I uploaded THE BACCHANTES this past Monday and the soundtrack for that wonderful film was by Mario Nascimbene, who was a veteran of the PEPLUM genre when he scored the music for the Giorgio Ferroni film on Dionysus. Here are a couple of his other PEPLUM scores.
Errol Flynn and Gina Lollobrigida in CROSSED SWORDS (1954)
Cinematography by the brilliant Jack Cardiff. Unfortunately the film is only available in a murky, scratched, noisy copy. Flynn, as this photo shows, looks bored and tired. Gina is practically unrecognizable in more ways than one: though she spoke English her familiar voice has been dubbed over by a very common sounding voice actress. Not bad but not remarkable by any means. This is a type of film they'll never make today because even though the costumes are great the male characters all wear tights.
From THE GIANT OF MARATHON, a common technical goof of sorts seen in many PEPLUM films: visible shadows on studio walls/back-drops. Now this is sorta surprising for this film which had a higher than usual budget but then they probably thought no one would notice with Steve Reeves in the shot. Ah!
April 18 was the 100th anniversary of the release of CABIRIA, not only considered a great film in by itself but also it's the granddaddy of the PEPLUM genre, a film which set the template for the genre in regards to themes, ideas, structure and even characters, including the film to introduce the legendary character Maciste, played by Bartolomeo Pagano.
A new version of the film with additional scenes will be viewed on June 17, 2014.
The following was translated by Google:
Cabiria will have a new first
for its one hundred years
On June 17, in the same cinema of April 18, 1914
Happen on the 17th of June, instead of April 18 as it should be. But it will be an event for the first time Cabiria will be shown exactly as in the day of his first appearance. Same scene, same music, same venue, then called Rai quell'Auditorium Teatro Vittorio Emanuele and where he was projected a preview of the first blockbuster film of the story, filmed in Turin, between the Lungo Dora and valleys of Lanzo.
A century later
One hundred years later Cabiria sleek back. The evening of June 17 will be screened in full, with the original scenes shot by John Pastrone and the music composed by Pizzetti. It is the fruit of a long path over ten years. "In 2003, the grandson of Pastrone has found a crate in the basement of documents relating to the production of the film," says the museum's director Alberto Barbera del Cinema. "Pastrone was a meticulous person: noted and kept everything." This finding was essential to the restoration of the film, which took place in 2005. Region has invested 300 thousand Euros to buy the material and donated to the Museum of Cinema who has designed a new makeover after the one made in the '70s. "This time However, we have reconstructed 99 per cent of the original version of 1914, "says Barbera. "Discovering, inter alia, that the restoration of the 70 contained scenes that actually had been added at a later time."
I uploaded my exclusive Fan Dub version of THE BACCHANTES directed by Giorgio Ferroni and starring Alberto Lupo, Pierre Brice, Taina Elg, Alessandra Panaro, Raf Mattioli and many others, including these fellows. Choreography by Herbert Ross.
One of the best PEPLUM flicks ever made. If you're looking for action or Hercules-type of story, forget it, it's not for you. For those who love Greek mythology well this one delivers.
This an exclusive version of the film not found anywhere else. Don't be surprised if it's pulled from Youtube at any given moment.
Pro Counsul Giunius (Giancarlo Sbragia) can't keep his eyes off of Xenia (Maria Grazia Buccella) in THE FALL OF ROME
No wonder. Busty Buccella always makes an impression. Ah! They pronounce her character's name as X-Zenia and not Xenia like the TV show from the 90s. Buccella made a couple of PEPLUM flicks in her 49 or so films.
I create an account at PINTEREST. Everything posted at the main PEPLUM blog and at PEPLUM X will be linked there in separate 'boards'. Links with video don't work (as far as I know) but the rest including GIF animations work at PINTEREST. Like every other social media website, you can follow and like stuff posted there and share it if you have an account. It's better than MySpace and the tired Facebook:
Dionysus (Pierre Brice) is confronted by Pentheus (Alberto Lupo) in THE BACCHANTES
The lighting in this shot is perfect. I didn't retouch the image. The writing during this entire scene is excellent.
It's odd how Dionysus has been portrayed in movies and popular culture. I already posted about this (link) but I think it's due for an update. And why was Dionysus such an important god in Greek mythology?
Film directed by Giorgio Ferroni who also directed the excellent THE TROJAN HORSE with Steve Reeves amongst other great PEPLUM films. I'll write a review of this film soon.
I'm off tomorrow (it's my birthday) so back on Thursday!
From the TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS: Emilio is a regular star of the TEN GLADIATORS films but his brother Roberto wasn't even though he appeared briefly in them as a supporting actor. Here we see the two Messina brothers fighting each other at the beginning of the film.
Though Emilio is credited for being one of the Ten Gladiators, Roberto is not credited anywhere, at IMDb or any website I've checked or in any books.
Another exclusive internet first only to be found here at the PEPLUM TV blog.
US lobby cards set for DEMETRIUS & THE GLADIATORS. Excellent set even if it's missing one card with that title card. Nothing bad to say about it except that for a film in Cinemascope the photos on the lobby cards are still in 4:3. They should have had lobby cards in Cinemascope. Ah!
Serge Nubret and Giuliano Gemma (behind Nubret) stand amongst the Titans in MY SON THE HERO (aka The Titans)
This is one of those PEPLUM films that you either think it's completely brilliant or completely daft. I've gaged the reaction of this film from everyone since I started the blog and many think this film is one of the best PEPLUM flicks evah while other think it's the most annoying and worst one evah There's just no in-between. You either love it or hate it. And I actually get where both sides are coming from.
