Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for the support and see ya in 2022!

Clip of the week: THE SIN OF ADAM AND EVE

Starring Jorge Rivero (Adam) and Kandy (Eve)

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

HD Alert!

Anna Karina in SCHEHERAZADE (1963)

This movie was released on Blu-ray last September in France. I didn't buy it yet. From the screenshots, it looks good.
 Audio and subtitles in French only.

Vintage Article

French magazine article on PEPLUM stars, including Kirk Morris from SAMSON AND THE SEA BEAST (1964), Mark Forest and Paul Wynter from MACISTE - THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD (1961). Vincent Gilles appeared in SCHEHERAZADE (1963).

Monday, December 27, 2021

By the Gods!

Ali Baba (Bruno Piergentili) is tortured by blazing light in ALI BABA AND THE SEVEN SARACENS (1964)

Torture scenes are nothing new in PEPLUM movies. In fact, there are a couple of them in this movie, including a brutal one at the beginning. But this scene, and where the light comes from or what it does, is never explained. We have to assume it's some kind of power the villain, played by Gordon Mitchell, is able to wield but never uses in the movie except for this scenes. PEPLUM movies are sometimes odd. Bruno was credited as Dan Harrison for the US version. In the original, the character was Sinbad not Ali Baba. 

PEPLUM Movie Posters

Original Italian poster of THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961) starring Steve Reeves

Fabulous poster. I should get it. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Merry Christmas!

The Three Magi following the Star of Bethlehem from BEN-HUR (1959)

Clip of the week: THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961)

Classic movie starring Steve Reeves!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

HD Alert!

'Hercules' (Gordon Scott) kills the prison guard (Nello Pazzafini) during a combat scene in HERCULES AGAINST MOLOCH (1963)

2 months ago I posted about finding a clip of this movie on Youtube in HD (1280p). So I was looking for the full movie and I found one copy. The clip on Youtube is in Italian but the full movie I found is in French. Regardless, I finally got it. I like this movie even though it has some liabilities, including the use of scenes from other movies, mainly THE BACCHANTES (1961) and THE TROJAN HORSE (1961). All three movies were directed by Giorgio Ferroni. This use of scenes from other movies is a problem with these HD transfers: the original new scenes look great in HD but the re-used clips look even worse than usual in HD. Doing HD transfers of 2nd or 3rd generation clips is awful, and there's a lot of these re-used scenes in this movie. If you're wondering, those legs belong to Jany Clair. Scott's real name is not Hercules but Glaucus. He assumes the name of Hercules to hide his identity. That's why I put Hercules in brackets.

Then & Now: Valérie Lagrange

Valérie in MORGAN THE PIRATE (1960); a recent appearance of the actress

Monday, December 20, 2021

By the Gods!

Alan Ladd in DUEL OF CHAMPIONS (1961)

This is a difficult movie to review. Directed by two directors, one for the English version (Terence Young) and one for the Italian version with Italian crew (Ferdinando Baldi), it has obvious shortcomings, mainly the star himself, Alan Ladd. His days as a leading man were pretty much over by the time this was made. What's remarkable about the movie is the near total lack of flattering shots of Ladd. He looks terrible throughout. Because of this, the film is sorta dreary, including dreary weather, locations, etc. But the story itself is interesting and the score is amazing. The big set they built, behind the grimacing Ladd, is impressive even if it's under-utilized. I like the movie. It's just Alan was so not into it and it shows.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Japanese poster of THE INVINCIBLE GLADIATOR (1961)

Another great poster from Japan. Simple and yet eye-popping and dramatic. Starring Richard Harrison.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Image of the week!

 Queen Omphale (Sylvia Lopez) greets the Argonauts in HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959)

Musings! (Dec 17)

Searching far and wide for all things PEPLUM! Luciano Marin and Steve Reeves in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959)


The issue with the German Blu-ray release of SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR, previously mentioned in the last MUSINGS! doesn't seem to have prompted any recall. I didn't notice any issues and I've asked some who bought it if there was any issues with their BD and they said no. It seems the issue might be with the players and not the BD itself.




Photos of Liana Orfei identified as Bella Cortez on eBay. Both Bella and Liana starred in THE TARTARS (1960) but these photos are not Bella.


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I bought the Blu-ray of THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (1965) and that I would write more about it. Well, the Blu-ray doesn't work. The movie plays halfway and then stops. So...that's it for that movie. Unless there's a place to download the HD version of it, that it. I'm not spending any additional money on this title. Disappointing. 


I just got this Blu-ray of SINS OF POMPEII in the mail. I haven't had time to check it yet. Hopefully it will work. More on this release in the near future.



I vaguely remember these CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981) toys. They're so cute. 





