Friday, January 15, 2021

By the Gods!

Pino Mattei, Susan Paget and Brad Harris in 79 AD: THE DESTRUCTION OF HERCULANEUM (1962)

One of the oddest things about this very good movie is the casting. This was Susan Paget's first movie, and she only made two movies and yet she's billed above everyone else, including Brad Harris. This odd casting hierarchy includes original movies posters. And yet very little is known about her. She's a complete mystery. Her name was most likely a pseudonym, not her real name, making it more difficult to figure out who she is (did she have other titles under her real name?). What's even more odd is that her role in this movie is not even a major one. It's a supporting role. 

Behind-the-Scenes

Sal Mineo visits the set of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) with Yul Brynner greeting him.
 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

By the Gods!

Tony Russel and Luciana Gilli in SWORD OF DAMASCUS (1964)

I like this movie. It's sorta obscure, even in the PEPLUM genre. It's basically a comedy but it turns bloody at the end. I like it but the tone is difficult to describe. The politically incorrect stuff throughout won't help it get more known. This screengrab is not from an HD source but the last DVD release of it across the pond (not from SNC in France). The image is very nice. Released as THE THIEF OF DAMASCUS in the UK.

 

Lobby Cards Set: THE GOLDEN BLADE (1953)


Original US lobby cards set of THE GOLDEN BLADE (1953) starring Rock Hudson and Piper Laurie. Good set if a bit repetitive.  This is a fun, action pack little movie but there are just too many action scenes with Rock. Only two cards with Piper. Not even one card with Rock and Piper alone together. It could have used a couple of different scenes but good, colourful set nonetheless. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Clip of the week: THE LION OF ST. MARK

Sword action with Gordon Scott and Gianna Maria Canale! 


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

By the Gods!

Zbyszko of Bogdaniec (Mieczyslaw Kalenik) is about to be executed in BLACK CROSS (1960; aka Knights of the Teutonic Order)

A lavish Polish movie with knights, damsels in distress and the usual stuff. It's quite elaborate and looks good even if some of the costumes are simplistic. Like a combination of THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS (1958) and WHOM THE GODS WISH TO DESTROY (1966). There are clips on Youtube. Like many PEPLUM movies at the time, it was shot in Eastmancolor and Dyaliscope!



Identify the movie!


Can you identify the title of this movie from this screengrab?

No one got it. The torture scene is from LEGIONS OF THE NILE (1959)

Monday, January 11, 2021

By the Gods!

A fiery duel in ATLANTIS - THE LOST CONTINENT (1961)

This is probably the most PEPLUM movie scene made outside of Italy. In fact, the entire movie is the most PEPLUM Hollywood movie ever but this scene in particular stands out. The lead actor, Sal Ponti (below), even has a PEPLUM movie star name. Ponti mainly acted in TV productions so I'm not familiar with his career aside from this George Pal production. Robert Maffei plays 'Andex the Giant'.
 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Italian poster of TIBERIUS (1960)

Great poster. The woman looks like Moira Orfei who's not in this movie.


PINTEREST resurrected



Years ago, PEPLUM TV had a Pinterest account. I stopped uploading to it years ago but never closed it. Well, I'm resurrecting the account since it's extremely popular, even if I haven't uploaded anything to in 3 years. I've uploaded a couple of images and will be maintaining it regularly. There's TONS of stuff there. Check it out.


Friday, January 8, 2021

By the Gods!

Kirk Morris and cast in the ending to HERCULES, SAMSON & ULYSSES (1963; 1965 in the US)

Great ending to the movie but also sad ending to the PEPLUM genre as by the time this movie was released in the US, the genre was just about dead. Directed by Pietro Francisci, who directed the original HERCULES (1958), this is a swan song of sorts to his career, the PEPLUM genre and the PEPLUM explosion his movie created. 

At the movies...


The Empire theatre in London showing BEN-HUR (1959). Great display.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

By the Gods!

