By the Gods!

Alan Ladd in DUEL OF CHAMPIONS (1961)

For some odd reason this PEPLUM is very polarizing. People either love it or hate it. I think one of the reasons they hate it is seeing an aging Ladd, in what many believe he's miscast. I think people don't get the role: he's supposed to be disillusioned by it all, so he sorta looks like he doesn't care.But that's part of the role. Regardless, I think this is one of those films that needs to be viewed with a clear  transfer. Most people have seen it with the faded public domain copy available everywhere, including Youtube. The French DVD is much better than the PD one (I made a Fan Dub with it) but a HD copy of this would make it look even better. It's just that no one is seemingly willing to invest any money in making a pristine copy of this film.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ladd was a depressive alcoholic. Both tendencies got worse as he got older and his career deteriorated. He looks like he's not enjoying himself in a lot of his films, but he does look particularly miserable here.

Don't get me wrong. Big fan of peplum and your site.

Scott Ochiltree said...



There is not much financial incentive to release a properly restored movie when that film is available in a crappy public domain version.

SLAVE GIRL (1947) starring Yvonne de Carlo is not included in Universal's Vault release series. Leonard Maltin gives this admittedly very campy film 2.5 stars. It is enjoyable as a Saturday morning Technicolor fantasy, although the talking camel is a major drag.