3. cbgrasshopper says:

    Makes me think of Borg & Crossan’s The First Paul:

  4. I remember telling my high school latin teacher ( a darling, erudite, spoke 12 languages saint of a man) that some friends and I had watched Caligula over the weekend. He smiled politely and said in a somewhat chiding voice that they must have made another version since he was sure I hadn’t seen THAT movie. I can’t even begin to imagine why I would go out of my way to convince poor Magister Humphrey’s that yes, most certainly I had been watching porn and super duper gross porn at that – I guess it was the chiding tone.
    Things weren’t the same after that.

  5. I can’t read this dialogue without hearing the “Ugly Truth Rock” guitar chords that follow immediately after. Ah, mission memories…