Tuesday, August 8, 2017

PEPLUM Cliché : Unrequited love!

One of the biggest clichés of the PEPLUM genre is not a muscular hero heaving boulders or bending metal but that of unrequited love. I'd say nearly all films of the PEPLUM genre has this cliché or some variation of it. Since the lead is most often male, the one doing the pinning is a woman. But there are many stories were the lonely Queen is being wooed by a man who wants nothing but be her husband (and ascend to power!).

Here's just a small sample of titles with this cliché.

Posted at the permanent PEPLUM cliché page

Sinuhe (Edmund Purdom) pins for Nefer (Bella Darvi) in THE EGYPTIAN (1954)

The movie's entire story is based on the unrequited love Sinuhe has for Nefer, who leads him to spiritual and financial disaster. Purdom also starred in THE PRODIGAL (1955), another story of a man abandoning everything for a woman.

Astra (Gianna Maria Canale) wants Goliath (Gordon Scott ; Maciste in original) in GOLIATH & THE VAMPIRES (1961)

In one of the most intense and sometimes bizarre 'love' story, the human side of the often evil Astra shines through with her adoration for Goliath.

Kirk Morris and Hélène Chanel in MACISTE IN HELL (1962)

Almost all of Kirk's films has a woman pinning for him while he remains aloof and distant.

Cameron Mitchell and Franca in THE NORMANS (1962)

Mitchell's character is after the Queen, who keeps her distance.

Queen Smedes (Chelo Alonso) pines for Maciste (Mark Forest) in SON OF SAMSON (1960)

The Queen wants Maciste and though he briefly enjoys her company, they never live together happily ever after.

Anne Baxter and Charlton Heston in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956)

"Oh Moses, Moses!" says Nefretiri as she longs for Moses' love but he wants nothing to do with her. Classic example of this popular cliché.


Scott Ochiltree said...

Very good compilation indeed. However, I recommend you add SLAVE OF CARTHAGE to the listing.

In this film Gianna Maria Canale's unrequited love for Jorge Mistral leads to her horrific cruelty towards her Christian slavegirl.

Scott Ochiltree said...

I should also have recommended SINS OF ROME because of Gianna's unrequited love for Massimo Girotti.

E Olsen said...

At that point in the story, Moses did want Nefretiri.