Friday, April 29, 2011

Photo of the Day

Phillipides (Steve Reeves) rescues Andromeda (Mylène Demongeot) in THE GIANT OF MARATHON.

Check out the massive legs on Steve.

Sword & Sandal inspired maquettes

Cool stuff!

Immortals - Official Trailer [HD]

Trailer for IMMORTALS starring Henry Cavill, Kellan Lutz, Stephen Dorff, John Hurt and Mickey Rourke. More green screen action with slow motion cgi action and screaming actors. Looks and sounds familiar...hmm...sorta bored with this approach. When will they film in actual locations again?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Photo of the Day

Tyrone Benskin as the Persian Emissary in the movie 300, which was shot in Montreal.

Born in England but living in Canada since the age of 10, veteran actor Tyrone Benskin is running  as a candidate for the NDP in next week's election. For those living outside of Canada, there's a general election next Monday and he'll be representing the riding of Jeanne-le Ber which, by coincidence, is the riding that I live in. Hmm...I guess I'll vote for him for that reason...arf.

Casting that almost was: Tyrone Power in SOLOMON & SHEBA

Tyrone Power on the set of SOLOMON & SHEBA. Tyrone died in his
trailer 4 hours after this photo was taken. Tyrone was replaced by Yul Brynner.

The Tunic Wars

Forget the Punic Wars...this is the real battle!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Photo of the Day

Publicity shot of Linda Darnell for BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE, one of 
the best swashbucklers ever made! 

King of Kings vs The Greatest Story Ever Told

TCM ran both films one after the other and I watched both of them while mingling with my family/friends on Easter Sunday. Here's a quick rundown of how they compared:

King of Kings

- Jeffrey Hunter brilliant as Jesus

- Robert Ryan totally miscast as John the Baptist

- Siobhan McKenna wasn't convincing as Mary

- Narration was obtrusive

- Intro was super long. 20+ minutes to get story going

- Because of narration and quick rundown of story, the film felt like bible studies

- Location didn't look like Israel/Middle East. It looked like, well, Spain where it was shot.

- Fantastic score by Miklós Rózsa

- Ending at the beach fell flat

- Studio-bound and looks fake-ish from time to time

- Some beautiful sets and production design

- A bit of a heavy-handedness to it

The Greatest Story Ever Told

- Max Von Sydow totally miscast as Jesus; his voice alone doesn't work

- Claude Rains totally miscast as Herod the Great

- Charlton Heston sounds better than Robert Ryan as John the Baptist but looks ridiculous in fake looking wig and beard

- Almost entire cast is miscast: Telly Savalas as Pontius Pilate?

- Constant use of cameos are terrible; with John Wayne's being the worst

- Narration wasn't obtrusive

- Stunning production design

- Stunning cinematography

- Beautiful, realistic locations

- Direction more fluid and organic

- More realistic looking

- Music score is good but film employs classical music which was beautifully incorporated with story

- Relies on classical music and Michelangelo's paintings to set up scene so a bit of laziness in direction here

- Ending has more impact than King of Kings but still sorta flat

All in all, it's a virtual tie with The Greatest Story Ever Told edging out King of Kings because of stunning production design/cinematography, etc. Now if they combined the best qualities from both films then there would be the perfect film: King of the Greatest Story Ever Told! Posted at the Special Features page.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Photo of the Day

Loredana Nusciak and Richard Harrison share a tender moment in the otherwise action-packed GLADIATORS 7. Their relationship is the film's weakest point as, by the end,
nothing is ever resolved. I'm thinking there's a scene that was cut from the climax.

Banners for Blog - Vote

Location: Palazzo della Civiltà

This location was used in a couple of PEPLUM productions, including THE TEN GLADIATORS.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Photo of the Day

Sophia Loren and Alberto Sordi in TWO NIGHTS WITH CLEOPATRA.

Sophia plays two roles in this film. In this photo she's the good peasant groomed to replace Cleopatra, also played by Loren, during the latter's trysts.

Movie Poster Mondays

Italian movie poster of MACISTE IN AFRICA(1926) starring Bartolomeo Pagano. Beautiful design.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photo of the Day

Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus in the 1961 version of KING OF KINGS directed by Nicholas Ray.

Like the silent version, I have yet to see this film from beginning to end, having seen this BIG film 
sporadically in parts during many years. For me, Jeffrey was the main reason to watch. Jeffrey 
died at the age of 43 in 1969 after brain surgery. What a tragic loss.

Happy Good Friday!

Vintage Hollywood Production: Roman Eagle

Incredible movie set for the silent version of KING OF KINGS.

I started watching this film on TCM just a few months ago. It was on midnight and I had to go to sleep and only saw 30 minutes of it, with some part of it shot in earliest Technicolor which was amazing but I didn't see this incredibly OTT set. I now wish I watched it to the end. That Cecil B. DeMille, he sure knew how to create spectacles.

PEPLUM Behind the Scenes: BEN-HUR and a Vespa

Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd, still in costume, have fun with a Vespa 
in-between takes of shooting BEN-HUR. I wonder how a Vespa race would 
look like compared to the chariot race. Arf.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Photo of the Day

Diane Kruger (Helen), Peter O'Toole (Priam) and Saffron Burrows (Andromache) in TROY(2004). Peter hated the $175 million epic.

Serge Nubret 1938 -2011

PEPLUM star and world class bodybuilder Serge Nubret passed away 2 days ago. Serge fell into a coma back in 2009 and never recovered. Serge had an amazing physique and good looks but even though he appeared in a couple of Sword & Sandal films, acting wasn't his calling and he concentrated the rest of his career on bodybuilding.

Photos: two first photos from THE TITANS (also known as My Son, The Hero); two last photos from GOLIATH & THE REBEL SLAVE (aka The Tyrant of Lydia Against the Son of Hercules), starring Gordon Scott and Massimo Serato.

Serge and Ahnuld

PEPLUM Blog Stats

Yesterday, the blog got nearly 1000 hits. Okay, they're not
unique hits (that's in blue) but still that's pretty cool. I started
this blog last fall and I got more hits than all my other blogs
combined and some of those blogs I started 2 years ago. 
Thanks everyone for visiting and making it such a success.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Photo of the Day

Joan Davis is the HAREM GIRL. Cute wacky comedy few folks have seen.

Sorta reminds me of 3 STOOGES MEET HERCULES which is not surprising as the writers for this also were the writing team for the 3 Stooges films.

ANGELO FRANCESCO LAVAGNINO - Titoli - The Last Days of Pompeii

Brilliant score from one of the most underrated composers ever, Angelo Francesco Lavagnino.

The youtube clip erroneously shows an image from the 1030s version of THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII. The title score was reused by Quentin Tarantino for a NAZI propaganda film in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. Hmm...

Ancient Superman VS New Superman

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Photo of the Day

José Greci and Giuliano Gemma in GOLIATH & THE SINS OF BABYLON standing in front of the famous waterfalls seen in practically every PEPLUM made in Italy.

Needs ID - updated

Can someone ID the MOVIE for this photo. It's Eleanor Parker alright but someone said it's for  VALLEY OF THE KINGS. I haven't seen it but that movie, though set in Egypt, takes place in contemporary settings, not 2000 years ago. It's probably just promo or test shots. It's a shame she never appeared in an Egyptian PEPLUM because she looked great here.

HERCULES, Russian-style

A BIG statue of Hercules in the remote Russian town of Ulkan. Amazing!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Photo of the Day

Gianna Maria Canale and Massimo Girotti in SPARTACO (aka SINS OF ROME).

Nice color photo of a decidedly Black & White film. 

Movie Poster Mondays


What a sensational poster. I wish the quality of the image was better than this.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Photo of the Day

Harry Baird and Joe Robinson wrestle for their lives while Bella Cortez watches on in
 TAUR THE MIGHTY, one of the most over-the-top PEPLUMS ever made.

Photo Caption

This photo screams for a caption. Come on folks, post your best captions.