Sunday, July 25, 2021


I take a break roughly every two months so this is that time again.

Stay tuned!

I'll leave you now with King Leonidas (Richard Egan) from THE 300 SPARTANS (1962), saying "From this wall, we do not retreat!"

Friday, July 23, 2021

By the Gods!

Gordon Scott as Hercules in HERCULES AND THE PRINCESS OF TROY (1965; TV) 

A failed TV pilot that was destined for US TV markets. It was 5 years too late. Had this pilot been made in 1960 or 1961, maybe the series would have been picked up but by 1965, a lot of people had enough of any storyline set in Antiquity, mythical or not. There are many interesting aspects about it, including the excellent cast, Gordon Scott's ownvoice, the look of it, the monster at the end mostly the entire project itself. It's pretty much an encapsulation of the PEPLUM genre distilled down to less than an hour. This mini movie had no issues on Youtube for over a decade and suddenly Studio Canal+ took my copy down, claiming copyright issues. It's very bizarre. A new German DVD with thipilot episode will be released as part of a pack of three titles. I wonder if the quality of the image will be the same or better. 


Director Robert Aldrich went over something with Scilla Gabel on the set of SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962). 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

By the Gods!

Cameron Mitchell and Franca Bettoia in ATTACK OF THE NORMANS (1962)

I like this movie. It uses scenes from THE LAST OF THE VIKINGS (1961) and some dismiss it because of this but personally, as much as I like THE LAST OF THE VIKINGS, and it's good, I actually prefer this one. It has a more direct approach to the action. And the acting is much better. Both movies star Mitchell. Franca is still alive today. 

Different Versions: ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (1972)

In today's example of different versions found in my collection, the spotlight is on ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (1972) starring Charlton Heston and Hildegarde Neil.

There are only 5 examples in this comparison, with two being identical. I'll post the different versions from highest resolution to lowest. 

When it was released in the UK during its roadshow run, there were Intro and Outro music. There was also an Intermission. For its wide release, Intro and Outro music are almost always not included and are not considered as part of the real runtime

The Intro and Outro scores is only available in the Twilight Time Blu-ray. Unfortunately, the TT release is cut. And it doesn't include the Intermission. 

Needless to say, the EMBASSY VHS video version is the only full version out there, sans Intro and Outro music. But it does have the Intermission.

Posted at permanent page: DIFFERENT VERSIONS


English - Blu-ray - widescreen - resolution: 1280x546 - Runtime: 2 hours 35 minutes 28 seconds - NTSC - English only

Intro music 2 minutes 58 seconds - Outro music: 4 minutes 38 seconds

No intermission

This version is cut. Its runtime is deceptive since it includes 7 minutes and 36 seconds of music at the beginning and the end; without music the runtime is 2 hours 27 minutes and 52 seconds. This means nearly 13 minutes of scenes were cut from the original runtime of 160 minutes


English - TV broadcast - widescreen - resolution: 1021x430 - Runtime: 1 hour 42 minutes 42 seconds - NTSC - English only

No intro music - No outro music

No intermission

I assume this is a TV version. Source is unknown. Got it from Rarelust. It is heavily cut and moves at a brisk pace.


Norwegian - VHS tape - 4:3 - resolution: 720x550 - Runtime: 2 hours 32 minutes 36 seconds - PAL - English with Norwegian subtitles.

No intro music - No outro music

No intermission

Change at 1 hour 24 minutes 19 seconds

At 1 hour 24 minutes 19 seconds, there’s VHS noise and tracking resumes soon after. This suggests that the tape came in either two cassettes or that the source print was recorded with two cassettes.

Though at a certain high resolution, the image itself is heavily cropped (or zoomed in) and with the subtitles, this print has the least information.


English - TV broadcast - widescreen - resolution: 720x304 - Runtime: 1 hour 42 minutes 42 seconds - NTSC - English only

No intro music - No outro music

No intermission

Identical to the Version A but at a lower resolution. I got this print first, and 'upgraded' with version A.


English - US VHS - 4:3 - resolution: 620x480 - Runtime: 2 hours 40 minutes 15 seconds (excluding Embassy logo intro) - NTSC - English only

No intro music - No outro music

Intermission included. The intermission is 1 minute and 3 seconds long. Intermission happens at 1 hour 29 minutes 19 seconds into the movie.

This version is the only complete version (excluding the Intro and Outro music), including Intermission (below). 

Norwegian VHS cover

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


Maciste vs crushing walls! 

Kirk Morris in MACISTE IN THE VALLEY OF THE THUNDERING ECHOES (1964; aka Hercules of the Desert)

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

By the Gods!


Matte painters now had to do painting for movies in widescreen. Here's a great example. I love scenes like this. They tried to make the actual setting look more exotic or foreboding.

Musings! (07-20)

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


Italian filmmaking has many particularities not often seen in film productions from other countries. One of them is the predominance of having one or two (or more) directors assigned per production. One of the reasons this happened a lot back in the day is an English film crew working in tandem with an Italian one, such as DUEL OF CHAMPIONS (1961) with Terence Young, the English director, and Ferdinando Baldi as the Italian director. Since English crews worked mainly in English, a director or assistant director able to communicate with the predominantly Italian crew was crucial. So every film helmed by a director who spoke English or another language other than Italian always had an Italian director assigned to him. There's a list of titles which fall in this category.

Other scenarios to explain the use of more than one director: the original director became ill during production and the assistant director took over. This happened with THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959) in which Mario Bonnard became ill and Sergio Leone had to take over the complex shoot. Depending on which release, Leone is credited as a co-director or as the sole director.

Same movie, different credit: in the Italian DVD, Sergio Leone is credited as second unit director for THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959). In the French DVD, below, Leone is credited as the main director.

Another scenario is the original director quit or was fired in mid-production and someone else took over. This is what apparently happened with GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES (1961), with Sergio Corbucci taking over the production after Giacomo Gentilomo was gone.

But now there's another scenario in which a second director is now credited for a movie even though they weren't responsible for the entire project. This has been happening a lot with websites such as IMDb or Wikipedia in which fans of a certain director make the effort of adding him as second director to the pages of these movies at these websites. One of these movies is SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962) directed by Robert Aldrich and with Sergio Leone sharing credit as co-director (above). According to some, Leone was only involved in the big battle scenes while others claim he was involved for everything. I'm sure Aldrich wouldn't be too happy about this change but since he's dead he can't fight back. 

The same thing is going on with THE WONDERS OF ALADDIN (1961) in which director Henry Levin now shares a co-direction credit with Mario Bava. The fans of the latter are particuliarly obsessed in making sure Bava gets co-direction credit for every movie he worked on, no matter how important or not his input was. If you go to the IMDb page of THE WONDERS OF ALADDIN (linked above), Bava is listed first as director even though he reportedly worked only less than a quarter of the film itself, with Levin working the bulk of the production. I like Bava but some of his fans are kinda creepy. 

This irks me. As someone who has had a passing experience in film production, I can tell you that this re-writing of history is incorrect. I was once involved in a production for a major Hollywood production, directed by a well known director and for the two weeks I worked, I only saw this famous director a couple of times. The assistant director did all the work (shouting action, etc) while the director was behind the scenes, monitoring everything from a studio of TVs which showed what was going on. The assistant director never got co-direction credit even though he was the one who worked directly with cast and crew. If an assistant director filmed 5 minutes or 10 minutes for whatever reasons the main director wasn't available that day, that doesn't mean the assistant director should share direction credits. For an assistant director to do a scene and not be credited is pretty much a standard practice in the movie making industry. 

Since the PEPLUM genre has very little respect to begin with and few people out there are ready to defend it, these things will keep on going.


Re-release poster for GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959). I don't know where to start. Anyway, Steve never wears pants in the entire movie.


Can you identify this movie from this screenshot? It sorta looks murky but it's a pivotal moment in the movie so those who saw it probably know.

Last week's movie, IRONMASTER (1983), was identified by 'Anonymous.' 


Joan collins' screentest for CLEOPATRA (1963) in which Elizabeth Taylor was eventually cast.


An ad for the premiere showing of GLADIATOR OF ROME on TV. This amazes me. PEPLUM movies were very popular back then, enough to have an ad for a TV premiere. Those were the days...



The stats for the past two weeks have been great. side from July 14 and 19, most of the views during the past 2 weeks hovered above or around 2000. 


I posted an article at BY THE GODS! on the most popular tweets...


Speaking of Twitter, I noted that I was going to do a Twitter account for the actresses of the PEPLUM genre. Right now I feel like I'm being over extended with everything so I'll try to see after my time off.


Future Musings:

- List of best costumes, for women and for men.

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?

Monday, July 19, 2021

By the Gods!

 Spectacular scene from THE TARTARS (1961)

This scene is quite cinematic and eye-filling. Later on in the movie, there's a spectacular dance number with men, and one sole female dancer. Everything is top notch. The matte painting work is so good that I'm still not sure if it's matte work. The production design is for a top tier movie while the story itself is strictly pulpy, B-movie kind. I like it but the underwhelming story doesn't live up to the epicness of the production.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Japanese poster of THE NIGHTS OF LUCRETIA BORGIA (1959)

I love Japanese posters and this one is as dramatic as other PEPLUM movies. That's Belinda Lee and Jacques Sernas.

Friday, July 16, 2021

By the Gods!