Because very little information is left of the legendary poetess speculation on the life of Sappho is sketchy at best. There's very little evidence from what's left of her poetry which hints at a 'Sapphic' sister. Just to make sure this is not a critique of lesbians. I'm pro Gay/Lesbian. This is just an observation.
From Wikipedia :
"These fragments have often been interpreted as referring to Sappho's daughter, or as confirming that Sappho had a daughter with this name. But even if a biographic reading of the verses is accepted, this is not certain."
If she had a daughter she wasn't 100% lesbian.
"Sappho's poetry centers on passion and love for various people and both sexes. The word lesbian derives from the name of the island of her birth, Lesbos, while her name is also the origin of the word sapphic; neither word was applied to female homosexuality until the 19th century. The narrators of many of her poems speak of infatuations and love (sometimes requited, sometimes not) for various females, but descriptions of physical acts between women are few and subject to debate. Whether these poems are meant to be autobiographical is not known, although elements of other parts of Sappho's life do make appearances in her work, and it would be compatible with her style to have these intimate encounters expressed poetically, as well. Her homoerotica should be placed in the context of the 7th century (BC). The poems of Alcaeus and later Pindar record similar romantic bonds between the members of a given circle."
The death of Adonis
Sappho, along with her circle of young girls, worshipped Adonis. A piece of Sappho's poetry shows this cult for Adonis, which includes his death (and the whole cycle of renewal). It's seems a bit odd for a lesbian to worship the god of beauty and desire in male form. But then again there are so many gods in Greek mythology that it probably wouldn't mean anything.
Sappho and Alcaeus by Lawrence Alma-Tadema
The poet Alcaeus was also reported to have been one of her lovers. He also lived on the island of Lesbos.
The first full feature film based on the Greek poetess was made in 1960 adventure film SAPPHO THE VENUS OF LESBOS directed by Pietro Francisci. Tina Louise played Sappho. In it she falls in love with a man, Phaon (played by Kerwin Mathews), who was based on the Legend of Phaon, a man Sappho purportedly fell in love with. In 1960, openly lesbian characters were rare in films so it's understandable they skirted the issue but the subtext is there, certainly with Sappho's close friendship with Actis, played by Susy Andersen.
Anna (Gia Scala) and Robin Hood (Don Burnett) and Little John (Samson Burke) in TRIUMPH OF ROBIN HOOD
This film was made in 1962 but feels like an early 1970s films. Bodybuilder Samson Burke keeps his shirt on throughout the film and is acting is in control, not like some of his other films. Pretty good cast in this rarely seen auctioneer. Not as wacky as ROBIN HOOD AND THE PIRATES. Ah!
Very popular location for PEPLUM films, from Hollywood or from Italy. I've lost count on how many films have used this quary, sometimes briefly, many times extensively. This images just the exterior of the location.
An Italian comedy on the PEPLUM genre. I haven't seen it so I can't say specifically what's going on here but from the information found at IMDb, it looks like the film is made of short stories and one of the short stories includes Cecchini and veteran PEPLUM star Brad Harris. The costume he's wearing is the same as Brad's in GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS
It is already known as the eternal city, and if new archaeological findings prove correct Rome may turn out to be even more ancient than believed until now.
Next week, the city will celebrate its official 2,767th birthday. According to a tradition going back to classic times, the brothers Romulus and Remus founded the city on 21 April in the year 753BC.
But on Sunday it was reported that evidence of infrastructure building had been found, dating from more than 100 years earlier. The daily Il Messagero quoted Patrizia Fortini, the archaeologist responsible for the Forum, as saying that a wall constructed well before the city's traditional founding date had been unearthed.
The wall, made from blocks of volcanic tuff, appeared to have been built to channel water from an aquifer under the Capitoline hill that flows into the river Spino, a tributary of the Tiber. Around the wall, archaeologists found pieces of ceramic pottery and remains of food.
"The examination of the ceramic material was crucial, allowing us today to fix the wall chronologically between the 9th century and the beginning of the 8th century," said Fortini.
Jesus and the two men are crucified in BEN-HUR (1959)
One of the two men was played by Aldo Pini, who starred in HERCULES and HERCULES UNCHAINED prior to making this film. He played Tifi, pilot of the Argos. He's credited as 'Bad Thief on Cross' in BEN-HUR. Unfortunately we never get to see Aldo in a good shot.
I have to do a compilation of best costumes, male and female, of the PEPLUM genre and this one would be in the top ten. I have to admit though that the costume looks better in black and white than in colour.
Demetrius (Victor Mature) and Messalina (Susan Hayward) revel the night away with the help of some wine and dancers in DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS
Those dancers kill me. They're so intrusive and up close to the two that it would be a turn-off more than anything else. They're suppose to stay in the background or add spice not be part of the love affair. The director didn't know how to handle the dance scene.
Last week I closed both on my Facebook accounts. It didn't have any impact on my blog here. The number of views per day are the same. Even though I miss some of the 'friends' there I'm glad I got rid of Facebook. The sheer number of PEPLUM accounts there have become an infestation. Just too many of them repeating and stealing the same thing over and over, including stuff from this blog.
If you have a Facebook account you can still like/share posts by clicking the F icon at the foot of every post.
Anyway, while Facebook is no more there are always my other PEPLUM blogs: