Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Photo of the Day

Sandokan (Ray Danton) in SANDOKAN FIGHTS BACK

Excellent production values, good action, good cast. A surprisingly solid and entertaining film. In fact, all of the Sandokan films, including those with Steve Reeves as Sandokan, are good fun. 


A wardrobe test shot with Gina Lollobrigida standing in costume on location for SOLOMON & SHEBA.

Cool shot

The music of Mario Nascimbene

I uploaded THE BACCHANTES this past Monday and the soundtrack for that wonderful film was by Mario Nascimbene, who was a veteran of the PEPLUM genre when he scored the music for the Giorgio Ferroni film on Dionysus. Here are a couple of his other PEPLUM scores.



THE MONGOLS...not my favourite PEPLUM soundtrack

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Photo of the Day

Errol Flynn and Gina Lollobrigida in CROSSED SWORDS (1954)

Cinematography by the brilliant Jack Cardiff. Unfortunately the film is only available in a murky, scratched, noisy copy. Flynn, as this photo shows, looks bored and tired. Gina is practically unrecognizable in more ways than one: though she spoke English her familiar voice has been dubbed over by a very common sounding voice actress. Not bad but not remarkable by any means. This is a type of film they'll never make today because even though the costumes are great the male characters all wear tights. 

Technical goof: back-drop with visible shadows

From THE GIANT OF MARATHON, a common technical goof of sorts seen in many PEPLUM films: visible shadows on studio walls/back-drops. Now this is sorta surprising for this film which had a higher than usual budget but then they probably thought no one would notice with Steve Reeves in the shot. Ah!

Previous post on this affliction.

100th anniversary of the granddaddy of PEPLUM films

April 18 was the 100th anniversary of the release of CABIRIA, not only considered a great film in by itself but also it's the granddaddy of the PEPLUM genre, a film which set the template for the genre in regards to themes, ideas, structure and even characters, including the film to introduce the legendary character Maciste, played by Bartolomeo Pagano.

A new version of the film with additional scenes will be viewed on June 17, 2014.

The following was translated by Google:

Cabiria will have a new first for its one hundred years

On June 17, in the same cinema of April 18, 1914

Happen on the 17th of June, instead of April 18 as it should be. But it will be an event for the first time Cabiria will be shown exactly as in the day of his first appearance. Same scene, same music, same venue, then called Rai quell'Auditorium Teatro Vittorio Emanuele and where he was projected a preview of the first blockbuster film of the story, filmed in Turin, between the Lungo Dora and valleys of Lanzo.

A century later

One hundred years later Cabiria sleek back. The evening of June 17 will be screened in full, with the original scenes shot by John Pastrone and the music composed by Pizzetti. It is the fruit of a long path over ten years. "In 2003, the grandson of Pastrone has found a crate in the basement of documents relating to the production of the film," says the museum's director Alberto Barbera del Cinema. "Pastrone was a meticulous person: noted and kept everything." This finding was essential to the restoration of the film, which took place in 2005. Region has invested 300 thousand Euros to buy the material and donated to the Museum of Cinema who has designed a new makeover after the one made in the '70s. "This time However, we have reconstructed 99 per cent of the original version of 1914, "says Barbera. "Discovering, inter alia, that the restoration of the 70 contained scenes that actually had been added at a later time."

Link (in Italian)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Photo of the Day

Maciste (Kirk Morris) test his strength with a bunch of men in TRIUMPH OF MACISTE

This is the first appearance of Kirk in the film and it's a great way to introduce Maciste. Fun film. I did a Fan Dub of this film and I might upload it to Youtube one day.


Movie Poster Mondays


Not a big fan of this film but I have to say that the poster is colourful and nice.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Photo of the Day

Hercules (Alan Steel) is about to run off into the sunset in HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN

Classic PEPLUM ending!  Delia D'Alberti, Jean-Pierre Honoré and Anna Maria Polani are Herc's friends.

Back on Monday!

PEPLUM GIF animation

Great scene from FURY OF ACHILLES with Gloria Milland and Gordon Mitchell.

Gladiator Historical Figure Kit

Made of metal. Not tall (slightly more than 2") but cool kit nonetheless. This is how a gladiator should look like.

You can purchase it here: Gladiator "Murmillo"

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Photo of the Day

Pro Counsul Giunius (Giancarlo Sbragia) can't keep his eyes off of Xenia (Maria Grazia Buccella) in THE FALL OF ROME

No wonder. Busty Buccella always makes an impression. Ah! They pronounce her character's name as X-Zenia and not Xenia like the TV show from the 90s. Buccella made a couple of PEPLUM flicks in her 49 or so films.

