Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo of the Day

Serge Nubret and Giuliano Gemma (behind Nubret) stand amongst the Titans in MY SON THE HERO (aka The Titans)

This is one of those PEPLUM films that you either think it's completely brilliant or completely daft. I've gaged the reaction of this film from everyone since I started the blog and many think this film is one of the best PEPLUM flicks evah while other think it's the most annoying and worst one evah  There's just no in-between. You either love it or hate it. And I actually get where both sides are coming from.


Behind-the-scenes photo of Greer Garson, Marlon Brando and Deborah Kerr all in costume, from JULIUS CAESAR (1953)

Was Sappho really a lesbian?

Because very little information is left of the legendary poetess speculation on the life of Sappho is sketchy at best. There's very little evidence from what's left of her poetry which hints at a 'Sapphic' sister. Just to make sure this is not a critique of lesbians. I'm pro Gay/Lesbian. This is just an observation.

From Wikipedia :

"These fragments have often been interpreted as referring to Sappho's daughter, or as confirming that Sappho had a daughter with this name. But even if a biographic reading of the verses is accepted, this is not certain."

If she had a daughter she wasn't 100% lesbian.

"Sappho's poetry centers on passion and love for various people and both sexes. The word lesbian derives from the name of the island of her birth, Lesbos, while her name is also the origin of the word sapphic; neither word was applied to female homosexuality until the 19th century. The narrators of many of her poems speak of infatuations and love (sometimes requited, sometimes not) for various females, but descriptions of physical acts between women are few and subject to debate.  Whether these poems are meant to be autobiographical is not known, although elements of other parts of Sappho's life do make appearances in her work, and it would be compatible with her style to have these intimate encounters expressed poetically, as well. Her homoerotica should be placed in the context of the 7th century (BC). The poems of Alcaeus and later Pindar record similar romantic bonds between the members of a given circle."

 The death of Adonis

Sappho, along with her circle of young girls, worshipped Adonis. A piece of Sappho's poetry shows this cult for Adonis, which includes his death (and the whole cycle of renewal). It's seems a bit odd for a lesbian to worship the god of beauty and desire in male form. But then again there are so many gods in Greek mythology that it probably wouldn't mean anything.

Sappho and Alcaeus by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

The poet Alcaeus was also reported to have been one of her lovers. He also lived on the island of Lesbos.

The first full feature film based on the Greek poetess was made in 1960 adventure film SAPPHO THE VENUS OF LESBOS directed by Pietro Francisci. Tina Louise played Sappho. In it she falls in love with a man, Phaon (played by Kerwin Mathews), who was based on the Legend of Phaon, a man Sappho purportedly fell in love with. In 1960, openly lesbian characters were rare in films so it's understandable they skirted the issue but the subtext is there, certainly with Sappho's close friendship with Actis, played by Susy Andersen.

So was Sappho a lesbian?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Photo of the Day

Anna (Gia Scala) and Robin Hood (Don Burnett) and Little John (Samson Burke) in TRIUMPH OF ROBIN HOOD

This film was made in 1962 but feels like an early 1970s films. Bodybuilder Samson Burke keeps his shirt on throughout the film and is acting is in control, not like some of his other films. Pretty good cast in this rarely seen auctioneer. Not as wacky as ROBIN HOOD AND THE PIRATES. Ah!

Location : Latomies di Salone quary (exterior)

Very popular location for PEPLUM films, from Hollywood or from Italy. I've lost count on how many films have used this quary, sometimes briefly, many times extensively. This images just the exterior of the location.

BEN-HUR (1959)




Who wore it best?

Brad Harris in GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS or Pier Maria Cecchini in BOOM?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Photo of the Day

Pier Maria Cecchini in BOOM (1999)

An Italian comedy on the PEPLUM genre. I haven't seen it so I can't say specifically what's going on here but from the information found at IMDb, it looks like the film is made of short stories and one of the short stories includes Cecchini and veteran PEPLUM star Brad Harris. The costume he's wearing is the same as Brad's in GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS

Then and Now : Alessandra Panaro

The beautiful Alessandra in TEMPLE OF THE WHITE ELEPHANT; a recent photo of Alessandra

Rome older than previously thought

It is already known as the eternal city, and if new archaeological findings prove correct Rome may turn out to be even more ancient than believed until now.

Next week, the city will celebrate its official 2,767th birthday. According to a tradition going back to classic times, the brothers Romulus and Remus founded the city on 21 April in the year 753BC.

But on Sunday it was reported that evidence of infrastructure building had been found, dating from more than 100 years earlier. The daily Il Messagero quoted Patrizia Fortini, the archaeologist responsible for the Forum, as saying that a wall constructed well before the city's traditional founding date had been unearthed.

The wall, made from blocks of volcanic tuff, appeared to have been built to channel water from an aquifer under the Capitoline hill that flows into the river Spino, a tributary of the Tiber. Around the wall, archaeologists found pieces of ceramic pottery and remains of food.

"The examination of the ceramic material was crucial, allowing us today to fix the wall chronologically between the 9th century and the beginning of the 8th century," said Fortini.




Monday, April 14, 2014

Photo of the Day

Jesus and the two men are crucified in BEN-HUR (1959)

One of the two men was played by Aldo Pini, who starred in HERCULES and HERCULES UNCHAINED prior to making this film. He played Tifi, pilot of the Argos. He's credited as 'Bad Thief on Cross' in BEN-HUR. Unfortunately we never get to see Aldo in a good shot.

Movie Poster Mondays


It's also known as SANDOK - MACISTE OF THE JUNGLE or simply as SANDOK.

Beautiful poster!


I uploaded this preview clip from ROBIN HOOD AND THE PIRATES starring Lex Barker, Edith Peters and others.

Fun clip from this wacky PEPLUM. This film makes me smile.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Photo of the Day

Pierre Cressoy in DAVID & GOLIATH

Great costume and great photo.

I have to do a compilation of best costumes, male and female, of the PEPLUM genre and this one would be in the top ten. I have to admit though that the costume looks better in black and white than in colour.

Back on Monday!

Vintage Article

Vintage article with PEPLUM stars Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield

Same crown, different films

Haya Harareet as Antinea in JOURNEY BENEATH THE DESERT (1961) and Antonella Lualdi wore it one year later in MY SON THE HERO (1962)