Thursday, February 8, 2024


Christine Kaufmann in THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959)

So I was watching this great film again (after uploading a Clip of the week a few weeks ago...) and I was wondering about two things:

1 - What happened to movies? Why can't movies look this good today? I'm definitely a big fan of the aesthetics of the 1950s and early 1960s. You don't 'see' films like this anymore. 

2 - Christine was 14 years old when she made this. Below, Steve Reeves and Christine have a kiss. It's nothing 'shocking' until one knows her actual age.  😀 
 Remarkably enough, she was very mature and composed herself beautifully in the movie, for a such a young girl. So, in the end, there's nothing shocking about it but still...this wouldn't be acceptable today.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Beautiful lighting, colour, decor, wardrobe, faces. Definitely a treat for the eyes.

Consider the stunning visual impact those films had after the drab B&W Italian neorealism and American film noir of the preceding period. Audiences were tired of those serious 'deep' films and wanted to escape into the (dare I say, superficial) fantasy that was classic peplum, for example. Such 'aesthetic' films, in turn, became tiresome and it was back to the anxiety, paranoia and conspiracy fears in the films of the 70s.

Who decides on the aesthetics of a film? The film-maker does.

So why are those beautiful aesthetics not chosen by current film-makers? Because they choose to mix fantasy with what they consider as gritty realism, hence the loss in aesthetics. Is it possible that beautiful films are just no longer interesting and don't bring in current audiences? At any rate, I think aesthetics and beauty are a bit overrated. My personal test for a good film: Watch a BAD copy of it in a horribly cropped version on a small TV screen and see if it still holds your attention.

Anonymous said...

"That's Showbiz!" ??
Hmm, interesting, a minor made-up to look of age being kissed by an adult. What's that called? Did they know how old Christine was? Did Steve Reeves know? Regardless of the age of consent in the country it was filmed, to me at the very least, it is weird and creepy. In this previous post of yours she easily looks like she could be his young daughter.

No doubt you have seen this film a few times now with the knowledge about her age and have posted about this matter previously ( Having made films yourself, what is your opinion and how do you feel personally about the facts of the matter? Is it acceptable to you?

PEPLUM TV said...

Hmm...I didn't say 'that's showbiz

I wrote that she looked more mature than her age which is why she was able to pass.

I think it's very odd. I only came across her age when I was looking up her profile. Born in 1945. Film made in 1959. Hmm...

But it doesn't diminish the quality of the film.

Orsh said...

Christine was actually only 13 years old when she starred in this film .she made. When she was 15 years old she starred with Kirk Douglas and large cast in TOWN WITHOUT PITY. Played with Cornel Wilde in CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS when she was only 14 years old. Christine was a well known actress in Europe with many movies she made as a child.