Monday, December 16, 2019

By the Gods!

 Gianna Maria Canale and Frank Latimore in THE DEVIL'S CAVALIER (1959)

In this scene, Gianna's character tries to poison hero Latimore, which doesn't work in her favour. A very popular cliché. It's always fun to think that these wealthy dame walked around with a ring filled with poison.

This wasn't Gianna's peak in her career. She would star in plenty of other movies after this but this movie sorta is Frank Latimore's peak, certainly in Swashbucklers. By the mid 1960s, he would star in Westerns and eventually move back to the US to star in some prestigious Hollywood projects, including ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (1976), which was his last film. He also worked as a voice actor for Italian movies.

The film itself is pretty standard action but the production is excellent. It's gorgeous, with excellent locations, real interiors of castles and such, beautiful costumes, and an excellent score. The film starts with one character singing during the opening credits, which sadly was removed in the English print. The story starts almost the same way as HERCULES (1958): the hero rescues a woman from an out-of-control horse. The cast is populated by a roster of Italian actors seen in all PEPLUM movies, including Anthony Steffen. Director Siro Marcellini didn't direct that many movies but he did direct HERO OF BABYLON (1963) which a favourite of mine.

I have the original Italian version, a German copy and the US copy. The German copy was made into a Fan Dub. It's therefore in English with some scenes in German.

The US copy is 83 minutes long, at 24 frames a second, while the Italian copy is 81 minutes at 25 frames per second and the German/Fan Dub copy is at 83 minutes at 25 frames per second. The German/Fan Dub version is therefore the longest one. The audio from the English version was used for the Fan Dub but since that copy is cut audio from scenes that were missing/cut in the US copy switch to German.

The one mystery about it: the poster says it was shot in CinemaScope. IMDb says it was shot in CinemaScope. But none of the prints I have show it was shot in that aspect ration/format. In fact, all prints are 4:3 format. The screenshots I provided here I resized myself to make them look in widescreen. Therefore CinemaScope version is still missing, in any language.

Don't drink the wine!!!


Scott Ochiltree said...

Thanks, most interesting.

I love seeing good photos of Gianna. She is my favorite Italian actress from the Peplum era.

I will always primarily associate her with Peplum, pirate movies, and swashbucklers such as LION OF ST. MARK.

PEPLUM TV said...

She's my favourite PEPLUM actress for sure.