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.

Vintage Article

Not really an article per se but a synopsis of the movie ROMULUS AND THE SABINES (1961) that would be the subject of a TV show in France which was broadcast in Season 2 - August 1968. Where was this published I don't know but it's not a movie program from the 1961 release. Roger Moore, Rosanna Schiaffino and Mylene Demongeot star. 

Monday, November 29, 2021

By the Gods!

Hercules (Mark Forest) meets Prince Maytha (Giuliano Gemma) in HERCULES AGAINST THE SONS OF THE SUN (1964)

From a print taken from a TV broadcast in HD. I left part of the channel's logo in the top right. Now this print exists in HD therefore it could be released on Blu-ray and yet it hasn't been released on that format. They probably think the demand is not there yet they did release it on DVD.... If it's good enough for DVD why not Blu-ray? As I stated before, the only fans like me will see these movies in HD is from TV broadcasts or streaming services. It's a sad reality.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

German poster of DUEL OF THE TITANS (1961)

Eye-catching poster.

Sunday, November 21, 2021


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

A side note: I'll also take a break during the Christmas / New Year period.

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, November 19, 2021

Image of the week!

 The construction of the Tower of Babel in THE BIBLE: IN THE BEGINNING... (1966)

At the movies...

QUO VADIS (1951) at the Loew's Grand in Atlanta.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

By the Gods!

Big Dan Vadis, as Hercules, bending bars in HERCULES THE INVINCIBLE (1964; aka Hercules in the Land of Darkness)

I love these scenes in PEPLUM movies but would they work with today's audiences? They're fun and show the actor's acting/believability with his physique, which, in part, is the whole point of these PEPLUM movies.


Behind the scenes from from the set of HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD (1961) with Reg Park and George Ardisson waiting. This photo includes those famous 4 columns. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Clip of the week: SOLOMON AND SHEBA

Sheba (Gina Lollobrigida) seduces Solomon (Yul Brynner) in SOMOLON AND SHEBA (1959)

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

HD Alert!

Anouk Aimée as the evil ruler 

There's a Blu-ray disc of SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962) from Japan. I bought it and got it in a few days (now that's service). Audio only in Italian with optional Japanese subtitles. I have to say that the movie never looked better. If there's one thing I disliked from the many versions I have was the image quality, even from TV broadcasts, was always meh: flat, washed out, uninspiring. Well, the colors from this release are gorgeous. Many scenes pop out now. You can see the careful attention to the look of the movie. The runtime is 117 minutes. I just got it today and watched half of it, in Italian, and I loved it. It moves at a quicker pace. I'll have more on this in a future post. Needless to say, this release is much better than the HERCULES / HERCULES UNCHAINED Japanese BDs.

Then & Now: Luigi Barbini

Luigi in HERCULES THE AVENGER (1965); a recent photo of the actor 

Monday, November 15, 2021

By the Gods!

Fleeing Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus come across a long line of crucifixes in THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (1965)

Whatever you think of this movie you can't deny how visual stunning it is. The movie is often compared to KING OF KINGS (1961) and most people prefer that one, with Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus. I can see why but I feel GREATEST STORY looked more modern, more like a movie from the 1970s. The casting of Max Von Sydow as Jesus is an issue to many folks and Jeffrey Hunter did create an unforgettable Jesus but I believe that movie, even with all its faults, is unjustifiably maligned. I bought the Blu-ray and I'll give my impressions of it soon.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Japanese poster for A QUEEN FOR CAESAR (1962) 

The movie had two endings: one with Pascal Pettit without clothes and one with Pascale covered. From this poster, we know which version was shown in Japan. 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Image of the week!

The friendship of Actis (Susy Andersen) and Sappho (Tina Louise) is put to the test in SAPPHO - THE VENUS OF LESBOS (1960; aka The Warrior Empress)

Musings! Nov 12

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


According to a review at Amazon Germany of the Blu-ray release of SWORD OF CONQUEROR, a customer wrote that there's a defect on the BR. I played it with a blu-ray player connected to my iMac and I didn't see any problems. I ripped it and made a MKV file and an MP4 file and both files are fine. Did anyone else exprienced problems with that specific Blu-ray disc?

You can read a short review of the Blu-ray at the BY THE GODS! blog.


OK this is silly but a major Joan Crawford fan made deep fakes with Joan in the 1963 version of CLEOPATRA, which starred Elizabeth Taylor in the title role. Check out these images.



The clips are actually in motion, not photos. It actually looks like Joan is in the movie. I found this collection of clips on Tik Tok. It goes without saying: Joan Crawford fans are the most fanatical! 


Amazon has an on-going ad promoting Prime service set in Ancient Egypt. I chuckled when I saw this. 


I mean, really? 


Can you identify the movie from this screenshot? It's in Black and White so this is already a clue.




English title: A FUNNY CHRONICLE OF A DANGEROUS JOURNEY (1986). It's a Jason and the Argonauts musical made in Russia. Think of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR but goofy.



I posted this side by side montage of Steve and Arnold at PEPLUM Channel Facebook account and it went viral. I never thought this would have had such a response. What's remarkable about the replies is that almost everyone voted for Steve Reeves. I was pleasantly surprised. I expected Arnold to garner more votes. Here's an example:



I like this movie. It's sorta odd during the climax (it turns very violent) but all in all this is one of my favourite Tony Russel movies. There's just that scene with Russel in blackface...can this movie be shown anywhere today?


I rewatched it again for the millionth time. It's such a great film. I can't wait to watch it in a beautiful transfer in HD, if it ever happens. A classic.

Hercules (Steve Reeves) finally meets Chironi (Afro Poli) who is nursed by Jason (Fabrizio Mioni)


Speaking of HERCULES in High Definition, a friend in Europe was told that the Artus Films Blu-ray release, announced earlier this year and abandoned, is still in the works. That it's not over yet.

That would be great but I'll believe it when I'll see it.


The blog seen on my new iPad mini. Very cool.


Coming soon:

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

Thursday, November 11, 2021

By the Gods!

Rik Battaglia during the climax of THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS (1958)

This movie was released the same year as HERCULES (1958) and, imo, was an important movie, though not as successful as the HERCULES, in shaping Italian cinema for the next decade. It looks great and it's very entertaining. One odd thing about it: Rik Battaglia doesn't have a close-up in it. He's one of the main stars and yet he wasn't 'important' enough to warrant a close-up. All other main actors, Sylva Koscina, Gianna Maria Canale, Francisco Rabal, and even supporting actors, all have close-ups. Did he pissed off the director? 


Original US lobby cards set of HERCULES AGAINST THE BARBARIANS (1964) starring Mark Forest, Jose Greci, Gloria Milland and more. Good set. It's a shame that the photos are in Black & White but the photos themselves are good. Shows Feats of Strength, fights, etc. And Mark Forest as well. Thumbs up!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Clip of the week: HERCULES (1958)

Hercules (Steve Reeves) lifts statue back in its place during a storm on the sea. Great scene!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021


 The temple in Memphis from TRIUMPH OF MACISTE (1961)

Excellent matte painting of the temple in which evil queen Tenefi resides. The matte is used during different times of the day, including the spectacular 'Feat of Strength' scene above. Two men are credited for special effects, with one mainly for pyrotechnics, so that leaves the other fellow, Vitantonio Ricci, as the possible artist responsible for the matte work. 

Vintage Article

Article on HERCULES and Steve Reeves in LIFE magazine, August 1959. That's Christine Kaufmann on Steve's shoulder. Christine and Steve starred in THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959). The article is positive.

Monday, November 8, 2021

By the Gods!

Cleopatra (Pascale Petit) is informed of some news, along with her soldier, Achillas (George Ardisson), in A QUEEN FOR CAESAR (1962)

I got a print in HD. It's quite beautiful (click on the image). It's also in Italian which was missing from my collection. Yeah! One of the very first Fan Dubs I made was for this movie. Directed by Viktor Tourjansky and Piero Pierotti. Viktor is one of my favorite PEPLUM directors. Who directed what is hard to say but of all the behind the scenes photos I've seen, the director was always Viktor. Piero Pierotti also direced one of my favorite PEPLUM, HERCULES AGAINST ROME (1964). But stylishly speaking, it's more of a Tourjansky than a Pierotti one therefore I consider this more of a Tourjansky movie.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

US six-sheet of THE PRODIGAL (1955) 

Gorgeous poster! 

Friday, November 5, 2021

Image of the week!

Sylvana Mangano as Circe in ULYSSES (1954) 

At the cinema...

World premiere of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) at the Criterion theatre, New York city.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

By the Gods!

Mel Brooks as Moses with the short lived 15 Commandments from HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1 (1981)

A good spoof of the the creation of the ten commandments. The movie is a set of brief comedy scenes or skits spoofing history. Oddly enough, this kind of comedy is popular with the PEPLUM genre, dating back all the way to ADAMO ED EVA (1949), a 'battle of the sexes' Italian comedy as seen through history.
I have to get the Blu-ray of this. Part 2 was never made. 


Behind the scenes photo from the set of THE PHARAOHS' WOMAN with the main cast (L to R): Armando Francioli, John Drew Barrymore, Pierre Brice and Linda Cristal.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021


Mark Forest as Maciste is about to be crushed alive in MACISTE - STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD (1961; aka Maciste vs Mole Men)

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

HD Alert!

Rita Gam and Victor Mature in HANNIBAL (1959). 
Screenshot not from the Japanese Blu-ray.

There is a Japanese Blu-ray of HANNIBAL (1959). Unfortunately, Amazon.jp seemingly doesn't ship it outside of the country. The back cover shows that the movie is in Full HD and it's copyrighted by Minerva Pictures so it looks legit. Does anyone have it? How's the picture quality? You can email me directly at peplumtv2@gmail.com .

Then & Now: Mirella D'Angelo

Mirella as Circe in HERCULES (1983); a recent photo of the actress

Monday, November 1, 2021

By the Gods!

Part of the main cast in SEVEN REBEL GLADIATORS (1965) 

Left to right: Pietro Torrisi, Roger Browne, Harold Bradley and Mario Novelli.

By the time this film was released, the PEPLUM genre was in its last gasp. Michele Lupo directed movies were sorta cartoonish in tone, with hyper action, hyper fast editing, over-the-top comical violence, goofy humour, etc. I like them but since they were the last movies made, they sorta were the movies people remembered of the genre more than HERCULES (1958) made 7 years previously. A lot of detractors of PEPLUM movies always cite the general goofiness, which wasn't true in regards to the entire genre. Just a handful of them. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

French poster of SAMSON AND THE SEA BEAST (1963)

Kirk Morris looks a bit rough there.