Hercules (Steve Reeves) consults the Sybil in HERCULES (1958) 

The screenshot above was taken from the Japanese Blu-ray, the only real HD version available anywhere. Even with its perculiar faults, this is a genuine HD transfer. One can see the details, such as Reeves eyes and his physique. If you click on the image you'll see how big the resolution is.

As posted below, some Youtubers claim they have 4K versions of this movie and HERCULES UNCHAINED. Check out the link to By The Gods! blog to get the scoop. Below is a screenshot taken from the 4K version posted at Youtube. Compare it to the Japanese Blu-ray. 

At the movies...

Here's a photo taken from a postcard of HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959) starring Steve Reeves playing at the cinema in Goshen, Indiana. I now have that postcard in my collection. 



Thursday, July 15, 2021

By the Gods!

Alberto Lupo, as Menelaus, and Mark Forest, as Aryan, confer in THE LION OF THEBES (1964)

Lupo often played these roles, sorta cameos, in PEPLUM movies. He was an excellent actor so his contribution was always seen a positive for any production, no matter how short the role was. One has to remember that this movie takes place aster the fall of Troy and here is 
Menelaus from the story of Troy. Depending on which side you're on with the legend of Troy, Menelaus is either evil or good.

Lobby Cards Set: JULIUS CAESAR (1953)

Original US lobby cards set of JULIUS CAESAR (1953) starring Marlon Brandon, and a host of actors. Good set if one hasn't seen the movie but if you seen it, it's lacking. There's no close up of Marlon Brando, who was a big star back then. Really odd decision to not include one head shot. I like it. But it's repetitive and it's missing scenes.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Clip of the week: THOR AND THE AMAZON WOMEN (1963)

Man vs women - starring Joe Robinson and Susy Andersen 

If you don't see the video, click this link

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

By the Gods!

Harry Baird is placed on a plinth to be showcased for some mysterious woman in THOR AND THE AMAZON WOMEN (1963)

When you think of Thor does an image like this come to mind? It's a very peculiar movie in the PEPLUM genre, even more so as a Thor story. And there's a reason for this. It was first conceived as a Tarzan story but when the E. R. Burroughs estate threatened to sue the production, they changed everything while still maintaining the 'jungle adventure' aspects of the original story. Hence, a PEPLUM movie that's a hybrid of Sword and Sandal and Tarzan / Jungle Adventure. There is a direct connection between the two genres which I'll go over one day.

Musings! (07-13)

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


With the recent death of Raffaella Carrà, her movies came into the spotlight again and one title that eluded me for a long time was ROSE ROSSE PER ANGELICA (1966) co-starring Jacques Perrin (above). There is a clip on Youtube but the movie itself was MIA. Anyway, it is available at the OK.RU but it has one of those atrocious Russian voiceovers talking in lieu of the characters being dubbed. I don't know why Russians do this. Raffaella is cute in it. 


Can you guess what PEPLUM movie this is just by this German poster? It's CORIOLANUS: HERO WITHOUT A COUNTRY (1964) starring Gordon Scott and directed by Giorgio Ferroni. The German title translates as THE BATTLE OF THE GLADIATORS. Oddly enough, the movie itself has zero gladiators in it. There are no scenes which takes place in the arena. This poster is very confusing. 


Can you identify the movie from this screenshot with the excellent matte painting?


No one identified the movie from last week's screenshot (below). It was from THE WARRIOR AND THE SLAVE GIRL (1958) starring, among others, Gianna Maria Canale. We see her back in the screenshot. Directly below it is her doing the whipping. I thought someone would have figured it out. It's a popular movie. 



I posted this at the PEPLUM CHANNEL Facebook account and the MACISTE Twitter account. So, I'm posting it here. Who wore it best? Alan Steel in SAMSON AND THE SLAVE QUEEN or Kirk Morris in SAMSON AND THE SEA BEASTS. 

IDEFIX Kids TV series

The popular cartoon dog from the classic ASTERIX AND OBELIX comics has an animated TV series. Cute. In French for now. 


The blog's stats have been very healthy the past week. In around 2000 views a day, with two days above 2K. 

Last week's Behind-the-Scenes photo of Tina Louise during the filming of SAPPHO - THE VENUS OF LESBOS got over 9600 impressions on the PEPLUM Twitter account. It's so random. It also shows how popular Tina Louise is.


Someone uploaded a rare PEPLUM movie, that was featured here in MUSINGS!, to Youtube. That's not the interesting aspect of this. The channel where it was uploaded was basically dormant for 10 years. Nearly all the few videos uploaded at that channel were uploaded in 2011. And now they uploaded this rare movie which has nothing to do with the other old uploads there. The whole thing is very odd. 


