By the Gods!

The doomed lovers : The Duke of Nemours (Jean-François Poron) and the Princess of Cleves (Marina Vlady) dance in PRINCESS OF CLEVES

This film is amazing. Not a swashbuckler (there's no action in it) but a romance in the purest sense of the word. Everything about it is great. The cast, costumes, music, sets, etc. Directed by Jean Delannoy, who also directed THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME starring Gina Lollobrigida and Anthony Quinn, has created a perfect jewel with this adaptation by none other than Jean Cocteau of an old book (same title) by Madame de La Fayette. Cocteau directed BEAUTY & THE BEAST with Jean Marais, who also stars in this film as the Prince of Cleves. When this film was first released, critics trashed it. How little they knew.

Movie Poster Mondays

French poster for THE QUEEN OF SHEBA (1921)

Nice poster. The PEPLUM genre has been going on for a long time now.

By the Gods!

Gordon Scott, as Hercules, battles with Gordon Mitchell in HERCULES & THE PRINCESS OF TROY

This is the second production the two PEPLUM stars appeared together. Mitchell's screen time is short but it's worth watching these two go at each other. Gordon appeared briefly in KERIM - SON OF THE SHEIK. If you blink you'll miss him in the latter.

By the Gods!

The SEVEN REBEL GLADIATORS

Pietro Torrisi, Nazzareno Zamperla, Roger Browne, Arnaldo Fabrizio, Jeff Cameron, Pietro Ceccarelli, Harold Bradley and Mario Novelli.

That's eight but Arnaldo is not officially a gladiator. It's one of those rambunctious Michele Lupo films were all the Roman soldiers fly in every direction, ending up with legs in the air. Not really my thing, to be honest, but I still watch them from time to time. There's no doubt that director Lupo had a style all of his own.

Different Versions : Ursus - the Rebel Gladiator

I finally got hold of more than one version of THE REBEL GLADIATOR ala URSUS - THE BEBEL GLADIATOR (thanks Alan). Whenever I have different versions I love to compare them to see if there's any differences. Here's a quick overview of the 3 versions.


Italian version


Italian full screen version


US version available on DVD


Cut scenes :

This simple and yet beautiful scene with Gloria Milland and José Greci is cut from the grubby US version available on DVD. It's a nice scene in which it establishes the "friendship" between the two ladies. Both look great.

José Greci

Gloria Milland


The scenes above and below are cut from the widescreen version of URSUS - THE REBEL  GLADIATOR. In the scene below Commodus (Alan Steel) complains to Milland that his life was spared by the barbarian and he finds it humiliating.


By the Gods!

Reg Park, as Hercules, talks about a new adventure with Ettore Manni, as Androcles, in HERCULES & THE CAPTIVE WOMEN

Ettore was an excellent actor in his own right and he often starred in PEPLUM films to balance out inexperienced actors aka bodybuilders, like Reg Park. He was often given more dialogue and such, which is normal. Ettore helped a lot in creating a semblance of quality in several big PEPLUM titles. That's Luciano Marin in the background.

Movie Poster Mondays

Belgian poster for DESERT WARRIOR

Nice poster. In Europe, Carmen had first billing but in North America, Ricardo got top billing.

By the Gods!

Ricardo Montalban and Carmen Sevilla in DESERT WARRIOR

I just completed a Fan Dub of this rarely seen film. The US copy is in B&W and poor but mostly uncut. The Euro copy I used has about a dozen or so minutes cut from it. This copy, in widescreen and color, was really butchered but I did my best to make it seem seamless. There were three big scenes cut from it (including two whipping scenes and one dance / singing sequence which I uploaded at Youtube here) while 40 or so one second shots cut throughout this copy. A real nightmare to edit but the final Fan Dub still looks great.

This is an interest film for many reasons : it was made in 1957, way before HERCULES, which spawned an endless number of such films. It's filmed on location in Egypt, and, to my knowledge, it's the first Arabian adventure shot in widescreen and color that was produced in Europe (THE ADVENTURES OF HAJJI BABA (1954) was the first US-made Arabian adventure shot in widescreen).

I'm thinking of uploading this to my Youtube channel. I'm working on the final version for YT. 

PEPLUM GIF animation : THE GIANT OF METROPOLIS


Scene from GIANT OF METROPOLIS starring Gordon Mitchell and Bella Cortez

By the Gods!

Steve Reeves, as Hercules, knocks out Daniele Vargas as Sylva Koscina (as Iole) and Ugo Sasso watches on in HERCULES UNCHAINED

With a back like that, who could put Hercules in chains? Only Iole.

Behind-the-Scenes

Victor Mature has fun with a couple of extras while filming THE EGYPTIAN

The Secret Seven

PEPLUM X Tuesdays


Helga Liné - Pedro Mari Sánchez

Tiger of the Seven Seas


John Kitzmiller - Gianna Maria Canale

Gladiators 7

PEPLUM X Tuesdays


Loredana Nusciak - Richard Harrison

Seven Rebel Gladiators

PEPLUM X Tuesdays


Pietro Torrisi - Roger Browne - Harold Bradley

Seven Seas to Calais

PEPLUM X Tuesdays


Keith Michell - Rod Taylor

Samson & the Seven Miracles of the World

PEPLUM X Tuesdays


Gordon Scott

Seven Slaves against Rome

PEPLUM X Tuesdays


Roger Browne - Scilla Gabel

RIP : Moira Orfei

Moira in FIRE OFVER ROME


Moira Orfei died today at the age of 83. She was a star of the PEPLUM genre and as one can attest with the titles below, she was in a lot of memorable films. She was one of the major Queens of the PEPLUM genre. She was also a circus performer and had her own circus. Moira was also in THE DEFEAT OF THE BARBARIANS, not shown here. RIP, you beautiful, over-the-top lady!

ps : there won't be any posts tomorrow


The Loves of Hercules

Moira with Mickey Hargitay. This was her first PEPLUM film.


Queen of the Pirates

Moira with Gianna Maria Canale


The Mighty Ursus


Above and below : One of her best role was in THE MIGHTY URSUS, also starring Ed Fury (above). 



Maciste vs Mole Men


Above & below : probably her most recognizable role was in this film, also starring Mark Forest (below). She played her role quite beautifully : over-the-top, evil and yet sympathetic.



Ursus in the Valley of Lions

Moira with Alberto Lupo

Kerim - Son of the Sheik

Another villainess role for Moira in this Gordon Scott actioner.

Toto & Cleopatra

Moira with Toto


Samson & the Slave Queen

Moira is the beautiful temptress in this film which co-stars Alan Steeel and Massimo Serato


Hero of Babylon

Gordon Scott and Moira together again


Revenge of the Conquered

Moira with Mario Petri. Both were often cast as villains.


Terror of the Steppes

Moira in this Kirk morris action mini epic


Triumph of Hercules

Moira co-starred along with Pierre Cressoy and Marilu Tolo 


Revolt of the Praetorians

Moira as a high priestess (with many coloured hairstyles, see link )


The Two Gladiators

Mimmo Palmara and Moira made for a sexy, evil couple!


Samson & the Mighty Challenge

Nadir Moretti and Moira played Samson & Delilah in this PEPLUM comedy

By the Gods!

A scene from SCIPIO AFRICANUS (1937)

A big PEPLUM film made in the 1930s, which was rare during that decade. The film's reputation is tainted since it was funded by Mussolini. It's a big epic, nonetheless.