Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Time Traveling PEPLUM stories

For some reason, PEPLUM films with stories starting in contemporary times only to end up in the Greco-Roman era were popular. Having modern comedians in fish-out-of-water situations set in Antiquity were filled with potential laughter (they're always comedies) but it's debatable if they really succeeded in creating laughter. The weakest part of these stories were the ways the modern folks ended up in the past. Either by dreams (ROMAN SCANDALS) or actual time traveling machines (3 STOOGES MEETS HERCULES and MACISTE VS HERCULES IN THE VALLE OF WOE) or simply by falling off a cliff (TIBERIUS), few of them were convincing. There were a few other titles using this familiar plot-line but here are 4 of such films.

In ROMAN SCANDALS, a dreaming Eddie Cantor travels back to decadent Roman times and meets Gloria Stuart. This musical, a  very politically incorrect musical, is probably the first "travel back to Greco-Roman times" comedies.

From the top photo, Ugo Tognazzi and Walter Chiari are modern Italian men who fall off a cliff (!) and end up in Ancient Roman times, frolicking with a bunch of babes in TIBERIUS.

THE 3 STOOGES MEET HERCULES starts with a wacky time traveling story, set in the US, and thanks to a wonky time machine they all accidentally end up in Greece, where Hercules (Samson Burke) rules.

Mario Carotenuto and Raimondo Vianello hijack a time machine and end up in Antiquity, meeting, amongst others, Maciste played by Kirk Morris. From MACISTE VS HERCULES IN THE VALLE OF WOE.

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