Tuesday, September 21, 2021

SPFX DEPT.


The Minoton slides a stone out from of a pyramid in SINBAD & THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977)

Along with the skeletons and Talos in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, the Hindu statue in THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973), the Medusa in CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981), the Minoton was one of Ray Harryhausen's greatest animated creations. The cool thing about the Minoton is that he's seen throughout the movie. He's not in one scene and that's it. The Minoton was also seen in pratical effects, with a man geared in a full size golden costume but for most of the time, the tall living satue is seen in Dynamation. 
 

Then & Now: Harold Bradley


Harold in COLOSSUS OF THE ARENA (1962); a recent photo of the actor/musician

Monday, September 20, 2021

By the Gods!


David Farrar and Ann Blyth, as Princess Shalimar, in THE GOLDEN HORDE (1951) 

A short movie, at 77 minutes. Even so, it's entertaining and the score is robust and memorable. I like this movie even though it had obvious limitations in regards to its budget. The dialogue is lively but sorta repetitive. How many times did they say Samarkand? I feel like I'm the only one who likes it or remembers it.



PEPLUM Movie Poster


Original Italian poster of HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS (1963) 

Good art. Good renditions.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Image of the week!


Mark Forest as Goliath (Hercules in the original) from GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON (1960)

Behind-the-Scenes


Steve Reeves and Sylvia Lopez at some soirée for HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959).



Thursday, September 16, 2021

By the Gods!


Ulysses (John Drew Barrymore) tells Aeneas (Steve Reeves) the instructions to the challenge in THE TROJAN HORSE (1961)

I always wonder how Steve was when a fellow actor was from the US and spoke English. Steve was often surrounded by cast and crew that didn't speak English and since he didn't speak Italian, he was pressumably often alone on the set, aside from th translator and such folks. Did Steve and John hung out during and after work? Barrymore was definitely a different type than the health conscious Reeves.


Lobby Cards Set: CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER (1960)



Original US lobby cards set for CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER starring Debra Paget and Ettore Manni.  This set is very good. Since this is more of a drama than action epic, scenes will sorta look like this. Aside from the repetitious scenes with characters leaning down or on the floor, the set really captures the entertaining aspects of this gem.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Clip of the week: SALAMMBO (1960)


Jeanne Valerie and Edmund Purdom. From a Fan Dub I created.





Tuesday, September 14, 2021

HD Alert!


Mario Petri and Sean Flynn in a sword fight from THE SIGN OF ZORRO (1963)

Great sword fight filmed at the Monte Gelato waterfalls. As you can see in the top right corner, it says ACTION HD. This movie was shown in France in HD though the movie file itself is not in full HD. The image is also way too dark (a re-occurring issue with these HD transfers). If someone out there has the actual HD resolution with a less dark image, please let me know. 

Musings!

Searching far and wide for all things PEPLUM! Luciano Marin and Steve Reeves in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959)


Notes on MUSINGS! and the blog

The last time I posted Musings!, it was the end of July. I posted stuff every week for several months. I love doing this. Now that I'm back after August's postings, there'll be some changes. Musings! will be posted every other week. And will be posted on Fridays instead of Tuesdays.

As I tested different posts during August, I decided that all the changes will stay. Meaning, on Fridays I'll post an 'Image of the week' to end the week, and the additional new posts of 'HD Alert' and 'SPFX DEPT.' will stay. I'll be tweaking stuff here and there, in a way to make the blog more cohesive.

The blog's stats have maintained at around 1500 views a day. Except for today, which is now over 3000 views. Again, because of the blog's limitations, I don't know where these visitors are coming from.


 


CINEMATIC CONFUSION!

In the Musings! of July 20th, I wrote about the trend of adding a second director, usually an Italian one, to the credits of a movie ade in Italy. This included Sergio Leone added to SODOM & GOMORRAH, a movie directed by Robert Aldrich. You can read or re-read what I wrote two months ago. Well, one of the directors often added as 'co-director' is Mario Bava. Fans of Mario have try to give him more credit than anything else. One movie which is a great example is ESTHER AND THE KING (1960). Directed by Raoul Walsh, a great Hollywood director in his own right, the production was moved from Hollywood to Italy because of a writers strike. If one looks at the Italian poster for ESTHER, Raoul Walsh is credited as "A FILM BY RAOUL WALSH" and then "DIRECTED BY MARIO BAVA." See poster below.

 

So, it's no wonder some of the confusion has occurred on some of these titles. Saying that this was a Raoul Walsh movie but crediting someone else for the direction is, well, confusing. But I believe Bava's name was added to the poster just for marketing purposes. For instance, only Walsh is credited on the French or Spanish posters. No one knew who Bava was in 1960. Putting Bava's name (who was emerging, not established yet) was a way to sell it as an Italian production. At IMDb, Bava is credited for the movie as director for the Italian version. But the Italian version and the US version are the same. More confusion.


STEVE REEVES PIRATE DVD PACK


This Spanish DVD pack is interesting. It has 3 of Steve Reeves' Pirate movies, which includes MORGAN THE PIRATE (1960), SANDOKAN THE GREAT (1963), and SANDOKAN - PIRATE OF MALAYSIA (1964). The pack was re-packaged with a new slipcover. I wonder if it's worth buying. Of course, no English tracks. 


BEN-HUR BOARD GAME 


A Spanish edition is currently on sale on eBay right now. See BY THE GODS!


THAT STATUE FROM THE PRODIGAL...


The last sighting of the statue, from 2020. It's still in someone's yard.

---------------

The so-called 4K prints of HERCULES (1958) and HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959), which surfaced on Youtube recently, barely got any views. Youtube is most likely shadowbanning the channels carrying them.

Speaking of those classic movies, from a friend in Europe, word is that the ARTUS FILMS HD editions of HERCULES and HERCULES UNCHAINED won't happen.

Are these movies cursed?

---------------


Future Musings:

- List of best costumes, for women and for men

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?





Monday, September 13, 2021

By the Gods!


Commodus (Alan Steel) shows his fighting abilities in URSUS - THE REBEL GLADIATOR (1962)

I like this film. A good combination of Muscle PEPLUM and Drama PEPLUM. In real life, Commodus was a fighter and fought in the arena in gladiatorial combats. He was quite the Emperor. Commodus was played by Christopher Plummer in THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (1964), and by Joaquin Phoenix in GLADIATOR (2000). They weren't as brawny as Alan Steel though, who, like the other actors, also gave a good performance.

PEPLUM Movie Posters


German poster of THE TRIUMPH OF HERCULES (1964)

The title translates as THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD. Simple but eye-catching artwork of Dan Vadis.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Image of the week!


Hercules (Steve Reeves) fights with Antaeus (Primo Carnera) in HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959)


At the movies...


Crowded event for CLEOPATRA (1963) at the Pantages in Hollywood, California

 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

By the Gods!


Cameron Mitchell and Edmund Purdom, as King Sveno, in THE LAST OF THE VIKINGS (1961)

Usually, Edmund was subdued and quiet to the point of giving the impression that he's not acting but that's not the case here in this movie. He acted his heart out. Some might say it's overacting, which is not inaccurate, but even so I like it. In contrast, Mitchell, who often overacted in his roles, is restrained. Scenes from this movie were copied in the GAME OF THRONES TV series. 


Behind-the-Scenes


Chelo Alonso posed for a photo in costume from GOLIATH & THE BARBARIANS (1959)

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

SPFX DEPT.


Scenes from THE LONG SHIPS (1964)

Excellent matte paintings by Ivor Beddoes. They're almost seamless. The movie also boasts practical effects or model work of the ships, of course. The list for the SPFX crew is long. 




 

Then & Now: Gary Raymond


Gary in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963); a recent photo of the actor

Monday, September 6, 2021

By the Gods!


Nancy Kovack, as Medea, in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963)

Dance / ritual scene from the classic movie. Nancy appears one hour into the movie, rescued from a raft drifting on the sea. Her presence added so much to the movie. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster


French poster oF HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959) 

Great poster! 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Image of the week!


Phaon (Kerwin Mathews) and Sappho (Tina Louise) embrace at the very end of THE WARRIOR EMPRESS (1961; aka Sappho - The Venus of Lesbos)

Behind-the-Scenes


Gordon Mitchell and Bella Cortez take a photo together on the set of THE GIANT OF METROPOLIS (1961). Below: a screenshot of the scene in the movie.


BY THE GODS!: THE MAGNIFICENT GLADIATOR Artus Films DVD…



Thursday, September 2, 2021

By the Gods!


Paul Wynter, Dante DiPaolo and Aldo Bufi Landi in ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1961)

The characters played by Paul Wynter and Dante DiPaolo were villains while Aldo is a good guy trying to keep a low profile. They are watching Atlas going through a 'Feat of Strength' (Gordon Mitchell as Atlas/ Maciste). I always like these scenes. Dante had fun playing the baddie, with Wynter as his bruiser. DiPaolo was married to Rosemary Clooney and therefore was related to George Clooney. Wynter won two Mr. Universe contests. This movie needs an  HD upgrade.