Can you identify this movie from this screenshot? Should be easy!

Identified: the movie has already been identified as THE LOVES OF HERCULES (1960). Good job.

No one identified the movie in the last MUSINGS!. It was from THE QUEEN OF SHEBA (1952).


Spanish DVD edition of HELEN OF TROY (1956). Beautiful cover.



The new German Blu-ray release of SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962) shows as out of stock at but it's actually in stock. It only shows this only to buyers who live outside of Germany. Since I'm in Canada, I wasn't able to buy it. Fortunately, I know someone who lives in Germany and they were able to purchase it for me. If it works without any issues (haha!), I should have a review or an overview of it soon.


The stats at Facebook have been good. I don't know why but that's the healthiest it's ever been.


Coming soon:

Edmund Purdom: nasty obituary and that book on his life!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

By the Gods!

The powerful Sandman (Steve Reeves) pulls a raft with people across a swampy river in SANDOKAN THE GREAT (1963)

Last week I posted the lobby cards of this movie and mentioned how it was missing this scene. Steve looks powerful here. Look at that arm! This top notch Steve Reeves movie is still not available in a decent HD version. I do have a copy in HD but the image is terrible and washed out. 


A tired looking Steve Reeves on the set of THE GIANT OF MARATHON (1959). Steve made 5 films in a row in 1958 - 1959. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Tuesday, December 14, 2021


Scenes from SERPENT OF THE NILE (1953)

This movie directed by William Castle has a lot of interesting matte paintings. For this kind of movie, it was fairly impressive to see so much matte work. Jack Erickson is credited for the movie's special effects, though no one is credited for these paintings.

Vintage Article

French article on Samson Burke on the filming of VENGEANCE OF URSUS. The article starts with Wandisa Guida (below) commenting on Burke's wide shoulders.

Monday, December 13, 2021

By the Gods!

Semiramis (Rhonda Fleming) dances during a sacrificial ceremony in QUEEN OF BABYLON (1954)

This movie has many perticularities:

- Two versions exists. One for the European market and one for the US market. They're basically the same but with different edits and scenes here and there. The US edit is much tighter, less cumbersome than the European one. Because of this difference I cannot make a Fan Dub of it.

- Rhonda Fleming dances but was she really a dancer? She performed in Las Vegas but dancing wasn't her talent.

- Rhonda's voice is used in the English version but Ricardo Montalban's voice is not.

- Though the movie uses names and settings from history it has almost nothing to do with actual historical facts.

- The title on movie posters is THE QUEEN OF BABYLON but the title during the opening credits is QUEEN OF BABYLON

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Italian poster of CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981)

 Amazing poster. I want it.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Image of the week!

A victorious Perseus (Harry Hamlin) holds up the head of the Medusa in CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981)

Note: a Musings! post scheduled for today has been rescheduled for next Friday


PEPLUM star Ed Fury jokes with Jane Russell on the set of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953). Ed would eventually go to Europe to star in a dozen genre movies while Jane, sadly, never acted in a PEPLUM movie.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

By the Gods!

Mylène Demongeot and Roger Moore in ROMULUS AND THE SABINES (1961)

I came across this HD print at a website which has several PEPLUM movies in HD. All from TV broadcasts. None of them in English. It's pretty amazing to see so many titles popping up from obscurity and finally getting the treatment they deserve. No more ugly public domain stuff. 

Lobby Cards Set: SANDOKAN THE GREAT (1963)

International lobby cards set of SANDOKAN THE GREAT (1963) starring Steve Reeves, Genevieve Grad, etc. Disappointing set from MGM. There are so many great moments in the movie which are missing such as Sandokan dragging a raft through a swamp. Most of the cards with Steve are flat. Number 2, 3 and 6 are the best cards. Oh well...

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Clip of the week: DIANE

Scene from DIANE (1956) when the young boy's prophecy comes to be. Starring Lana Turner and Roger Moore

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

HD Alert!

Georges Marchal and Adriana Benetti in SINS OF POMPEII (1950) 

The movie is now available in a Blu-ray format. This is a screenshot from the transfer. Notice the black bars on the sides. I purchased the Blu-ray so I'll post about it once I get it. Note: I had to adjust the brightness of the image since it was too dark to see anything. Hopefully, this transfer won't be too dark.

Then & Now: Sandra Milo

Sandra in HEROD THE GREAT (1959); A recent photo of the actress

Monday, December 6, 2021

By the Gods!

