Wednesday, June 21, 2017

By the Gods!

Karin Dor, as Brunhild, in WHOM THE GODS WISH TO DESTROY (part 1 ; 1966)

A German production on the often filmed story of folklore tale of Siegfried and Brunhild. Fritz Lang filmed the same story in the 1920s. And an Italian production was made and released in 1957, directed by Giacomo Gentilomo. The cast is mostly Germans but there are some familiar faces for PEPLUM fans, including Mario Girotti (aka Terence Hill) and Samson Burke. When I watch this film, it reminds me on how much I love Italian productions. Not that there's anything wrong with this film, it just lacks that style and quality I'm so used to watching with Italian films. Production values are very good but the film looks and feels stagey. I don't know why German tales are so hard to film compared to the Greco-Roman kind (I have to write an article on this). The beautiful Karin Dor would star in the James Bond film, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1967), after this. A sequel was released in 1967 as well.

1 comment:

Richard Svensson said...

That is a very odd and random title for a world-famous epic! I think I've seen all cinematic versions of this tale, including the 2004 TV production Curse of the Ring / Sword of Xanthen / The Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King / other titles.
Out of them all I actually prefer the Fritz Lang production, which seems to have been creating a cinematic template. Some of the designs for costumes in the Italian Sigfrido looks very inspired by the Lang films.
This German 1966/67 production is very pretty-looking, but ponderous. I always feel that Italian Peplums compared to similar genre movies made in other countries, including Hollywood productions, exude an enthusiasm and liveliness which is lacking in those other films. I recently watched Last of the Vikings with Cameron Mitchell, and though it's a cheaper film in most ways than the Kirk Douglas movie The Vikings, it's got a faster-moving plot and seemingly more passion than its American counterpart. It's the Mediterranean temperament, I guess.