Peter O'Toole, one of Katherine of Alexandria's stars, died before its release
Online PR News – 24-July-2014 – Elstree & Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, UK – Film lovers can savour the final performance of movie legend Peter O'Toole this summer, with the release of the new movie Katherine of Alexandria. The actor died in December 2013 at the age of 82.
In Katherine of Alexandria, Peter O'Toole plays Gallus, the Roman poet, orator and politician. He announced his retirement from acting in the summer of 2012, saying he no longer had the desire to act. "It's my belief," he said at the time, "that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one's stay. It is time for me to chuck in the sponge; to retire from films and stage. The heart for it has gone out of me: it won't come back."
Katherine of Alexandria stars Nicole Keniheart in the title role. It is the film debut for the Romanian actress. Also in the cast are Jack Goddard as Constantine the Great, Joss Ackland as Rufus, Steven Berkoff as Liberius, Dudley Sutton as Marcellus, Edward Fox as Constantius and most notably Sam Beckinsale (sister of Kate Beckinsale) as Empress and antagonist of Katherine.
Writer and Director Michael Redwood researched Katherine of Alexandria for sixteen years.. Michael worked in the 1980s on such notable films as Romancing the Stone, Aliens and Out of Africa.
"Michael's tenaciousness and determination to get this film made is prodigious," said Edward Fox of the director. "It's very difficult to raise money on what the cast would normally get as actors, but I think they thought that this was a worthwhile project and idea. That's how things should be."
Katherine of Alexandria is the first movie based on the life of the Christian saint and martyr. It tells how, as a child, she was brought up as a nomad and living in the desert. At the age of eleven, Emperor Maxentius saw her while out on patrol. He was consumed by Katherine's beauty, impudence and uncanny talent for languages, so he abducted her and killed her entire family. The slaughter was witnessed by her young friend Constantine, who later became the Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. Constantine never lost hope of finding Katherine.
As a young woman still trapped within the confines of palace walls, Katherine refused to marry Maxentius, and continually denounced his brutal enforcement of pagan religion upon the masses. Still obsessed with Katherine's beauty, Maxentius brought her before fifty of Rome's finest scholars in an open court in Alexandria, where she eloquently demolished their arguments. Years later, when he took over leadership of the Western Roman provinces, Constantine learned of Katherine's whereabouts and imprisonment at the hands of Maxentius, and he led his army from York in a desperate bid to save her.
The historical Katherine of Alexandria is venerated by the Orthodox Church as a Great Martyr, and celebrates her feast day on November 24th or 25th, depending on local tradition. In the Catholic Church, she is traditionally revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. In 1969, the Catholic Church removed her feast day from the General Roman Calendar, but she continued to be commemorated on November 25. Her feast day was restored to the General Roman Calendar as an optional memorial in 2002. There are over 1000 building in her honour as well as hundreds of iconic images and paintings.
The movie Katherine of Alexandria is being released in the United States under the title ‘Decline of an Empire’. It is due out on August 12 on DVD (plus Digital), Digital HD and Video On Demand, released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
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