Friday, December 12, 2014

By the Gods!

Pier Angeli and Rossana Podestà in SODOM & GOMORRAH

Probably my least favourite PEPLUM films from Europe. There's basically no story to this film. The film appears unrealistic because all the women are young and beautiful (see above). There's nothing wrong with some eye candy but because there are almost no old women in it the film ends up looking like a dream casting call for director Robert Aldrich a la Howard Hughes 'producing' the silly SON OF SINBAD with his harem of babes. The impressive male cast, which includes genre faves Rik Battaglia, Gabriele Tinti and Anthony Steffen, amongst others, all look-alike which made the viewing unnecessarily confusing. Only Giacomo Rossi Stuart stands out from the pack because he has blond hair!

And speaking of confusing, the actors' accents were all over the place: British, American, Italians speaking English, French speaking English, dubbed American voices. The Tower of Babel would have been jealous. Rossana Podestà's voice is dubbed by an American actress and she plays Stewart Granger's daughter. They could have at least hired a British actress for the dubbing to go along with Stewart's Brit accent. Oh well... But in the end, the film was not lascivious enough to live up to its title, which didn't please those who wanted debauched action, and it was too tawdry for the Christian folks at the time (maybe even today). A film that seemingly pleased no one, including me. Composer Miklós Rózsa disliked the film as well. There are some good things in it, including Anouk Aimée, who clearly knew the weakness of the film and camp it up for fun and there's a fabulous cast of Italian actors (see link). Sergio Leone was unofficially credited as one of its many co-directors but today he's officially listed. 


8 comments:

Michael O'Sullivan said...

Yes it is a curious hodge-podge, but at least we get to see Scilla Gabel at her most luscious, AND Rosanna (Helen of Troy) Podesta plus the novelty double-act of wicked brother and sister Stanley Baker and Anouk Aimee, slinky as ever as the lesbian queen with her penchant for dancing slave girls. And the ending is a hoot with Pier turned into that pillar of salt while it looks like an atomic bomb hits Sodom ...

PEPLUM Cinema said...

I agree with all you wrote. There's a more camp aspect to this film than THE PRODIGAL which makes it somewhat 'entertaining' but it's still a chore to sit through.

orsh549 said...

I have never had any qualms about this movie because I thought it was good entertainment and I didn't take the movie seriously. If you read the BIBLE the movie is a far cry from it.

Richard Svensson said...

This is one film that simply would not work. Although I do think the destruction of the city falling apart still looks pretty good. Am I imagining this, or was the same footage used for the end of "Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon" or some other peplum?

PEPLUM Cinema said...

Richard, yes it's the same footage.

scott ochiltree said...

The photo may be mis-captioned. I have found the identical photo on the Internet and it says it is a shot from the movie "Helen of Troy."

Pier Angeli's coarse dress would indicate a slave girl, so this may be correct.

PEPLUM Cinema said...

Scott, Pier is not in HELEN OF TROY.

Pier plays a slave in SODOM: she's traded by the Queen (Anouk Aimee) for a horse from Lot (Stewart Granger). Rossana plays Stewart's daughter.

The other site is incorrect.

scott ochiltree said...

Thanks very much for confirming that your photo caption is correct, and that the caption on the web for the same photo is incorrect.