By the Gods!

Christine Kaufmann and Steve Reeves in THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959)

The first film in which Steve played a Roman centurion. He would also play one in SON OF SPARTACUS. He looked great in both films and he was believable, more so than Robert Taylor in QUO VADIS, who, imo, was miscast. Reeves as a centurion = PEPLUM perfection! This film was the source of inspiration to Ridley Scott's GLADIATOR. They pitched the idea of making one of those old Steve Reeves gladiator films. Ironically, Reeves never played a gladiator in any film, including this one. His character does end up fighting in an arena during the climax but not officially as a gladiator, just as a centurion trying to save Christians from hungry lions. As for Kaufmann, she made a couple of other PEPLUM films but this role would be the one she would be remembered the most for. She was very young in this. I like this film a lot. The pacing is a bit slow but aside from that I have very few complaints in regards to this spectacular epic : great cast, great production, great score!

2 comments:

Scott Ochiltree said...

I agree that this is an excellent Peplum, primarily because the plot has very little similarity with Baron Bulwer-Lytton's 1834 novel, which is virtually unreadable in my view.

The 1935 LAST DAYS OF POMPEII is also excellent. Again, it has nothing to do with the Bulwer-Lytton novel.

Maciste said...

I'm not sure but it seems this was the movie were Steve hurt his shoulder driving a chariot. On the other hand, after watching Robert playing in QUO VADIS for years on Easter Week tv programming, at least for me, he is Marcus Vinicius.