A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the forum was based on the Broadway musical of the same name. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a hilarious script by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, this 1966 movie, directed by Richard Lester lampoons the traditional Roman epic while at the same time making commentary on American society.
Starring Zero Mostel and Jack Gilford, reprising their respective stage roles, the movie was filmed in Madrid, Spain. It tells the story of Pseudolus, a Roman slave who, through a series of complicated schemes, hopes to win his freedom by winning his master Hero the girl he's in love with, the young Philia. Complicating matters are Marcus Lycus, who owns Philia, and the great Miles Gloriosus, who hopes to marry the girl himself.
Loved this film, and I am not a lover of the musical genre. Probably one of my favorite musicals because of the comedy of Zero Mostell which is superb. What a shame he was blacklisted, I would have liked him to do more work.
The most prevalent theme of Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is freedom. This is made evident in numerous metatheatrical devices. It begins with casting. Most of the major players in the film are members of marginalized groups in America; British character actors, Jews, liberals, and the obsolete silent film star. Freedom is demonstrated in the employment of blacklisted actors Zero … more