Saturday, January 19, 2013

Unknown actors in PEPLUM films

One of the odd things about the PEPLUM genre is the high number of actors who have appeared in a film, had a sizeable role or even an memorable brief role and yet is almost impossible to identify. This issue seems to occur more often with male actors than females actors. In the current state of filmmaking anyone who has lines  automatically gets credited with name and all but not in the past. Many of the credits at IMDb are incomplete or filled with mistakes, making things more difficult. Another thing making it difficult to track down who played whom is the fact that a lot of these films have "actors" who have appeared only in that one film. Here's just a small sample.

This actor appears for about 30 seconds in SODOM & GOMORRAH. The camera stays on him and yet no credit.

I started a discussion on this blog about who played Mabuna in LAND OF THE PHARAOHS over 2 years ago and someone erroneously thought he discovered the identity of the actor as Bud Thompson (he based it on the French pressbook), a dancer from a troupe employed for LOTP. We saw footage of the dance troupe with the real Bud Thompson in it and he didn't look like the actor who played Mabuna. Unfortunately, even though we finally discovered that Bud Thompson was not the same person someone added the info at IMDb and Mabuna is erroneously listed as Bud Thompson. You can view another discussion here. Mabuna is very important to the film and the actor had lines. But this still doesn't resolve the issue: who played Mabuna?

In THE GIANTS OF THESSALY, this actor, who's seen throughout the film and even has pivotal scenes with dialogue, is not identified. His name in the film is Leocrates. It probably was his first and last film. THE GIANTS OF THESSALY literarily has a boat-load of unknown actors.

This actor appears during the climax in REVOLT OF THE SLAVES. He doesn't have any dialogue but his role is pivotal to the storyline and yet I have no idea who he is.

Probably as bad a case as Mabuna in LAND OF THE PHARAOHS, the identity of the actor standing next to Guy Rolfe in REVAK THE REBEL is not known even if he has a semi-major role in the film. It's a frustrating thing to see an actor on screen who's career is invisible.

Facebook friend Steven Smith wondered about this actor's identity who appears in SLAVE OF ROME. He has lines and his scene is one of the film's highlight but his identity is unknown. To make things worse, the film has a dozen actors with just this film under their belt. And that terrible wig and makeup don't help much. So it's impossible to know who he is unless one talks to someone who worked on the film.

In SON OF SPARTACUS, this actor has lines and helps Steve Reeves escape but his identity is unknown. His character is referred to as Baxus (?).


Steve R. Orsulak said...

This is quite interesting, and I always wondered who a lot of these actors were. The first actor you show from GIANTS OF THESSALY I am pretty sure that I have seen him in SWs and since I'm a collector of this genre I will take a look. It might take awhile but I'll do my best. The last actor may be a local actor since the movie was filmed in EGYPT. I'm glad that you spend the time and I know it's a lot of hard work,and without you informing us we wouldn't know whose who - THANKS.

Anonymous said...


PEPLUM cinema said...

IMDb has Ahmed listed as "Murdok - a Lybian Chief" not Baxus. I think it's Ahmed but it's not listed correctly at IMDb.

Foxman said...

I've wondered who the two blacksmiths were during the golden calf scene in The Ten Commandments. One appears to drop some hot molten "gold" and steps on it...a bit of acting or the real thing? Anyway, there are quite a few buff individuals in the movie including Joe Gold and Gordon Mitchell.

Anonymous said...

I think the unknown actor in Revak might be Alberto Lupo. At least he looks a lot like him.