Meanwhile in part two, we finally get to the games at the arena, as the obligatory feeding Christians to the wild beasts keep the proceedings on track, as gladiators fight, black dwarves fight amazon women, and the wild beasts are unleashed (elephants stomping on heads, tigers, crocodiles going to munch on a tethered beauty, and then the lions ...) as we watch the audience reactions, and Nero is served by a bored naked youth. Its heady stuff.
We don't though see enough of Nero or Poppaea but instead spend too much with those early Christians, whose idea of a good time was to sit on rocks, sing tuneless songs, listen to sermons, and go meekly to their doom. This all looks like an early version of QUO VADIS with the ending of THE ROBE thrown in as well. It finished with Marcus and dull Elissa (even Deborah Kerr do could nothing with the similar role in QUO VADIS) walking up to the arena and those slavering beasts - just like Burton and Simmons did 20 years later - as he decides to join her ... surely the sensibile thing would be for her to marry him and pretend so they could get away .... it might have made for a more satisfying climax if Cecil ended with Poppaea's reaction to seeing her lover with his beloved in the arena ?