‘Centurians of Rome’ (1981): The Behind-The-Scenes Story – Podcast 105

‘Centurians of Rome’ (1981): The Behind-The-Scenes Story – Podcast 105

As The Rialto Report heads into an Easter break, we present an all-new podcast about the making of Centurians of Rome, a story we broke a few years ago, but that has been absent from our site since then.

The film has been the subject of much speculation since the movie was first released in 1981.

– It was supposedly the most expensive gay porn film up to that point

– It was allegedly funded using the proceeds of a robbery

– It was claimed to be owned by the prestigious Lloyd’s of London insurance company

But what is the real story?

The Rialto Report has tracked down and interviewed over 30 people to find out the truth – from those connected to the making of the film, FBI, police and lawyers, as well as friends and family of the protagonists.

In this installment of The Rialto Report, the full story behind Centurians of Rome is finally told. It is the story of three men; a producer, a director, and an actor, and how their lives connected briefly in 1980/81 to make one of the golden age’s most notorious films.

We featured the written version of this story two years ago – and now here’s the podcast.

With sincere thanks to all those who contributed their memories to this article.

This podcast is 69 minutes long.


‘Centurians of Rome’ (1981)

Centurians of Rome, ScorpioGeorge Payne


Centurians of Rome, ScorpioGeorge Payne and Scorpio


Centurians of RomeScorpio tries to control an unresponsive horse



Centurians of Rome


Centurians of Rome


Centurians of Rome


Centurians of Rome


  • Posted On: 21st March 2021
  • By: Ashley West
  • Under: Podcasts


  1. Joel Higham · March 21, 2021 Reply

    This is a HUGELY welcome return to one of the great Rialto stories. Congratulations on this podcast. It is amazing.

    • April Hall · March 21, 2021 Reply

      We really appreciate it Joel!

    • Denis Vincent · June 25, 2023 Reply

      For the third time, i’ve listen to this incredibla story and i am still amazed. Not to mention the quality of the research and production of the podcast (like all the others).
      Merci from à french fan in Montréal.

  2. Jeff Robertson · March 21, 2021 Reply

    George Payne was awesome Hollywood actor x-rated film 1970s 1980s and early 1990s awesome interesting article and podcast hopefully someday then looking see find Peter North and Danni Ashe podcast episode will keep you posted as soon as possible thank you God bless y’all

    • J. Walter Puppybreath · March 26, 2021 Reply

      ‘ Danni Ashe podcast episode…’

      Why Ashe?
      She’s smoking hot, but her career has ZERO to do with the theme here…
      By her own admission, she’s not comfortable doing ‘boy/girl’ shoots. Read in to that what you will.

  3. wilberfan · March 22, 2021 Reply

    I’m only joking a little when I say that I won’t be surprised when this episode gets optioned by Hollywood to turn it into a Major Motion Picture. What an amazing story.

  4. J. Walter Puppybreath · March 23, 2021 Reply

    Doubt I could sit through the film (not in my wheelhouse), but…
    It makes me think of the many Italian ‘Conan The Barbarian’ rip-offs. I mention this because at least they sprung for horses here.
    Many of those were so low budget, the cast walked everywhere. Hysterical!

  5. George Maranville · March 24, 2021 Reply

    Any chance of getting a song listing from this episode

  6. Absurdist · March 24, 2021 Reply

    The thing that sticks out to me about the film itself is a strange detail: the filmmakers made every attempt to conceal Scorpio’s tattoo in the interest of “period authenticity.” It’s good to take a deep dive into the history here.

  7. Art Williams · March 27, 2021 Reply

    Thank you for this. Very interesting. Bosque’s story would make a great movie.

  8. Smoghat · March 29, 2021 Reply

    This is such a good episode. Thank you, Rialto Report, for the very best podcasts around.

  9. Fat-Joe · April 1, 2021 Reply

    Ashley West paints a picture worth a couple million words in this one. Amazing work.

    Do they give Peabody awards for podcasts?

  10. DenverDex82 · April 2, 2021 Reply

    This movie is basically what Caligula would have turned out like if John Waters directed it!

  11. Art Williams · April 3, 2021 Reply

    The making of the movie and all it entailed sounds like a movie itself. Fascinating and engaging. Thank you!

  12. Brad J Adkins · April 8, 2021 Reply

    amazing. fantastic work! thanks

  13. ivy mike · May 17, 2021 Reply

    A peplum porno! George Payne had such a great, expressive face. Amazing podcast.

  14. Dep1701 · October 6, 2021 Reply

    Thanks for this marvelous and entertaining podcast. George’s story actually moved me and made me feel a bit of empathy for him

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