Speaking of odd of the strangest things when doing these websites and social media accounts about PEPLUM movies is the hate directed at Gordon Scott. I posted a picture of Scott from KERIM - SON OF THE SHEIK (1963) at the PEPLUM CHANNEL Facebook account and some have tried to disparage his physique. Scott was literally at his fittest in that movie. His body was on point. But people keep mocking him. I've heard multiple nasty comments made about him elsewhere, for years. One was so bad that my mind went WTH?!?! Why is there so much ire directed at Gordon Scott? Can someone explain this to me. I mean, the man is dead and yet people still have burning hot hatred directed at him. It's so weird. 


Future Musings:

- List of best costumes, for women and for men.

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?

Monday, July 12, 2021

By the Gods!

 Samson (Alan Steel) in action in SAMSON AND THE SLAVE QUEEN (1963) 

One of the fun aspects of the PEPLUM genre is watching actors doing their own stunts and physical feats without the need of stuntmen. This scene is a great example. It's all performative of course but it's cool. The 'realism' of these scenes often offset some of the lesser realistic aspects of the genre. Alan was in fine form in this fun movie directed by the always reliable Umberto Lenzi. In the original Italian version, Steel was Maciste not Samson.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

US half-sheet of GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959) 

Art by Reynold Brown. Colourful and action packed. Different art than the one-sheet. Steve Reeves name should have been more prominent though.

PEPLUM TV Official store

Friday, July 9, 2021

By the Gods!

Raffaella Carrà in ULYSSES AGAINST HERCULES (1962)

Sad news from Italy. PEPLUM star Raffaella died on July 5 at the age of 78. Her career started modestly in mostly PEPLUM movies and she eventually became a popular singer not just in Italy or Europe but all over the world. She was a 'Babe of the Month' eight years ago here at the blog. And I posted about her legendary career as a singer. She was always excellent in her roles. One of the genre's bright stars. R.I.P., Raffaella.

For more on her career, visit the links posted here.

Raffaella Carrà in CAESAR THE CONQUEROR (1962). One of her best roles. 

Then and Now: Salvatore Borgese

Sal in SPARTACUS AND THE TEN GLADIATORS (1964) ; a recent photo of the actor

Thursday, July 8, 2021

By the God!

The Hydra beast in CAPTAIN SINDBAD (1963)

This is a peculiar adventure movie directed by the excellent Byron Haskin (note the spelling of Sinbad). It was shot in Germany and stars Guy Williams. The full scale special effects is cool and also funny. The visual effects are credited to Tom Howard but it's hard to figure out if he was only responsible for optical effects and not practical effects. Regardless, it's my favourite thing from this movie. I need to do a list of movies featuring the Hydra. 


Tina Louise plays with a trumpet on the set of THE WARRIOR EMPRESS, aka SAPPHO - THE VENUS OF LESBOS (1960). 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

By the Gods!

Matte painting from THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS (1957) 

These types of matte paintings were fairly standard in Hollywood movies but not so in movies made in Europe or Italy. There are some but there weren't used as extensively as those from Hollywood productions. I like this one. It's nice and, as usual, it shows someone arriving at a location.

Musings! (07-06)

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


I recently uploaded GLADIATOR OF ROME (1962) starring Gordon Scott on Youtube last week and there were no restrictions or claims. Everything was fine. The movie was in good quality (below). My channel's subscribers were happy and then suddenly out of nowhere, a claim appeared several days after uploading it there. It was blocked worldwide.

The movie is available on another channel (which, in part, was involved in this) but it's not of great quality. I really don't know to do with the Fan Dubs I've created. I want people to enjoy them but there's currently no feasible outlet or platform that would support this.

The thing is, I've seen many channels, PEPLUM or not, that were closed permanently. I feel like Youtube is on its last leg. Everyone is going to TikTok. 


This amazing VHS cover from Argentina is for HERCULES (1958) and NOT the sequel, HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959) but all the images on the cover is the sequel, including the images on the back cover. I have to say that this one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time but it's still stuck in Cinematic Confusion.


Ludmilla Tcherina's dance number from SIGN OF THE PAGAN (1954)? It's one of those scenes that has been cut. Speculation for the reasons it was cut are numerous but oddly enou the BBC showed the uncut version, with dance scene intact, in May of 1976. So, someone out there must have seen it. 


The long delayed sequel to the 2000 hit, GLADIATOR, was sorta announced at one point but then nothing? Maybe too many people laughed at the idea? 


Can you identify the movie from this screenshot? Should be easy for PEPLUM fans.


PEPLUM TV library is coming soon. I've decided to dedicate a page to all the genre books I have in my library. Most books have been disappointing so the list will be anti-climatic. Keep an eye on future developments...


I'll be taking some extended time off in August. I know things are going good in regards to the blog's views and all but I need to work on multiple projects days on end and it's difficult to do this while doing the blog. I might post once a week or post whenever I can. Anyway, I have a month to think it over. Any suggestions would be helpful. Maybe hire someone to work on the blog? 


Future Musings:

- List of best costumes, for women and for men.

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?