Marc Singer and Tanya Roberts in THE BEASTMASTER (1982)

Tanya died on January 4 at the age of 65. Initially, her death was reported prematurely but eventually she died of complications from a UTI. The beautiful actress is mainly known for being a James Bond girl in A VIEW TO A KILL (1985), SHEENA (1984), and the CHARLIE'S ANGELS TV series. Aside from BEASTMASTER, she also appeared in HEARTS AND ARMOUR (1983), an Italian production. R.I.P., Tanya!


Behind-the-Scenes

Rory Calhoun and Lea Massari listen to Sergio Leone during the filming of THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES (1961)

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

By the Gods!

A harrowing scene from THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO (1938)

One of my favourite matte paintings is from this movie. The shot above. It's quite effective. The movie has a plethora of stunning matte paintings throughout. The identity of the artist, or artists, is not known.


Marco Polo (Gary Cooper) and Ahmed (Basil Rathbone) save the annoying sidekick Binguccio (Ernest Truex) from a deadly fall. Simple but memorable scene.

Different Titles: THE TWO GLADIATORS

Today, it's THE TWO GLADIATORS (1964), or simply TWO GLADIATORS, starring Richard Harrison, Giuliano Gemma, Mimmo Palmara, Moira Orfei and others. A solid PEPLUM with a good cast and a believable script. For the most part, no major variations of titles here. Gladiators is featured in every title around the world.

The original Italian title. A simple title but since the movie s memorable, it's not to be confused with other 'gladiator' movies.


The English title is the direct translation of the Italian one


The German title is simple enough: TITAN OF GLADIATORS


French title translates as THE FURY OF THE GLADIATORS


Richard Harrison in action!

Monday, January 4, 2021

By the Gods!

Peter Lupus plays Spartacus in CHALLENGE OF THE GLADIATOR (1965)

One of my Holy Grails of my Ultimate Most Wanted List has been fulfilled: a widescreen copy of CHALLENGE OF THE GLADIATOR in HD no less. For years, this movie was only available in two copies: one 4:3 aspect ratio from a TV broadcast on a now defunct Canadian TV channel called Drive-In Classics. Or a 4:3 aspect ratio of an Italian Broadcast. I made a complete comparison of those two copies here at the blog. You can view it at this link.

Directed by Domenico Paolella, who also directed HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS (1963) and HERCULES AGAINST THE BARBARIANS (1964), this movie is as entertaining as those two classic PEPs. Peter Lupus is in 'pectacular' shape and the great thing about him is that he looks Mediterranean. 

Since the image is in widescreen and not cropped we finally see all the action and actors. In this scene, 3 of the gladiators are actors from THE TEN GLADIATORS series. I uploaded a clip of this gladiator fight at the PEPLUM TV Youtube channel. Check it out.

From right to left: Jeff Cameron, Romano Giomini, (unknown actor), Lupus, Walter Barnes and next to him is Salvatore Borgese. Cameron, Giomini and Borgese are from the TEN GLADIATORS series. Nice to finally see the movie uncropped. Cameron and Borgese are credited at IMDb but not Giomini (which is often the case for this actor). 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Italian poster for REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS (1964)

What a great poster! One of the best yet.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

By the Gods!

Jean Marais, as Pilate, in a spectacular scene from PONTIUS PILATE (1962)

Does anyone like this movie? Personally, I like it but I don't love it. I *love* looking it but I don't like watching it, if that makes any sense. The production is excellent: beautiful photography, sets, costumes, settings, cast, all A+. Visually, it's PEPLUM porn. Unfortunately, the screenplay is a C-. Such a beautiful looking movie saddled with a disappointing script (from 7 writers). At one point, there's an 'arena' scene with men in boats trying to stay afloat while battling crocodiles in a quarry filled with water. Pontius watches on. It's supposed to be spectacular but it's more awkward than anything else. The scene lasts about two minutes but the setting up of the set and cast must have cost a lot. Jean Marais as Pilate was perfect casting. There's so much going for it. One could view this simply as a PEPLUM version of Pontius Pilate but it's not satisfying enough on that level (it's more drama than action). Scenes of the construction of the aqueduct were re-used in other PEPLUM movies.

Then & Now: Ida Galli

Ida in WAR OF THE ZOMBIES (1964; aka Rome against Rome); a recent photo of the actress