Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Rhonda Fleming, R.I.P.

Rhonda in REVOLT OF THE SLAVES (1960)

Hollywood star Rhonda Fleming died on October 14 at the age of 97. Though she didn't star in many PEPLUM movies, those that she did star in were big titles, at least in regards to the genre itself. She was an actress, singer, and dancer (in Las Vegas). One of her earliest roles was in Hitchcock's SPELLBOUND (1945). She would eventually become lead actress in many movies during most of the 1950s. A lot of her movies are not PEPLUM movies per se but have elements of the genre such as A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT (1948). Her biggest roles would be in SERPENT OF THE NILE, QUEEN OF BABYLON and REVOLT OF THE SLAVE. May she R.I.P..

Rhonda in LITTLE EGYPT (1951). Not a PEPLUM movie but she had a memorable belly dance in it.

Rhonda with Sterling Hayden in THE GOLDEN HAWK (1952). She was the star of the movie, with her name above the title.

Rhonda as Cleopatra
Rhonda starred in this William Castle directed movie made for Columbia Pictures. Raymond Burr co-starred with her. Fun film.

Rhonda in a publicity photo for YANKEE PASHA (1954). Not a true PEPLUM movie. A combination Western/Arabian Adventure. The story takes place in the 1800s and Rhonda's character is kidnapped and sent to Arabia to become a dancing girl in a harem.


Rhonda went to Italy to star in this sorta big PEPLUM movie with a 'cast of thousands.' It was quite an ambitious production, an early PEPLUM shot in color. It also starred another Hollywood actor, Ricardo Montalban. Is it accurate in regards to Babylonian culture? Not really but it's fun, sorta influential PEPLUM since it was made way before all the upcoming titles of the late 1950s.

Ricardo, playing Amal, with Rhonda, as Semiramis, in this improbable and yet fun PEPLUM

Rhonda dances up a storm in a massive ceremonial scene.

Semiramis (Fleming) is to be burned at the stake. Big production.


6 years after going to Italy to make QUEEN OF BABYLON, Rhonda return to Rome to shoot her best PEPLUM yet: REVOLT OF THE SLAVES. I think it's an overlooked PEPLUM movie which finally got the Blu-ray treatment. One of those PEPLUM movies I watch over and over.

Rhonda Fleming with her co-stars: Dolores Francine, Ettore Manni, Wandisa Guida, and Fernando Rey. Great cast.

Rhonda's character is during the climax imprisoned along with Dolores Francine.

Lang Jeffires and Rhonda in a publicity photo. Both were married briefly after the production was completed.

Rhonda with Serge Gainsbourg and Van Aikens. Serge would become a legendary crooner after his stint in PEPLUM movies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

History repeated itself here in one respect. Revolt of the Slaves is a remake of sorts of Fabiola. Henri Vidal and Michele Morgan met and married during the filming of Fabiola. Rhonda and Lang Jeffries, playing the same roles, also met and married during Revolt of the Slaves.