Friday, December 2, 2022

Image of the week!


Phillipides (Steve Reeves) saves Andromeda (Mylène Demongeot) in THE GIANT OF MARATHON (1959)

Mylène Demongeot, R.I.P.


French actress Mylène Demongeot died today at the age of 87. She starred in five major PEPLUM productions, and co-starred with Steve Reeves and Roger Moore. She was a popular actress at the time but she was not very fond of PEPLUM movies. About her PEPLUM roles, she was quoted as saying:

Never would I have agreed to appear in "Sword and Sandals" films if the Italian producers had not immediately agreed to pay me twice the fee I was usually offered. I simply did not have the moral strength to refuse such an amount of money.

Even so, she was memorable in all of them. All the PEPLUM stars are dying. So sad. R.I.P..

 

Mylène played Andromeda in THE GIANT OF MARATHON (1959) with Steve Reeves (below). This is my personal favourite of the her PEPLUM movies.



 

Mylène starred in two THREE MUSKETEERS movies with Gerard Barray (pictured). 



Mylène's next PEPLUM role was in ROMULUS AND THE SABINES (1961) starring Roger Moore. The first picture above is also from this movie.



Mylène starred in GOLD FOR THE CAESARS (1963) with Massimo Girotti (above) and Jeffrey Hunter (below). She's very good in this somewhat more serious PEPLUM movie.





LOVE IN ROME (1960). Though not a PEPLUM movie, Mylene plays an actress who stars in a PEPLUM movie along with Jacques Sernas.


List of PEPLUM films:

THE GIANT OF MARATHON (1959)

LOVE IN ROME (1960)

THE THREE MUSKETEERS PART 1 : THE QUEEN'S DIAMONDS (1961)

VENGEANCE OF THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1961)

ROMULUS AND THE SABINES (1961)

GOLD FOR THE CAESARS (1963)


 





Thursday, December 1, 2022

Musings!


Ulysses (Georges Marchal) and Hercules (Mike Lane) are captives of the Queen of the Bird People (Dominique Boschero) in ULYSSES AGAINST HERCULES (1962)

This is one of my favourite PEPLUM movie and as much as I love it, there are a couple of details which sorta irks me. First, I think Hercules wouldn't have any problems getting out of those wood manacles things. Even if Hercules wasn't capable, I believe the two men could have helped each other untying themselves. It's seems like a small detail but in PEPLUM movies, where our heroes go through Feats of Strength, this oversight seems a bit lazy. Dominique's character doesn't last long in the movie. I wish her part had been bigger. She looked great as a blonde. I wonder where she is these days. She's still alive while Marchal and Lane are both dead. The colours in this movie are a feast for the eyes.



Behind-the-Scenes


Director Pietro Francisci overlooks Steve Reeves and Sylva Koscina on the set of HERCULES (1958). This is the very last scene in the movie. Reeves' costume is cool but we don't much of it in the movie.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

HD Alert!


The date for the Kino Lorber Blu-ray release of MARCO POLO (1962) starring Rory Calhoun (below) is set for February 07, 2023. Still not available for pre-order at Amazon.com but you can pre-order it at the Kino Lorber website.
 

Hundreds of coffins and pyramid of an unknown queen unearthed at Saqqara


A newly unearthed pyramid has basically changed Egyptian history. This is quite fascinating.

A team of archaeologists in Saqqara recently discovered the pyramid of Queen Neith — who they didn't even know existed until now.

Almost exactly 100 years after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, archaeologists in Giza made another find that rewrites much of what we know about ancient Egyptian royalty. Researchers have now uncovered the existence of a queen named Neith, who had remained unknown even to the experts for millennia.




Link

Monday, November 28, 2022

Musings!


Hercules (Alan Steel) is informed by Agar (Anna Maria Polani) of some bad news in HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN (1964)

Most PEPLUM movies love big crowd scenes. You know, 'A CAST OF THOUSANDS...". But not this movie. It's oddly unpopulated. It would seem that the reign of terror from the evil Moon Men have scared the populace into hiding but still, some scenes decidedly look un-PEPLUM, such as this one. I love this colourful movie but this aspect (the only one actually) always made me go hmm.... Some will say the movie is a low budget production but there are very low budgeted PEPLUM movies and they still could afford a crowd. I think it was just to create some atmosphere but it's highly unusual for a PEPLUM movie.


PEPLUM Movie Poster


Original Italian poster of HERCULES AGAINST THE SONS OF THE SUN (1964)

Mark Forest was the star but I guess Giuliano was also big in Italy. I dunno if this is a poster for the 1969 re-release.


Friday, November 25, 2022

Image of the week!


Diana/Artemis (Tina Louise) dances on a ship in SIEGE OF SYRACUSE (1960)


MUSCLES Inc


PEPLUM star Reg Lewis on the cover of Muscle Builder magazine. Reg starred in COLOSSUS OF THE STONE AGE (1962)


Thursday, November 24, 2022

Musings!