Blog Notes

Twitter changed their look and so I updated the PEPLUM Twitter account as well. If you want to follow all things PEPLUM just become a follower or simply check it out:


I create an account at PINTEREST. Everything posted at the main PEPLUM blog and at PEPLUM X will be linked there in separate 'boards'. Links with video don't work (as far as I know) but the rest including GIF animations work at PINTEREST. Like every other social media website, you can follow and like stuff posted there and share it if you have an account. It's better than MySpace and the tired Facebook:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Photo of the Day

Dionysus (Pierre Brice) is confronted by Pentheus (Alberto Lupo) in THE BACCHANTES

The lighting in this shot is perfect. I didn't retouch the image. The writing during this entire scene is excellent.

It's odd how Dionysus has been portrayed in movies and popular culture. I already posted about this (link) but I think it's due for an update. And why was Dionysus such an important god in Greek mythology?

Film directed by Giorgio Ferroni who also directed the excellent THE TROJAN HORSE with Steve Reeves amongst other great PEPLUM films. I'll write a review of this film soon.

I'm off tomorrow (it's my birthday) so back on Thursday!

Uncredited actors : Messina Brother vs Messina Brother

From the TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS: Emilio is a regular star of the TEN GLADIATORS films but his brother Roberto wasn't even though he appeared briefly in them as a supporting actor. Here we see the two Messina brothers fighting each other at the beginning of the film.

Though Emilio is credited for being one of the Ten Gladiators, Roberto is not credited anywhere, at IMDb or any website I've checked or in any books.

Another exclusive internet first only to be found here at the PEPLUM TV blog.

PEPLUM Publicity

French 3D relief banner for HERCULES UNCHAINED, with Sylva Koscina front and center. Cool stuff.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Photo of the Day

Princess Fara (Susan Kohner) and Prince Voldi (John Saxon) are in love in THE BIG FISHERMAN

The only PEPLUM film for both, as far as I know.

Movie Poster Mondays

Belgian poster for DUEL OF CHAMPIONS

The French title is a bit underwhelming with simply the names of the warring families. Nice artwork.

I uploaded the entire film to Youtube. It's a special Fan Dub version I made.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Photo of the Day

Keros (Tony Russel) tries to convince Helea (Paola Pitti) that their love is serious in THE SPARTAN GLADIATORS

There's always a sense of Déjà vu with this location as it was often used in PEPLUM films made in Italy. Fun film with a great PEPLUM cast.

Back on Monday!


US lobby cards set for DEMETRIUS & THE GLADIATORS. Excellent set even if it's missing one card with that title card. Nothing bad to say about it except that for a film in Cinemascope the photos on the lobby cards are still in 4:3. They should have had lobby cards in Cinemascope. Ah!

PEPLUM GIF animation

For Good Friday, here's a GIF animation from BEN-HUR (1959)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo of the Day

Serge Nubret and Giuliano Gemma (behind Nubret) stand amongst the Titans in MY SON THE HERO (aka The Titans)

This is one of those PEPLUM films that you either think it's completely brilliant or completely daft. I've gaged the reaction of this film from everyone since I started the blog and many think this film is one of the best PEPLUM flicks evah while other think it's the most annoying and worst one evah  There's just no in-between. You either love it or hate it. And I actually get where both sides are coming from.


Behind-the-scenes photo of Greer Garson, Marlon Brando and Deborah Kerr all in costume, from JULIUS CAESAR (1953)

Was Sappho really a lesbian?

Because very little information is left of the legendary poetess speculation on the life of Sappho is sketchy at best. There's very little evidence from what's left of her poetry which hints at a 'Sapphic' sister. Just to make sure this is not a critique of lesbians. I'm pro Gay/Lesbian. This is just an observation.

From Wikipedia :

"These fragments have often been interpreted as referring to Sappho's daughter, or as confirming that Sappho had a daughter with this name. But even if a biographic reading of the verses is accepted, this is not certain."

If she had a daughter she wasn't 100% lesbian.

"Sappho's poetry centers on passion and love for various people and both sexes. The word lesbian derives from the name of the island of her birth, Lesbos, while her name is also the origin of the word sapphic; neither word was applied to female homosexuality until the 19th century. The narrators of many of her poems speak of infatuations and love (sometimes requited, sometimes not) for various females, but descriptions of physical acts between women are few and subject to debate.  Whether these poems are meant to be autobiographical is not known, although elements of other parts of Sappho's life do make appearances in her work, and it would be compatible with her style to have these intimate encounters expressed poetically, as well. Her homoerotica should be placed in the context of the 7th century (BC). The poems of Alcaeus and later Pindar record similar romantic bonds between the members of a given circle."

 The death of Adonis

Sappho, along with her circle of young girls, worshipped Adonis. A piece of Sappho's poetry shows this cult for Adonis, which includes his death (and the whole cycle of renewal). It's seems a bit odd for a lesbian to worship the god of beauty and desire in male form. But then again there are so many gods in Greek mythology that it probably wouldn't mean anything.

Sappho and Alcaeus by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

The poet Alcaeus was also reported to have been one of her lovers. He also lived on the island of Lesbos.

