Thursday, July 6, 2017

By the Gods!

Karim (Steve Reeves) steals from corrupt Gamal (Daniele Vargas) in THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961)

A colourful adventure with Steve playing against type (he's not a super powerful man in this...just a great thief). It has a wonderful score and it's perfect viewing for the winter holiday period. My only complaint is that the film still hasn't been released in a proper widescreen version (with color correction) anywhere. Even official DVDs released in Europe suck. Hopefully it will be broadcast in HD in its correct aspect ratio somewhere and someone will record it!

4 comments:

Richard Svensson said...

This is one of my favorite Reeves movies. It's got a childlike fantasy atmosphere and a perfect fairy tale feel.

Peplums are still languishing in the backwaters of b-movie cinema mostly due to, I'm guessing, TV editions with so-so dubbing and poor image quality. And that's why nobody is making an effort to release restored versions of them. One of the few exceptions being Bava's "Hercules In the Haunted World", simply because it's a Bava movie. But if people would actually see the films as they were originally presented I think opinions would change very quickly indeed.

Scott Ochiltree said...

I agree entirely that bad quality copies on DVDs (such as those by Sinister Cinema) and on TV give the genre a bad name.

Another problem is when a Peplum goes public domain there is no financial incentive for the holder of the negative to release a properly restored version.

Sometimes films slip into public domain status simply through studio carelessness.

PEPLUM Cinema said...

Richard, it's pretty much what I've been saying here at the blog since day one. The focus Mario Bava hurts the entire genre. Most people don't bother if it's not Bava or Leone when the genre has so much more to offer than one or two directors. Riccardo Freda, who's totally overlooked, should be regarded up there as one of the best but there's almost nothing on him.

Scott, films that have fallen into public domain territory are in a limbo. Most film studios back then (Allied Artist, AIP, etc) don't exist today and there was no one to keep these films from falling through the cracks. Now try to upload any of these films on Youtube and several fake claims of copyright infringement are made by shady companies. The whole thing is a sad state of affairs.

orsh549 said...

I do not know if I have mentioned this, but SLAVE OF ROME is now on Amazon Prime and is a very good print. The movie is full screen, but with some movies of this genre they are HD. This version is a couple min. shorter and I can tell where they edited parts out since I have a DVD of this movie. It is worth watching and is for free.