Thursday, December 6, 2012

Super Serious PEPLUM films

A good majority of PEPLUM films have a lot of humor in them, thanks to a sidekick or the general tone of the story or direction. For instance, Pietro Francisci's films almost always have a light comical tone to them thanks to a plot-line in the story or some characters. Many fans like their PEPLUM films only if they have some humor to them while others cannot abide to the innate goofiness of many Sword & Sandal films. It's hard to please everyone. But then there are those super serious PEPLUM films which are pretty much humourless. There aren't that many of them but they do exist. A little levity goes a long way and sometimes I wished some of these films had a bit more humor in them but alas, they don't.

One of the most serious PEPLUM films, FURY OF ACHILLES, is pretty much devoid of lightweight humor. It might have ironic moments and snarky observations peppered here and there but it's pretty much a serious film. And somehow it's not worse because of it.

French production SHEHERAZADE is probably the most serious PEPLUM film ever made. It's so serious it's stifling. You'd think a film set in a harem with harem girls would be full of pep but it's not.

THE PRODIGAL, an attempt by MGM to create a serious Biblical film is pretty much devoid of any humor...or I should say intentional humor...as for unintentional humor, well, that's something else.

CARTHAGE IN FLAMES is big, splashy and positively bleak. Totally forgotten today, its bleakness actually works in its favor, making it more original than most PEPLUM films. The really depressing thing about this film is the terrible dubbing.

4 comments:

The Raqasa said...

Hi there - wasn't sure where to leave this, but thought you'd like this 1946 image of Yvonne de Carlo and Robert Stack.

http://vintagemarlene.tumblr.com/post/37342783240/yvonne-decarlo-and-beefy-robert-stack-in-1946

PEPLUM cinema said...

Thanks. Cool photo.

I don't know who's the beefy guy but that's not Robert Stack. This is how Robert looked like when he was young.

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/dailymusto/Robert%20Stackzde.jpg

Anonymous said...

I wish TCM would show "The Prodigal", instead of repeating certain films on a semi-monthly basis. I've read about "Prodigal" being a grand failure and how it virtually spelled the end of Lana's career with MGM.

Steve R. Orsulak said...

I have this on DVD and it is great in widescreen. The movie failed because Hollywood tried to make an Epic out of a simple Parable, and failed miserably.