The first full feature film based on the Greek poetess was made in 1960 adventure film SAPPHO THE VENUS OF LESBOS directed by Pietro Francisci. Tina Louise played Sappho. In it she falls in love with a man, Phaon (played by Kerwin Mathews), who was based on the Legend of Phaon, a man Sappho purportedly fell in love with. In 1960, openly lesbian characters were rare in films so it's understandable they skirted the issue but the subtext is there, certainly with Sappho's close friendship with Actis, played by Susy Andersen.

So was Sappho a lesbian?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Photo of the Day

Anna (Gia Scala) and Robin Hood (Don Burnett) and Little John (Samson Burke) in TRIUMPH OF ROBIN HOOD

This film was made in 1962 but feels like an early 1970s films. Bodybuilder Samson Burke keeps his shirt on throughout the film and is acting is in control, not like some of his other films. Pretty good cast in this rarely seen auctioneer. Not as wacky as ROBIN HOOD AND THE PIRATES. Ah!

Location : Latomies di Salone quary (exterior)

Very popular location for PEPLUM films, from Hollywood or from Italy. I've lost count on how many films have used this quary, sometimes briefly, many times extensively. This images just the exterior of the location.

BEN-HUR (1959)




Who wore it best?

Brad Harris in GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS or Pier Maria Cecchini in BOOM?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Photo of the Day

Pier Maria Cecchini in BOOM (1999)

An Italian comedy on the PEPLUM genre. I haven't seen it so I can't say specifically what's going on here but from the information found at IMDb, it looks like the film is made of short stories and one of the short stories includes Cecchini and veteran PEPLUM star Brad Harris. The costume he's wearing is the same as Brad's in GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS

Then and Now : Alessandra Panaro

The beautiful Alessandra in TEMPLE OF THE WHITE ELEPHANT; a recent photo of Alessandra

Rome older than previously thought

It is already known as the eternal city, and if new archaeological findings prove correct Rome may turn out to be even more ancient than believed until now.

Next week, the city will celebrate its official 2,767th birthday. According to a tradition going back to classic times, the brothers Romulus and Remus founded the city on 21 April in the year 753BC.

But on Sunday it was reported that evidence of infrastructure building had been found, dating from more than 100 years earlier. The daily Il Messagero quoted Patrizia Fortini, the archaeologist responsible for the Forum, as saying that a wall constructed well before the city's traditional founding date had been unearthed.

The wall, made from blocks of volcanic tuff, appeared to have been built to channel water from an aquifer under the Capitoline hill that flows into the river Spino, a tributary of the Tiber. Around the wall, archaeologists found pieces of ceramic pottery and remains of food.

"The examination of the ceramic material was crucial, allowing us today to fix the wall chronologically between the 9th century and the beginning of the 8th century," said Fortini.




Monday, April 14, 2014

Photo of the Day

Jesus and the two men are crucified in BEN-HUR (1959)

One of the two men was played by Aldo Pini, who starred in HERCULES and HERCULES UNCHAINED prior to making this film. He played Tifi, pilot of the Argos. He's credited as 'Bad Thief on Cross' in BEN-HUR. Unfortunately we never get to see Aldo in a good shot.

Movie Poster Mondays


It's also known as SANDOK - MACISTE OF THE JUNGLE or simply as SANDOK.

Beautiful poster!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Photo of the Day

Pierre Cressoy in DAVID & GOLIATH

Great costume and great photo.

I have to do a compilation of best costumes, male and female, of the PEPLUM genre and this one would be in the top ten. I have to admit though that the costume looks better in black and white than in colour.

Back on Monday!

Vintage Article

Vintage article with PEPLUM stars Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield

Same crown, different films

Haya Harareet as Antinea in JOURNEY BENEATH THE DESERT (1961) and Antonella Lualdi wore it one year later in MY SON THE HERO (1962)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Photo of the Day

Demetrius (Victor Mature) and Messalina (Susan Hayward) revel the night away with the help of some wine and dancers in DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS

Those dancers kill me. They're so intrusive and up close to the two that it would be a turn-off more than anything else. They're suppose to stay in the background or add spice not be part of the love affair. The director didn't know how to handle the dance scene.

Blog Notes : no more Facebook

Last week I closed both on my Facebook accounts. It didn't have any impact on my blog here. The number of views per day are the same. Even though I miss some of the 'friends' there I'm glad I got rid of Facebook. The sheer number of PEPLUM accounts there have become an infestation. Just too many of them repeating and stealing the same thing over and over, including stuff from this blog.

If you have a Facebook account you can still like/share posts by clicking the F icon at the foot of every post.

Anyway, while Facebook is no more there are always my other PEPLUM blogs: 

Other notes:

The PEPLUM Google+ page has 30 followers and has over 3 million views(see below), which is staggering since I started it just a couple of months ago.

You can follow all things PEPLUM at Twitter:

And last but not least, don't forget that there's a forum for discussion here at the blog. No one goes there but it's still open to discussion on all things PEPLUM: