By the Gods!

Georges Marchal enters the arena in THE WARRIOR AND THE SLAVE GIRL (1958)

Directed by Vittorio Cottafavi, this early entree in the 'new' style PEPLUM films (along with HERCULES) was a showcase of stand-out scenes, certainly this one. We see Marchal exiting the gladiator quarters and enter the arena, in one straight shot, as the camera follows him from behind giving a vivid impression of the location / setting. It brings the audience right in the middle of the action. One of the best shots ever. Cottafavi was the most experimental director of the PEPLUM genre and this 1950s production is a good example. Some scenes might fall flat while others, like this one, stand-out from the rest.

1 comment:

Scott Ochiltree said...

A most enjoyable Peplum.

Gianna Maria Canale plays her classic Patrician villainess role. She gets killed by one of her own tigers. This is a fitting punishment for her wickedness.

It also solves the problem that men are generally not allowed to kill women (even bad ones) in movies. For a man to kill (or even just strike) a woman is considered to be cowardly and dishonorable behavior.

In SLAVE OF CARTHAGE this issue is resolved by having Gianna fatally thrown from her fleeing chariot.

It is, however, OK for a virtuous woman to kill a bad one. This is known as the "designated cat-fight killer." She is usually the cute/sexy sidekick of the male hero.