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June 7, 2021




Caligula: The Mario Tursi Photos presents over 200 newly discovered photos of Dame Helen Mirren, Malcolm McDowell, and others


LOS ANGELES, June 2021 – Newly discovered behind-the-scenes photos taken on the set of Caligula, Penthouse magazine’s legendary and controversial foray into mainstream cinema, are being published by Century Guild in a limited edition coffee-table book available through June 30th on Kickstarter.


The book presents over 200 rare or previously unseen photos taken on the set of the film by legendary Italian still photographer Mario Tursi, best known for his work with Italian directors Pier Paolo Pasolini and Luchino Visconti as well as his long collaboration with Martin Scorsese on the sets of Gangs of New York and The Last Temptation of Christ.


Caligula was filmed in 1976 with twice the budget of Star Wars and featured a constellation of notable stars including Malcolm McDowell (fresh from Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange) as the mad emperor, Peter O’Toole, Sir John Gielgud, and a young Helen Mirren in her first big-budget role as Caligula’s wife, Caesonia.


Delayed by numerous lawsuits and censorship challenges, Caligula was finally released to US audiences in 1980 where the genuinely shocking film was seized multiple times by local vice squads. Forty years later, Caligula remains banned in some countries for its unflinching depictions of violence, gore, and unsimulated sex, and hailed in other quarters as one of the most groundbreaking art films in history.


Caligula: The Mario Tursi Photos will be published in three limited editions, a standard hardcover edition of approximately 2,000 copies, a slipcase edition of 200, and a special clamshell edition of only 24 copies that come with a single frame of the original camera negative shot in 1976. 

One lucky collector can own the ultimate conversation piece: one of the original cans used to sneak the camera negatives out of Italy in 1977.


Visit for more details and to preorder the book while supplies last.


About Century Guild

Century Guild is a private museum, gallery, and archive dedicated to exploring the origins of popular culture. They specialize in preserving rare Art Nouveau, Symbolist, and other turn-of-the-century artworks and presenting them to the public through limited edition art books. Est. 1999.




Media Contact:

Chandra Darling

Director of Publications


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