Friday, March 2, 2018

By the Gods!

Caroline Munro, as Margiana, and John Philip Law, as Sinbad, in THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973)

The days of the hero's beautiful love interest in movies are over. Every female character has to be able to defend themselves and kick-ass, or else it's sexism. One has to watch old movies, like this one, to see such characters. Not every man or woman can be THE hero, and so it was okay for the love interest to simply be beautiful. A lot of these PEPLUM movies would be seen as utterly outdated and super sexist, even if the hero shows as much skin (sometimes more) than her.


Anonymous said...

We can like these old movies, while acknowledging that they're sexist.
Women - can't they be beautiful *and* able? Are we men *that* threatened by that?...


Scott Ochiltree said...

THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD is a really first rate Peplum.

I agree strongly with your observation that political correctness now requires the female lead in action movies (not just Peplums) perform her fair share of killings. Normally this is for a "good" cause.

Personally I think this is a big mistake, as it reduces the range of possible roles for actresses in action movies.

Gianna Maria Canale, for example, was often an evil Roman Patrician lady who ordered deaths. However, she seldom did the killing with her own hands.

Richard Svensson said...

One should also take into account the culture in which the movie's story is set. Were women in that culture allowed to compete equally with men in all aspects of society? I think that's an important aspect of each story.

If you look at the 1980's Sword & Sorcery boom, starting with "Conan the Barbarian", there's almost always at least one very capable, strong woman featured. That also goes for the Italian "knock-off" movies of that era, for example "The Throne of Fire."

Anonymous said...

Ehhh, so, actresses get more to do than just stand around and be pretty nowadays, and that "reduces the range of possible roles"?
I raise my eyebrows and blink in surprise.


PEPLUM Cinema said...

Well, it's not just the reducing the types of roles that's in question but also the entire storyline of a film. For example, if you look at STAR WARS, a PEPLUM in space, it was about rescuing the princess. Simple stories like this are not acceptable anymore. The 'Hero rescuing the princess' is pretty much the template of many fables since the beginning of time. Today, the princess is able or is supposed to rescue herself, which is fine, but it makes the hero pretty much redundant. These types of 'Romantic Adventure' stories are extinct, which is sad because I like them.