Tuesday, July 5, 2022

SPFX DEPT.


The Cyclop from THE GIANTS OF THESSALY (1960)

Special effects by Carlo Rambaldi. The cyclop in this movie is pretty good and terryfying. It's a man in a costume with an animatronic head. The eye and mouth are moving, not stiff (below). Carlo would later work on  KING KONG (1976) and ET - THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL (1982).





Then & Now: Howard Ross


Howard as Maciste in SAMSON AND THE MIGHTY CHALLENGE (1964); Howard from an interview made last year.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Musings!


Spartacus (Massimo Girotti) has a love/hate relationship with Sabina (Gianna Maria Canale) in SPARTACUS - SINS OF ROME (1953)

Many scenes were cut in the US version but this one, a sorta daring one for its time, remained. Unlike the Kubrick version, this Spartacus had to deal with being the love interest of Sabina,the spoiled daughter of a powerful Roman ruler. He's forced to be with her, against his will but we can see that as much as he hates it he also doesn't mind living a 'normal' life. This conflict in him makes him more interesting. IMO, the story of Spartacus needed this conflict. He rebelled against Rome even though he wouldn't mind living a good life. Spartacus' love/hate relationship with Sabina is extreme. It makes the movie more dramatic. 

The hair styles of actresses in movies set in the past often conflict with the setting. They are almost always anachronistic. Not in this movie. Gianna's *big* hair was the total opposite of the conservative 1950s. This is one aspect that makes the movie look modern even today.

PEPLUM Movie Poster


German poster of THE SON OF SPARTACUS (1962; aka The Slave)

Simple and yet effective. The poster does Steve Reeves justice.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Image of the week!


 Sinuhe (Edmund Purdom) is enchanted by Nefer (Bella Darvi) in THE EGYPTIAN (1954)

PEPLUM Books


HOLLYWOOD GARAGE by Lilan Purdom

This review will be short. The daughter of PEPLUM star Edmund Purdom decided to write a book on her famous, or infamous, father. The book is awkward and confusing. She knows very little of the PEPLUM genre or what her father worked on (in theatre or movies) and her approach is a mix of disdain, embarrassment and curiosity. Yes, it's a strange mix. I didn't like the book because her lack of information on her father's career, handed down by her mother, who, albeit was abandoned by Purdom after the actor had a decade long 'secret' affair with Linda Christian, also a star of PEPLUM movies. Their relationship began in the kookie MGM musical ATHENA (1954), which also starred future PEPLUM superstar Steve Reeves. Edmund's relationship with Linda Christian is fascinating. Such a strange one. There's an interview with Linda on Youtube which is more detailed than this book. I like Edmund as an actor. His career was strange as well. He almost became a superstar but a series of scandals made him persona non grata in Hollywood so Edmund moved to Rome, and PEPLUM movies, for the rest of his life. Most people don't remember him today. Only movie fans like me. I did learn a couple of things that were unknown to me (Lana Turner hated working with him...) but this book is a fairly sad affair.

Posted at the permanent PEPLUM Books page

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Musings!


Paulette Goddard is Jezebel in SINS OF JEZEBEL (1953)

One of the stories from the bible which, imo, should have a big budget treatment. This movie had a low budget and doesn't do the quasi-epic story of Jezebel vs Elijah justice. George Nader (not pictured) plays Jehu and the romance aspects of the story is pure fiction, which is fine, but it hardly reflects what's in the bible. Finding a decent copy of this or even publicity stills are hard to get.

Behind-the-Scenes


Cecil B. DeMille shows Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr how to do a scene on the set of SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949)

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

HD Alert!


Victor Mature is HANNIBAL (1959)

It seems an English HD copy of HANNIBAL has been available on Amazon.com and someone made a webrip of it and has been available from certain download sites. Will this be the next Kino Lorber Blu-ray release? There's a Japanese Blu-ray and it's most likely the same print Amazon has for the Prime customers.


Vintage Article


German article on Steve Reeves. It includes an interview with Steve. 'The immortal Steve Reeves.'




Monday, June 27, 2022

Musings!


