Monday, August 7, 2023


Tony Russel and Paola Pitti in THE SPARTAN GLADIATORS (1964) 

This movie is very entertaining even if the story is somewhat convoluted. Tony Russel is good in all of his films even though I often wonder why he made PEPLUM movies. He's hardly the Steve Reeves type. While doing some research I discovered that after the success of HERCULES (1958), Steve Reeves was linked to a dozen or more projects, many of which he never starred in. The roles went to other actors. Was this movie also one of those? Scripts were written fast after HERCULES became a hit and Reeves couldn't appear in all of the projects which were green lighted with the prospect of Reeves in the lead. This gave opportunities to other actors who could appear in it instead. This is why so many PEPLUM movies have a Reeves feel to them even though someone else had the lead role. This movie and THE SECRET SEVEN, a Twin Production with THE SPARTAN GLADIATORS, most likely were started this way. I could see Reeves in this. Regardless, it's fun and colourful film.

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