Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Musings! (06-08)

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


During my time off, I received the Artus Films DVD of THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS (1957) starring Gianna Maria Canale, Sylva Koscina, Francisco Rabal and Rik Battaglia. It's a definite favourite of mine. I did a Fan Dub of it and it was the most complete version yet. I'm happy with the Artus Films' DVD but I would have preferred a Blu-ray or HD version of it. It also raised a ton of questions on why they were able to get this copy, with Italian opening credits, instead of the one with French opening credits.

Gianna Maria Canale and Sylva Koscina.

To make things more confusing, there's a HD version of this film in French on Youtube, with French opening credits. 

Why couldn't Artus Films, a French distributor, obtain the rights to the French HD version but a Youtube channel, originating in Italy, has the HD version of the film in French?

The whole thing is very confusing. I'll try to write about it without being too confusing.


French release, with French cover and back. DVD includes French and Italian languages options. The runtime: 100 minutes PAL (which is at 25 frames per second).

The opening credits are in Italian, not French. The French opening credits are available on the DVD but only as an *extra*. 


The Youtube version is in HD, in French and a runtime of 92 minutes PAL. The opening credits are in French. 

I verified both versions and they're basically the same, meaning the HD is not really HD but simply an up-conversion of the print found on the DVD. Below are screenshots of the two versions.

Above: screenshot from the Artus Films DVD. Below: screenshot of the Youtube 'HD' version. They are identical.

So, the only difference between these two French versions is the Youtube one has the original opening credits in French and 8 minutes are cut.

The Artus Films DVD is uncut, at 100 minutes, but with the original Italian opening credits.

Personally, I prefer the original Italian opening credits so in the end the Artus Films one is the best: it's uncut and it has the original Italian audio which matches with those opening credits. But it's odd that I had to buy a DVD from France, sold as a French release, to get this Italian version.


As stated above, I got the French DVD of THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS, called LA MURAILLE DE FEU (or The Wall of Fire). It's a great DVD. Artus Films know how to make these DVDs: it includes the disc with Italian and French language options. The original French, Italian and US posters. And it comes with a great booklet (below, far left) with info on the movie. They really respect the films they sell. I give it a 10 out to 10. This is how I would do it for all PEPLUM titles. Now if only this was in high definition and the English audio was also included.


VHS cover of TAUR THE MIGHTY (1963) starring Joe Robinson and Bella Cortez. Looks nothing like the original movie even though the hero sorta resembles Joe Robinson. The Spanish title translates as KING OF BRUTE FORCE. 


Can you identify the movie with this simple matte painting? I'm certain no one will get this.

The movie is CONQUEROR OF THE ORIENT (1960). Orsh got it.


During my time off, I watched:


I had to watch this movie several times, trying to see the differences between my Fan Dub, the new DVD from Artus Films, and the so-called HD copy on Youtube. Great looking film.


There's an English version available on Youtube but it's severly cut, with a runtime just under 80 minutes. They titled it SIGN OF ROME. I also watched the one from Mediaset / RAI, with the odd colours. 


One of two Gordon Scott movies I watched. Solid PEPLUM movie. Remarkably enough, the Sinister Cinema version, in English, is complete. I watched that version with an old Fan Dub version someone else did, and titled as ARROW OF THE AVENGER, to see how complete both versions were. ARROW OF THE AVENGER is the UK title. Also starring Serge Nubret (below).


Second Gordon Scott movie I watched. One of my favorites.


One of the most fascinating way to find scenes cut from movies are lobby cards. It's amazing how many cut scenes, those that didn't end up in the final cut, end up in lobby cards set. I have to write an article about this.


There's finally the official English version, with English opening credits, on Youtube for THE BACCHANTES. I did a Fan Dub of this movie years ago, and the English audio I had was in a terrible state. But It's one of my favourite movies and Fan Dub jobs, so seeing the original English version after so many years missing in action is quite a surprise. The image quality and audio of that copy are not that great though.


It seems more and more of these rare, almost 'lost' versions of movies are surfacing one by one. So far it's been a great year for hard to find movies.


Speaking of hard to find movies, there are English subtitles for the ultra rare NERONE E MESSALINA (1953) starring Gino Cervi (below), which I recently got. It makes a whole lot of difference. Great movie. 



Future Musings:

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?


orsh549 said...

The matte painting you showed seems to be from an animated film? This is very difficult a hint would help a little.

PEPLUM TV said...

It's not an animated movie. It's from a regular PEPLUM.

It stars Gianna Maria Canale...

orsh549 said...

Well since you mentioned Gianna and looking at the matte I'M guessing that the movie is CONQUEROR OF THE ORIENT. Right or wrong?

PEPLUM TV said...