Giulio Brogi as Aeneas in AENEID (1971) 

An Italian TV mini-series directed by Franco Rossi, who also directed the epic TV mini-series THE ODYSSEY (1968). Aeneas is legendary in Italian culture so a mini-series on him was an obvious choice but the famous survivor of Troy is not as famous elsewhere in the world. Like THE ODYSSEY, this mini-series is very elaborate and epic but a decidedly more late 1960s - early 1970s psychedelic style. The only familiar PEPLUM face in it, well at least to me, is Marilù Tolo. The number of episode varies: IMDB says 6 but lists 7. I have the series in French, which has 6 episodes while the German one has 4 episodes. Franco also directed other mini-series, including QUO VADIS? (1985) and A CHILD NAMED JESUS (1990).


PEPLUM Movie Posters


Original Italian poster of WAR GODS OF BABYLON (1962)

Great poster. Excellent portrait of Howard Duff. The Italian title translates as THE SEVEN LIGHTNINGS OF ASSUR. 


Friday, June 24, 2022

Image of the week!


Nippur (Gordon Scott) battles evil ruler Balthazar (Piero lulli) to the death in HERO OF BABYLON (1963)

VHS covers


Greek VHS cover of THE REVOLT OF THE PRAETORIANS (1964) starring Richard Harrison and Giuliano Gemma. From Google translate, the title translates as THE LAST ARE THE SLAVES. 

  

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Musings!


 Rossana Podesta and Mario Petri are 'barbarian Gauls' in SLAVE OF ROME (1961)

This is one of those movies which, this scene aside, was shot almost entirely outdoors. I like it. It's very entertaining and it's original. Opera singer Petri plays the bad guy pretty well and he's quite impressive. Podesta becomes the 'slave of rome.' Where's the high definition print of this? 


Behind-the-Scenes


A casually dressed Charlton Heston presumably gives Yul Brynner a good luck handshake on the set of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956)

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Clip of the week: ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1961)

Maciste (Gordon Mitchell) shows his prowess by saving Queen Capys (Chelo Alonso) in ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1961)

 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

SPFX DEPT.


Opening sequence from THE LAST LEGION (2007)

A sort of homage to THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES (1961). The first starts with this scene after the introductory narration and opening credits. It's CGI, of course. The movie itself is not a CGI filled one, like so many out there. How does it compare to special effects made with actual models or practical effects?








Then & Now: Patrick Wayne


Patrick in SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977); a recent photo of Mr. Wayne.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Musings!


Riad (Elio Jotta) has placed Maciste (Reg Park) in some golden cage for a 'feat of strength' challenge in MACISTE IN KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1964)

I always wonder: did this golden cage exist before or as it built specifically for this attempt to torture him to death? It seems quite elaborate for something they would use that one time. So, if it was already built how did they use it on normal men? Unlike Maciste, an ordinary man wouldn't last 2 seconds in this feat of strength.

PEPLUM Movie Poster


UK quad of GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS (1961)

One of many rare English posters of Italian PEPLUM movies released in the UK. Where are these prints? I doubt the opening credits were in Italian so were are the old UK prints of these movies? Same thing could be said with US releases. I've never seen a movie memorabilia of this title from the US and yet it was apparently released to theatres. Another example of how neglected this genre is.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Image of the week!


Phillipides (Steve Reeves) and Andromeda (Mylène Demongeot) hold on to each other after a big battle in THE GIANT OF MARATHON (1959)

Lobby Cards Set: THE SILVER CHALICE (1954)


Italian lobby cards set (photobusta) of THE SILVER CHALICE (1954), called Il Calice D'Argento, starring Paul Newman, Jack Palance, Virginia Mayo and more. This shows that Italian lobby cards can be as bad as those from the US. The garish colours do not do the movie justice. Nice selection of photos. They're almost identical to the selection of scenes for the US lobby cards set.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Musings!


Pietro Torrisi in THE THRONE OF FIRE (1983)

The gong Pietro is standing next to probably appeared in more PEPLUM movies than any other prop, aside from the cauldron one. It was used for over twenty years, as early as HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961). Always try to spot it when it makes an appearance.