Maciste (Kirk Morris) gets the point in COLOSSUS AND THE HEADHUNTERS (1963) 

This is a cliché of sorts. PEPLUM heroes often seem invincible but they do get hurt, like in this scene. It's either an arrow or claws from an animal. This movie uses scenes from COLOSSUS OF THE STONE AGE (1962) for the volcano / earthquake scenes. And MACISTE - AVENGER OF THE MAYANS (1965), also starring Kirk, uses big chunks of this movie and COLOSSUS OF THE STONE AGE as well. They would make an interesting triple feature. I like it. Kirk is a bit stiff in it but in this scene he's quite convincing. 



Behind-the-Scenes


Gina Lollobrigida and director Henry King on the set of SOLOMON AND SHEBA (1959). Practicing the whip for the scene below.
 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Clip of the week: CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER (1960)

Fight between Ettore Manni and Pietro Ceccarelli. 

(This scene contains two instances of accidental nudity)



Tuesday, November 22, 2022

SPFX DEPT.


Scenes from JUDAS' KISS (1954)

The production values for this movie are excellent. Cast, sets, costumes and special effects. The matte paintings here are top notch. They give the movie an high production feel rarely seen outside of Hollywood or Rome. The credit for special effects is credited to Enrique Alarcón so I'm assuming he was responsible for them. He was also responsible for set decoration.




Has Cleopatra's tomb been found?


An archeologist who has been hunting for the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony uncovered a new "geometric miracle" tunnel under the Taposiris Magna Temple (below), near Alexandria. According to many archeologist, finding the resting place of Cleopatra or the legendary couple would be the greatest discovery of the 21st century. It's too early to tell if the tunnels lead to any tombs.

"Whether or not the tombs are found, a thorough excavation of these ruins could tell us more about the mysterious ancient city. The tunnel has already yielded some treasures: pieces of pottery, and a rectangular block of limestone."


Link

Link
 

 

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor played Mark Antony and Cleopatra in the 1963 movie.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Musings!


Marilù Tolo and Mark Forest in THE MAGNIFICENT GLADIATOR (1964) 

I think there's a scene like this in all of Mark Forest's PEPLUM movies. I should do a compilation. Mark died recently but Marilù is still with us. She was 19 when she starred in this movie. Mark's character is spared from being killed by Roman soldiers because he could make a 'magnificent gladiator.' This theme is quite common in PEPLUM movies. Even though we see Mark in a couple of scenes in the arena, we only briefly see him fighting as a gladiator. The action, and there's a lot of it, takes place outside the arena. A Twin Production with MACISTE - GLADIATOR OF SPARTA.


PEPLUM Movie Poster


Italian poster of JUDAS' KISS (1954) 

This is a Spanish production. Though the original Spanish posters are good the Italian ones are beautiful.


Friday, November 18, 2022

Thank you!


 This is a thank you for all of those who donated to the blog and other PEPLUM accounts!

Image of the week!


Emiliano (Steve Reeves), the Goliath, is finally captured after causing terror and havoc across the land in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959)

Lobby Cards Set: CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA (1945)


US lobby cards set of CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA (1945) starring Vivien Leigh, Claude Rains, Stewart Granger and others. Excellent set with good choices of scenes. It looks opulent as the movie itself. Close up of the main actors' faces would have been appreciated but the set is clearly focused on the splendid of the movie itself. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Musings!


Genevieve Grad and Ettore Manni are lovers in CONQUEST OF THE NORMANS (1962) 

I like this movie. It uses a lot of battle scenes from THE LAST OF THE VIKINGS (1961) but it doesn't bother me since the movie is well made. In this scene, Grad's character is about to discover her past via flashbacks told by her father played by Philippe Hersent (not pictured). It's one of my favourite flashbacks in PEPLUM movies, with the one in HERCULES (1958) being my favourite. I think the flashback is well handled and adds a lot. Flashbacks are a hit or miss with often being a miss. But when well made they can had so much to a story. I did a Fan Dub of this movie. Also known as ATTACK OF THE NORMANS (US), INVASION OF THE NORMANS (UK) or simply THE NORMANS.


Behind-the-Scenes


Steve Reeves relaxing on the set of HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959). He's lying down in this scene for the movie.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Clip of the week: COLOSSUS OF ROME (1964)

Gordon Scott in brutal action scene (audio is slightly out of sync)



Tuesday, November 15, 2022

HD Alert!


Not a new release but there's a Japanese Blu-ray of ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (1972) starring Charlton Heston and Hildegarde Neil (below).

The info at Amazon.jp says the runtime is 2 hours and 28 minutes, or 148 minutes. From my rundown of all the different versions of this I made last year, this one sounds different. Does anyone have it? It has the English track.