Friday, October 6, 2023

Lobby Cards Set: QUEEN OF BABYLON (1954)

Original Italian lobby cards set of QUEEN OF BABYLON (1954) starring Rhonda Fleming and Ricardo Montalban. This set is interesting. Here are some points:

- The way the photos are laid out in on these cards make it look like the movie is in widescreen. It's not. It's in standard aspect ration, in this case 1: 37: 1.

- It even states on the cards that the movie is in widescreen aka Schermo Panoraminco. False publicity.

- The original Italian title is LA CORTIGIANA DI BABILONIA. If you look carefully, DI BABILONIA is super tiny. The title seems to simply be LA CORTIGIANA.

- One of the cards has a scene from SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962), behind Rhonda's head.

- The cards on the top right and number 3 have a dance scene from THE GIANT OF THESSALY (1960). Card number 3 also has a scene from THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES (1960).

This basically tells me this set is from a re-release in the 1960s, after SODOM AND GOMORRAH was rmade. Almost all PEPLUM movies were in widescreen back then and re-releasing a movie in standard format wasn't popular so they attempted to make a movie from 1954 look like an altogether new movie. The focus of this set is only on Rhonda. No head shot of Ricardo Montalban. 


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the detailed points. According to the link below, the re-release was in 1966 -- a whole 12 years after the original and with the entire peplum wave in the intervening period and probably a new audience, they figured not many would have noticed it was the same film. After all, peplums were known to get released with so many alternate titles. The emphasis on this one being on "The Courtesan". Certainly the colours are more vibrant and eye-catching than the original lobby cards and posters.

Regarding the widescreen question, could this standard format film have been cropped top and bottom and then re-released and projected as widescreen? Was that feasible then? I remember, certainly on TV in the 60s there was cropping on either side plus all that weird panning when peplum films were shown.

PEPLUM TV said...

Yes, they could have cropped the standard aspect ratio to make it look like widescreen. I have multiple copies of this film and none of them are in widescreen. The widescreen was most likely done in the movie theatre itself by the projectionist. If there's a copy of this movie in widescreen I'd like to see it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It looks like it was advertised as 'widescreen' on non-english posters even from its first release in 1954, but there was no mention of it being filmed in any 'Scope.