Friday, March 11, 2016

Retro Friday : GLADIATOR OF ROME overview

Retro Friday : Old post updated (original post May 24, 2013)

Gordon Scott riles up his gladiators in GLADIATOR OF ROME

Notes from this film:

- I finished a FAN DUB of this film, which I've listed as one of the worst PEPLUM films ever. Looking at it now, after working on the Fan Dub, I still think it's blah BUT it's mostly blah because of the uninspired direction and a clunker of a script. There are worst PEPLUM films out there but as one made during the Golden Era, it's average / below average. And there's so much talking in it.

I'll be playing this Fan Dub tomorrow, Saturday May 25, on PEPLUM TV.

- Gordon Scott is in top shape.

- In the screenshot above, Gordon Scott pats his tiny tunic down (after crouching down). It's surprising this scene made it in the final cut but Italians didn't seem to care back then but it looks like Gordon is feeling himself up.

- Gordon's love interest is not Wandisa but Ombretta. I wished it was Wandisa instead. Wandisa is attached to Roberto Risso who, though fit (he has a gratuitous shirtless scene), is an unlikely PEPLUM star.

- Wandisa's hair is a hot mess in this.

- The screenplay is very convoluted even if the basis of the storyline is quite simple.

- The screenplay is repetitive: Gordon's character is nearly killed or maimed twice but stopped by order of generals who admire his fighting skills and physique. This happens twice by two different officers. Gordon gets captured three times : by net, surrounded by multiple soldiers holding spears and slightly wounded to the abdomen.

- The icon for my blog or Youtube channel or Facebook page is taken from this film: Gordon on a St-Andrew's Cross. This image is great and iconic but not so great for the film itself as Gordon doesn't join in the action. It makes for a disappointing ending if you want to see Gordon fighting and kicking butt.

- It probably has more villains than any other film from the genre.

- The film starts with veteran PEPLUM star (and villain) Piero Lulli, who only has a supporting role.

- The Italian cast is AMAZING. It's a virtual who's who of the PEPLUM genre. In addition to Gordon Scott, look who else is in this film:

Wandisa Guida
Ombretta Colli
Alberto Farnese
Gianni Solaro
Charles Borromel
Piero Lulli
Mirko Ellis
Nando Tamberlani
Roberto Risso
Andrea Aureli
Pietro Tordi

And as the gladiators:

Claudio Scarchilli (left)
Raf Baldassarre (not pictured)
Pietro Ceccarelli (bald fellow in top picture)
Harold Bradley
Nello Pazzafini (behind Gordon in top picture)

Umberto Silvestri, as the gladiator trainer, and Claudio Scarchilli are not credited.

So this film is worth seeing just for the great PEPLUM cast. But with such a cast you'd think the results would have been greater.

- Spoiler: The scene in the screenshot is one of the best because the Annoying Sidekick just died....yeah!!!

- According to IMDB, this film came out in Italy on the same day as COLOSSUS OF THE ARENA, which also stars many of the gladiators listed above.

- Even though it's not sold as such,  I think this was the first film of the genre to utilize the TEN GLADIATORS motif: a bunch of rowdy gladiators forming an allegiance to fight the bad guys. Those red tunics were re-used in future films.

- This film is one of those which belong to the Cinematic Confusion file: It's sometimes listed as GLADIATOR OF ROME or GLADIATORS OF ROME. It's also confusing or misleading title since the story is not set in Rome and the gladiators or Gordon Scott never fight in Rome.

1 comment:

Scott Ochiltree said...

Thanks very much for resuming postings on Friday.