I am particularly amused by the transformation of Pulcheria, elder sister of the eastern emperor Theodosius II and wife of his successor Marcian. Gone is the fifty-something chaste ascetic, and in her place is a picture of Italian voluptuous sensuality (yes, I know Ludmilla Tcherina was Franco-Russian, but the whole film looks Italian, despite hardly any Italian involvement) - I doubt this Marcian will be respecting his new bride's vow of chastity.
Sign of the Pagan in an oddity for a Hollywood Roman epic. In most, the Roman empire (as opposed to the Republic) is depicted as inherently corrupt and corrupting. Even good emperors like Marcus Aurelius cannot stand against the tyrannical nature. However, there is an underlying message that the advent of Christianity will make everything right - this can be found in the voice-overs at the start of Spartacus and Quo Vadis. But Sign of the Pagan depicts a Christianized empire. Valentinian is depicted as a coward, and Theodosius selfish, but at the end Theodosius is deposed, Valentinian runs off, and Marcian marries Pulcheria and becomes ruler of a united empire. What's the message there? Here's to benevolent dictatorship?