Friday, September 29, 2017

Actor profile: Benito Stefanelli

Continuing with profiling relatively unknown supporting actors of Italian/Euro PEPLUM films. Today it's Benito Stefanelli who was always a supporting actor, never a leading actor, but also acted as Weapons Master/Fencer/Stuntman in many films as well, PEPLUM or not, including classics such as DUEL OF THE TITANS, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY and ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA.

According to IMDb, his first film was ULYSSES (1954) the Kirk Douglas vehicle. I tried to find him in it but there are so many actors and shot at a distance that I could't find him. I had the same problem in finding him in SON OF SPARTACUS, DUEL OF THE TITANS and A QUEEN FOR CAESAR. He's also in THE TROJAN HORSE even though he's not credited for it, at IMDb or in the film, which is odd as it's one of Benito's biggest and best roles. IMDb is filled with errors so I'm certain there are more roles of Benito missing from this profile.  His other big roles were in THE LAST OF THE VIKINGS, THE BACCHANTES, WAR OF THE TROJANS and REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS. If you look at him quickly he can be mistaken for Claudio Scarchilli. In fact, Benito is credited to be in MESSALINA (1960) but I can't find him in it but Claudio Scarchilli is in it and yet he's not credited for that film. PEPLUM confusion.

Benito in a brief role in TERROR OF THE RED MASK.

Benito in THE LAST OF THE VIKINGS costarring George Ardisson (below). Benito's role is substantial in this great film.

Benito's best role was probably in THE TROJAN HORSE, which he's not even listed at IMDb or the film's opening credit. His duel with Steve Reeves is the highlight of his career (below) and one of the best scenes in this movie. He plays John Drew Barrymore's right-hand man (above). Because he was a stuntman/weapons expert, he's doing the stunts during the duel.

Benito went on to appear in WAR OF THE TROJANS (aka The Avenger), the sequel to THE TROJAN HORSE, again starring Steve Reeves and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart (above). He's a good guy in this film.

One of Benito's last PEPLUM films was REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS, starring Mickey Hargitay (above). Benito played a gladiator and was part of a team called The Invincible 6 (below).

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Actor profile : Ursula Davis (repost)

Continuing with profiling relatively unknown supporting actors of Italian/Euro PEPLUM films. Today it's Ursula Davis née Pier Anna Quaglia. Ursula only appeared in a dozen films and made just 3 PEPLUM films and yet her face is unforgettable. Her distinctive beauty and acting made her stand-out from the crowded PEPLUM babe crowd.

Her first film was BRENNUS - ENEMY OF ROME where she stood toe to toe with Gordon Mitchell. Her two other PEPLUM films were THE INVINCIBLE BROTHERS MACISTE and SPARTACUS AND THE TEN GLADIATORS. Love her. I wish she had made more PEPLUM films. Oh well...


Ursula starred with Gordon Mitchell (above) and Erno Crisa (below) in BRENNUS


Ursula one of three main actresses in INVINCIBLE BROTHERS MACISTE : Claudie Lange and Gia Sandri (below)


Ursula was the love interest for the handsome Romano Giomini in SPARTACUS AND THE TEN GLADIATORS

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Actor profile : Philippe Hersent (repost)

Continuing with profiling relatively unknown supporting actors of Italian/Euro PEPLUM films. Today it's Philippe Hersent, a French actor who appeared in an incredible number of PEPLUM films. When he was 20 years old he acted in GOLGOTHA (1932), a French Biblical film on the life of Jesus. It's almost impossible to find him in the film since it has a cast of thousands and even though he plays one of the apostles few characters are identified on screen. Anyway, I included a screenshot from it just for fun but I'm unsure. Fast forward 20 years and Philippe acted in SIGFRIDO, which was one of the many PEPLUM films he would appear in up to the mid-1960s.

An excellent actor who was very versatile and at time difficult to spot, with an almost chameleon-like manner, Philippe was always a great addition to any films of the genre.

Is this Philippe at the age of 20 in GOLGOTHA?

Philippe in SIGFRIDO (1957)

Philippe was Godfrey of Bouillon, one of the leaders of the First Crusades, in THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS (1958)

Philippe played Pontius Pilate in THE SWORD & THE CROSS (aka Marie Magdalene; 1958) 


Philippe was Goliath's best friend, Androcles, in GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON (1960)


Philippe in THE CONQUEST OF NORMANS (1962)

Philippe had a commanding role as Titus Flavius in 79 AD : THE DESTRUCTION OF HERCULANEUM (1962)

All of the following films were released in 1964:

Philippe was in the GIANTS OF ROME (with Wandisa Guida)

HERO OF ROME (aka The Colossus of Rome) was one of a couple of films Philippe made with Gordon Scott

Philippe was Claudius, husband of Messalina (Lisa Gastoni), in THE LAST GLADIATOR 

An almost unrecognizable Philippe in ROME VS ROME (aka War of the Zombies)

Philippe in another Gordon Scott film COROLIANUS : HERO WITHOUT A COUNTRY

Philippe co-starred with Dan Vadis in ZORIKAN

Philippe in one of his last PEPLUM films was also one of the last films from the genre made in the 1960s, THREE SWORDS FOR ROME

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Actor profile: Elena Zareschi (repost)

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)

Monday, September 25, 2017

Actor profile: Claudio Scarchilli (repost)

This is a new feature at the blog. I'll post a profile of a supporting actor or actress who's mostly unknown even if they have a sizeable PEPLUM career. Today, the profile is on Claudio Scarchilli. He's often mistaken for other actors. This list should clear up this confusion. He's not credited for two of his films which means that there might be more films out there with him but I didn't notice them yet. If you do know any other PEPLUM films he's in please let me know.

1960 -


Claudio is not credited for this role, at IMDb or in the film's credits, as one of the rebelling gladiators teaming up with Gordon Scott. This is his first film as far as I know.

1962 -


Credited as Disma at IMDb.


Credited at IMDb as Bandit for this film.


Claudio plays one of the villains. Listed at IMDb.

1963 -


First time without his beard. This role is credited at IMDb.

1964 -

URSUS THE TERROR OF THE KIRGHIZ (Hercules - Prisoner of evil)

This is the performance I remember the most of Claudio's. He plays Lava, a man who infiltrates the camp of Ursus and Lava is set to kill the giant hero. This role is credited at IMDb. 


Claudio is not listed in the film's credits or at IMDb for this somewhat big role in ANTHAR.

1965 -


Not a PEPLUM but the entire cast and crew is made up entirely from the PEPLUM genre and Claudio appears in it as well, with Massimo Serato on the right. Listed at IMDb.


This is Claudio's last PEPLUM role before doing Spaghetti Westerns, including THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

By the Gods!

I'm taking some time off. My last break was back in late July. I'll be back soon enough. In the meantime keep an eye on PEPLUM TV. I'll be uploading stuff to the channel during my break.

Thanks to all of those who support this blog and Youtube channel!

I'll leave you now with King Leonidas (Richard Egan) from THE 300 SPARTANS (1962), saying "From this wall, we do not retreat!"

PS : If any PEPLUM star die while I'm away, R.I.P..

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

By the gods!

Ricardo Montalban, as Captain Gordon, in RAGE OF THE BUCCANEERS (1961)

It's also known as GORDON - THE BLACK PIRATE. Good film, almost on par with MORGAN THE PIRATE starring Steve Reeves. The story is not as 'tragic' as the latter film. Ricardo made many films in Europe which didn't hurt his acting career in the US, which was rare back then. His acting career lasted decades.


Steve Reeves taking home movies of the behind the scenes action on the set for his film, THE TROJAN HORSE (1961)