Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Back on Thursday

Photo(s) of the Day

For today I'm just showing images of revelry, for the upcoming new years celebration. So happy New Year to all!

PEPLUM stars advertising stuff

Just in time for new year celebrations here are some ads for cigarettes and alcohol featuring PEPLUM stars Hedy Lamarr and Claude Rains.

Hedy selling cigarettes and beer; above is a picture from SAMSON & DELILAH

A sad looking Claude Rains from CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA


make sure to visit my second peplum blog:

Monday, December 30, 2013

Photo of the Day

Lacone (Aroldo Tieri) watches Pomponia (Abbe Lane) dance up a storm in TIBERIUS

Still looking for English subs or English dub for this. Another 'Comedy of the Sexes' set in Ancient Rome. 

Movie Poster Mondays


In the movie, Ursus is friends with the lions and this scene doesn't happen so the artwork is not really accurate but it's colourful and he does look like Ed Fury. Is that supposed to be Moira Orfei?

Sunday, December 29, 2013


My ISP accidentally canceled my internet service. I've been offline since Thursday night. I'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Photo of the Day

Hercules (Steve Reeves) battles with a tiger in HERCULES UNCHAINED

Tango for two? Ah!

PEPLUM Star spotting

Spotted : Alan Steel in HEROD THE GREAT. He appears often but his role is mainly silent. This role is not listed at Alan's IMDb profile, Wikipedia or anywhere else on the internet. Cool stuff.

Then and Now : Taina Elg

Taina as Dirce in THE BACCHANTES (1963); Taina photographed in 2012. She's 83.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Back on Thursday!

Happy Saturnalia!

Photo of the Day

Dirce (Taina Elg) is one of THE BACCHANTES

Love this film. It's so unique in the PEPLUM genre. Everyone gave great performances and the script is original and clever. Taina is one of the few Finnish stars and PEPLUM stars. Perfect viewing for Saturnalia?

Movie Poster Mondays


Colorful pulpy artwork. Yoko Tani in a rare cheesecake pose.

The King Who Sought Immortality

Short film by regular PEPLUM blog reader Richard Svensson. Good job.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Photo of the Day

The ending from MASADA with General Cornelius Flavius Silva (Peter O'Toole) finding Eleazar ben Yair (Peter Strauss) dead from suicide

Now I know some might think this is a spoiler but the history (or myth) of the battle of Masada is pretty well known and as been known for centuries so no it's not a spoiler. I originally saw the mini-series back in 1981 but haven't seen it since. I need to watch it again one day to re-evaluate it and Peter O'Toole's performance in it, certainly since he died last weekend. The mini-series is over 6 hours long.

Back on Monday!

American Gladiators

If I had a real PEPLUM TV channel I would definitely do a Gladiator-type of show with the contestants wearing real looking authentic Gladiatorial gear (but without the actual killing). Aside from football in North America, this is the closest we ever got to the real thing.

The original cast which lasted 8 seasons

The reboot in 2008 which lasted one season.

Actor profile: Elena Zareschi

Continuing with profiling relatively unknown supporting actors of Italian/Euro PEPLUM films. Today it's Elena Zareschi who was, for the most part, mainly a supporting actress in said genre films with one exception: she was the main star in RITA DA CASCIA. I don't have a photo from that film only the poster. In her subsequent film roles she often appeared briefly in an important role with some pivotal information. She was born in Argentina by Italian parents. She had a stellar career on stage and also was in several made-for-tv films and productions including MACBETH. My favourite role is in SAPPHO THE VENUS OF LESBOS. The scene lasts just a minute but her commanding presence really stands out.

Elena had the lead role in RITA DA CASCIA (1943)

Elena is perfectly cast as Cassandra in ULYSSES (1954)



Elena played The Sybil in SAPPHO THE VENUS OF LESBOS (1960). Brief but great scene.

Elena played Queen Pasifae in THE MINOTAUR (1960). She divulges a secret as she's dying which sets the story into motion.

She played a Princess in WITH FIRE AND SWORD (1962)

Previous Actor profiles:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Photo of the Day

Adam (Mark Gregory) and Eve (Andrea Goldman) try to survive in the real world in ADAM AND EVE VERSUS THE CANNIBALS.

Yet another ADAM & EVE film which is just and excuse to showcase young hot things wearing little or no clothes on. This film is a combo of Bo Derek's TARZAN THE APE MAN, BLUE LAGOON and your average Cannibal film. Made by Italians, of course.

Originally posted at PEPLUM X


US lobby cards set for DECAMERON NIGHTS starring Louis Jourdan and the late Joan Fontaine. Colorful set but pretty standard fare for the 1950s. Several cards with Joan makes it slightly above average.


Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson posing with a member of the staff during the production of HBO's ROME.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Photo of the Day

Gotarzo (Conrado San Martín) and Curridio (Ettore Manni) are wounded and are being nursed by the tavern owner (Mary Carrillo) and a friend (María Mahor) in LEGIONS OF THE NILE.

This scene would not make it in a family film today certainly when San Martin pulls Carrillo closer towards him. Simply too suggestive. It's amazing some of the stuff PEPLUM films got away with back in the day.

Cinematic Confusion

The French poster for CONQUEROR OF CORINTH used the likeness of Edy Vessel (right, from THE TROJAN HORSE) for the artwork of one of the film's posters even though she's not in the movie; Genevieve Grad is the blonde star of CONQUEROR OF CORINTH and she doesn't look like Edy, in real life or on this poster. Confusing.

PEPLUM Fashion : Subligaculum

Popular or common piece of clothing worn in Ancient Rome or Greece. The illustration shows the steps of how to fit a subligaculum around one's waist. The little statue shows a gladiator wearing it. Below is a modern day example of such a garment. Below that is a fresco showing women wearing a female version of a subligaculum. And the last photo shows Steve Reeves wearing one for his HERCULES films.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Photo of the Day

Hypatia (Rachel Weisz) looks up at the stars in AGORA

I started this blog back in October 12, 2010 and one of the reasons I started the blog was because of AGORA: a big ambitious film which got almost no release in the US. The film's pro-science POV was deemed unsellable in the US. I thought : 'Are we in 2010?' for this to be happening. I thought that the whole genre was really underrated and overlooked and the lack of interest to this film was indicative of this general indifference to the genre. So, 4 years later, I'm still doing it. 

Is AGORA perfect? No, it has several liabilities going against it, namely a miscast Rachel Weisz, who doesn't have the gravitas to sustain such a big film. Her acting style just doesn't fit the role even though she looks wonderful in it. The 'pro-science - anti-religious' aspects didn't bother me at all. The screenplay was sometimes too obvious (the symbolisms were annoying, including the outer space moments) but overall it's an excellent production. The production values are sometimes stunning (like in this shot; click on image to see the details) and imo it's best looking PEPLUM film since the classic made 50 or 60 years ago. Better than GLADIATOR, TROY and all. It's quite an eye-filling experience, if you're a PEPLUM fan and it's the true star of this film.

Back on Thursday


Trailer for the last film starring Peter O'Toole, who came out of retirement for this film. it reminds me of AGORA released a few years ago. I didn't upload this trailer.

R.I.P. : Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine

Two Hollywood actors died this past weekend: Peter O'Toole, 81, and Joan Fontaine, 96. Of the two Peter made the most PEPLUM productions and costume dramas, for the giant screen or TV such as the epic mini-series MASADA. Peter's last film is the unreleased KATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA. Except for the action packed TROY most of Peter's PEPLUM productions tended to be dramas which showcased his acting chops. Peter's most memorable role will always be LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, his first major role and a breakout performance, and even though the movie is set in the desert and there are sword and army on horseback it's not a PEPLUM film. Peter would garner 8 Oscar® nominations during his career, including one for his performance in LOA, but never won a single statue. Amazing.

As for Joan, the bulk of her films were set in contemporary times but she did appear in a handful of memorable PEPLUM productions including IVANHOE and DECAMERON NIGHTS among others. Like Peter, Joan had one signature role : REBECCA, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. She was sublime in it and was nominated for an Oscar®. She didn't win for that role but won one for Hitchcock's SUSPICION.

Peter O'Toole

Peter in THE LION OF WINTER costarring Timothy Dalton.

Peter was a debauched Tiberius in CALIGULA (1979)

Peter played Priam in TROY (2004) costarring Eric Bana.

Diane Kruger, Peter O'Toole and Saffron Burrows in TROY(2004)

Peter's last performance is in the yet to be released KATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA

Joan Fontaine

Joan as Rowena in IVANHOE. Below, Joan with Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor.

Joan in a publicity photo for DECAMERON NIGHTS

Monday, December 16, 2013

Photo of the Day

Bartolomeo Pagano as the original Maciste in CABIRIA

The film that started it all.

Movie Poster Mondays

Italian poster for HERCULES THE AVENGER

Nice artwork and design but the look on Reg is not very flattering. 


I uploaded this comedic dance number from MACISTE VS HERCULES IN THE VALE OF WOE starring Liana Orfei, Raimondo Vianello and Mario Carotenuto among others.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Photo of the Day

Maciste (Kirk Morris) fights with a headhunter (Nello Pazzafini) in COLOSSUS AND THE HEADHUNTERS

Great location. I wonder where it is.

Back on Monday

Sword and Pulp books

A small sample of pulp book PEPLUM pulp books