Ursus (Ed Fury) and Princess Diana (Luciana Gilli) relax in URSUS IN THE LAND OF FIRE (1963)

What's a PEPLUM movie without a scene filmed at Monte Gelato waterfalls? This scene is at odds with the rest of the movie as it's action-packed, violent, harsh, and filled with villains killing everyone. This scene almost doesn't belong in it. This is the second of three URSUS movie Ed made in Italy. Some say this is the best of the three. It has a following of sorts. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Italian poster of THARUS - SON OF ATTILA (1962) 

Good poster. That looks more like Steve Reeves than Jerome Courtland though. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Image of the week!

Caesar (Claude Rains), Cleopatra (Vivien Leigh), Britannus (Cecil Parker) and Apollodorus (Stewart Granger) have a chat in the lush CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA (1945)

PEPLUM Books (e-books)

More PEPLUM books, this time a digital edition. Here are 3 additional books from my library. They are added to the list found at the permanent page. 

What do I look for in a book which covers the PEPLUM genre?

I'm basically looking for a fun book filled with reviews, articles on some themes/subjects seen in such movies and a listing of titles, actors, etc. A good index.

The reason why I've asked this is because the 3 following books are not such books. I feel bad 'reviewing' them because they're definitely not the kind of PEPLUM compendium-style books I'm looking for. They're more like the academic kind, which doesn't really interest me. The main reason why: most people who write these books or articles have a superficial understanding or limited grasp of the PEPLUM genre. I still haven't encountered a single mind blowing 'academic book' which appeared to know everything, and I mean everything, about the genre, therefore their opinion would be fascinating to read. So, I always take these kind of books with a grain of salt.

I won't be reviewing them because the first two are not what I was looking for and the third book is in Spanish. I'm just listing them since they are in my collection. I'm also listing a couple of chapter titles to give an idea what the books are about.

Posted at the Permanent page

OF MUSCLES AND MEN - edited by Michael C. Cornelius


This was one of my first digital books I bought and I was looking forward to reading it. I quickly realized it's not what I expected. The author clearly knows his stuff and the intro makes for an interesting read, a quick summarization of the genre. The chapters are not as dismissive as most PEPLUM books out there but the emphasis is still low budget movies, bad dubbing, etc. If one writes an essay or a book on the PEPLUM genre, these details shouldn't even be an issue. One could not if the dubbing or voices are good or bad but dubbing or low budget productions are a fact of the genre. One should get over it.


- Hercules, Politics, and Movies

- From Maciste to Maximus and Company: The Fragmented Hero in the New Epic

- Beefy Guys and Brawny Dolls: He-Man, the Masters of the Universe, and Gay Clone Culture

THE NEW PEPLUM edited by Nicholas Diak


This compilation of essays is interesting in that it covers recent PEPLUM movies, which are often missing or neglected. Note: I was approached by the editor, Nicholas Diak, to write an essay. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I didn't write one even though I did have a subject which would have been interesting to write about. But looking at the other essays, my essay wouldn't have fit in. Unlike most writers I've come across, Diak is a big PEPLUM fan and loves the genre. 


- From Crowds to Swarms: Movement and bodies in Neo-Peplum Films.

- There Are No Boundaries for Our Boats: Vikings and the Westernization of the Norse Saga

- Male Nudity: Violence and the Disruption of Voyeuristic Pleasure in Starz's SPARTACUS



The book chronicles the presence of HERCULES and other heroes in movies, with HERCULES (1958) and subsequent Hercules movies profiled in chapter 3. The book is illustrated with photos and posters.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

By the Gods!

Diane de Poitiers (Lana Turner) tutors Prince Henri (Roger Moore) in DIANE (1956)

I like this movie. It's one good looking movie. Lana Turner did this after THE PRODIGAL (1955) which I mentioned on Tuesday's post. It's interesting to see how her career went from Bad Girl to historical characters like Diane de Poitiers. The production, like THE PRODIGAL, is excellent. Beautiful scenes and composition (like this shot) makes it look like a true Picture Book. I'm amazed how people don't see how aesthetically pleasing both Turner movies were. The role pf Prince Henri was initially set for Edmund Purdom but Turner refused to work with Purdom after he and Lana worked together in THE PRODIGAL. The role went to another young and upcoming British actor, Roger Moore. I'm reading Edmund Purdom's book written by his daughter. It's sorta revealing, a mixed bag of gossip and actual personal anecdotes. The screenshot was taken from a nice quasi HD print I recently got. 


Crew prepping Steve Reeves for a scene on the set of HERCULES (1958)

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Clip of the week: GIANTS OF ROME

Richard Harrison is straddled under a catapult and the chain is about to break in GIANTS OF ROME (1964)

Tuesday, November 30, 2021


Scenes from THE PRODIGAL (1955)

These are brilliant matte paintings. The one above just shows the surroundings without much fanfare, or low key, giving more realism to the scene. Normally spectacular, if that makes sense. Matte work by Warren Newcombe.