Tuesday, November 24, 2020

By the Gods!

Anthony Quinn as BARABBAS (1961)

In PEPLUM movies, big crowd scenes are often filmed without the main actors present, for many reasons (cost, planning everything...). The big wide shots are filmed with stand-ins or body doubles substituting for the stars, and scenes with the actual actors are edited in between to give the illusion that the actors are really there. Aside from a few exceptions (the climax during SINS OF POMPEII, for example), this is how it usually goes. It happens so often that multiple big scenes of cheering crowds are often re-used liberally in other movies as a cost saving measure. Director Richard Fleischer wisely buckled the trend and placing Quinn with the big crowd of extras during the arena scenes gave the movie an incredible sense of realism seen in few PEPLUM movies. 

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