Friday, April 29, 2022

Image of the week!

Queen Smedes (Chelo Alonso) and Pharaoh Kenamun (Angelo Zanolli) greet Maciste (Mark Forest) in SON OF SAMSON (1960)

At the movies...

 BEN-HUR (1959) playing at the Rogers theatre in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Thursday, April 28, 2022

By the Gods!

Roland Carey and Maria Grazia Spina in REVOLT OF THE BARBARIANS (1964)

I like this movie and it has a pretty good production, even with it's limited budget. But it's one of those PEPLUM movies only fans of the genre likes or remembers. This is why PEPLUM movies are so overlooked. Non-PEPLUM fans will like DUEL OF THE TITANS or GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES but don't have any time for these type of smaller PEPLUM movies. Both Roland and Maria have appeared in many such movies. 


Steve Reeves readying himself for a shot on the set of HERCULES (1958)

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Tuesday, April 26, 2022



Whatever one thinks of this movie, one can't deny how it is filled with amazing matte paintings, some of the best I've ever seen. Here's just one example. Below: you see the set built and above, you see what was added with a matte painting. It looks real to me. The movie had a small crew of painters, including Matthew Yuricich, Albert Simpson and Jan Domela.


Then & Now: Olinka Berova

Olinka in POPPEA'S HOT NIGHTS (1969); a recent photo of the actress

Monday, April 25, 2022

By the Gods!

Lex Barker is Robin Hood in ROBIN HOOD AND THE PIRATES (1960)

That's Edith Peters on the left. This is one odd PEPLUM movie. It sorta takes itself quite seriously but also it's very goofy throughout. The mash-up of genres is nothing new in the PEPLUM universe and having Robin Hood lost in a pirate movie could only have come from Italy. A big chunk of the movie was shot at the Tor Caldara location, which, after a while, is not very inspiring. I like the movie but it's definitely not for everyone. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Danish poster of MACISTE - GLADIATOR OF SPARTA (1964)

Colourful poster with one of the movie's most memorable scenes.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Image of the week!

Atlas (Gordon Mitchell) tries to survive a 'test of strength' in ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1961)


Photo of the cast and crew on the set of BEN-HUR (1959): William Wyler, both Charlton Heston and Haya Harareet in costume, and a casually dressed Stephen Boyd.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Clip of the week: THE WARRIOR AND THE SLAVE GIRL (1958)

Georges Marchal enters the arena in THE WARRIOR AND THE SLAVE GIRL. With Gianna Maria Canale and Ettore Manni.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

HD Alert!

Mark Forest as Maciste in SON OF SAMSON (1960) 

The new upcoming Blu-ray release of this movie just got a price drop: it was $24.95 before now it's $17.99. May 10 is the official date of the release. Worth pre-ordering.

Vintage Article


Interesting article. According to it, the original HERCULES grossed over $15 million at the box office, in the US and Canada. THat's much more than most Hollywood movies were making back then.

Monday, April 18, 2022

By the Gods!

Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) meets Jesus (Claude Heater) for the first time in BEN-HUR (1959)

I hope you had a great Easter weekend. I'm still feeling a bit under the weather and I'll be posting sporadically from now on. I need that water from Jesus to boost my energy. Great film!

PEPLUM Movie Poster

 Turkish poster of HERCULES AND THE BLACK PIRATES (1964)

Great action poster but a good likeness of Alan Steel. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Image of the week!

Ursus (Yann Larvor), Maciste (Howard Ross), Hercules (Alan Steel), and Samson (Nadir Moretti) ride off into the sunset in SAMSON AND THE MIGHTY CHALLENGE (1964)


Basil Sydney and Stewart Granger relax on the set of SALOME (1953) 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Clip of the week: THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959)

Action scene with Steve Reeves. Also with Mimmo Palmara, Angel Aranda and Fernando Rey


Monday, April 11, 2022

By the Gods!

Steve Reeves and Anne-Marie Baumann in THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959) 

I will be posting irregularly for the next week.

PEPLUM Movie poster

Spanish poster of THE SHAME OF THE SABINE WOMEN (1962)

This is a Mexican PEPLUM movie and the original Mexican title was THE RAPE OF THE SABINES (sometimes the US title as title of my copy in English says RAPE). The title was changed for its Spanish release. The artwork is a collage of other movie poster artworks, including THE GIANTS OF THESSALY.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Image of the week!

Demetrius (Victor Mature) woos Messalina (Susan Hayward) in DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS (1954)

At the movies...

 Two-reel movie ROMEO AND JULIET playing at the Gaiety in Montreal, in 1911.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

By the Gods!

Giovanni Vari, Claude Dantes and George Hilton in THE MASKED MAN AGAINST THE PIRATES (1964)

I got a HD copy of this film and it looks great. The image is crystal clear so much so it almost looks too clean. It makes the movie look too costumey, like a kid's movie. This movie has an old fashioned feel to it. Not a movie made in 1964 but more like the early 1950s. I like it but it has a very relaxed feel to it even though it has tons of action.


Jean Simmons has fun with Olympian Fortune Gordien on the set of THE EGYPTIAN (1954). Gordien was an extra.


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Clip of the week: THE QUEEN OF SHEBA (1952)

Bath scene from the movie with Leonora Ruffo as the Queen of Sheba. This scene, among others, is missing from the US cut.


Tuesday, April 5, 2022



This movie is filled with special effects so it's difficult to cover it all. For today, I'll only write about the sinking of Atlantis. Made with models, it's a fairly well made scene but all too brief. Many scenes were taken from the burning of Rome from QUO VADIS (1951) edited in between these model shots. I always like special effects with models when I was a kid (I would think they were expensive toys back then) and, for the most part, I still like them as an adult but scenes like these are always missing humans running about in terror or jumping off a building. They're always devoid of the presence of people. It's still pretty cool to watch.


The original runtime of THE QUEEN OF SHEBA, released in 1952, was 110 minutes. Nearly 2 hours. The US cut stands at 92 minutes, which is 18 minutes cut from the original release. Were some cuts justified? Personally, no. In its original runtime, the movie feels more epic and complete. I've always watched the abbreviated English version, and even though I felt it was a bit too fast or compact, I always loved it. Directed by Pietro Francisci, this movie was a preview of Francisci worldwide hit, HERCULES (1958). Some scenes were shot in the same locations and some scenes have a direct atmosphere of the Steve Reeves movie. So, for that reason alone, THE QUEEN OF SHEBA is always fun to watch. But as much as I like it in its 92 cut, I feel the uncut version is so much better. Oddly enough, the movie is also often shown in Italian in its abbreviated cut. I have that version as well. But the uncut version is the only one worth watching. Will any future release in English include those missing scenes? I hope so.

I won't go over all the cuts scenes, many of which are short moments shaved off here and there. I'll go over two scenes here. Both of these cuts occur during the trek to Sheba. The actors are Gino Leurini, as Prince Rehoboam, and Umberto Silvestri, as his muscular companion Isachar.

Immediately after seeing the two men leave the kingdom of Solomon, the Prince and Isachar camp for the night. This scene lasts nearly 4 minutes. Even though it's in Italian, I get the point of the scene: the two men talk about the course of their trek, even showing a map. 

On the map (below), we see a road going through the Valley of Silence. The valley is a dangerous place to travel through. Just some minor noise can trigger a major rock slide. Since this scene is cut in the US copy, when the two travel through this valley, we don't know this tidbit of information. In the cut version, we only see them ride precariously through the valley and since they remain silent, we don't know about the Valley of Silence. This valley would be the setting for the movie's climax. So, this missing scene, imo, is crucial to the storyline. 


Directly after the night camp scene with the map, the two ride towards Sheba and come across a line of people on crucifixes. They talk briefly about this before moving on only to be ambushed by soldiers from Sheba. This scene is brief but in the cut version, the crucifixes are not even brought up. We simply see them in the background when the two are captured by the soldiers. It's a brief scene, for sure, but even so it adds a lot to the epic feel of the storyline.


Addendum: The other big scenes cut from the movie are a scene with Balkis interrupts a handmaidens chat (above), about 2 minutes long, and Balkis, the Queen of Sheba (Leonora Ruffo), taking a bath/dressing, which lasts about 3 minutes, followed by an 'audience' scene which is roughly 2 minutes long.

Adding the runtime of these cut scenes and it's about 12 minutes in total.

If THE QUEEN OF SHEBA ever gets a proper Blu-ray release in the future, let's hope the uncut version will be included, with restored English audio for those missing scenes?

Monday, April 4, 2022

By the Gods!

Steve Reeves and Arturo Dominici in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959) 

It seems this great PEPLUM movie has only one print available. Some streaming service in Europe showed it in HD (screenshot from it) but it's the same old print seen everywhere upscaled to HD. It's a shame. This movie needs a new remastered print in HD! Arturo Dominici was the villain in HERCULES (1958) so this is a 'reunion' of sorts.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

British quad of TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS (1964)

Pretty cool to see an English poster for this fun movie. 

Friday, April 1, 2022

Image of the week!

Vetius (Jacques Sernas) at the foot of Randus (Steve Reeves) in THE SON OF SPARTACUS (1962; aka The Slave)


Joan Collins and Rick Battaglia on the set of ESTHER AND THE KING (1960)