Monthly Archives February 2018

Sadko (1953)


SADKO (1953)


La schiava di Roma (original title)

1953 Soviet Union
Direction: Aleksandr Ptushko
Writers: Konstantin Isaev, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (libretto)
Actors: Sergey Stolyarov, Alla Larionova, Ninel Myshkova

Arriving home to find his native land under the yoke of corrupt merchants, an adventurer named Sadko sets sail in search of a mythical bird of happiness.


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Hercules Against Rome (1964)


HERCULES AGAINST ROME (1964)


Ercole contro Roma (original title)

1961 Italy | France
Direction: Piero Pierotti
Writers: Arpad DeRiso (screenplay), Arpad DeRiso (story) | 2 more credits »
Actors: Sergio Ciani, Wandisa Guida, Livio Lorenzon

Hercules comes from Greece to Ravenna, Italy, because a friend from childhood days has sent for him: Hercules should help the Roman Emperor who is in danger because of an intrigue lead by the leader of the pretorian guards.


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The Giants of Thessaly (1960)


THE GIANTS OF THESSALY (1960)


I giganti della Tessaglia (original title)

1960 Italy
Direction: Riccardo Freda
Writers: Giuseppe Masini (screenplay), Mario Rossetti (screenplay)
Actors: Roland Carey, Ziva Rodann, Alberto Farnese

In order to placate the angry gods, who have allowed Thessaly to be overrun with barbarian invaders and beset with natural disasters, King Jason takes his Argonauts on a search for the fabled Golden Fleece. Meanwhile, back at home, his scheming regent is plotting to get his hands on the kingdom–and the queen.

The film begins with Thessaly being overrun by giants sent by the gods to destroy mankind, and, oh yeah, a volcano, too. In order to placate the gods, King Giasone (Jason) of Iolco (Iolcus) gathers the Argonauts to travel in search of the Golden Fleece. Along the way, they stop at Lemnos, where witches have killed all the island’s men and turn some of the Argonauts into animals. They also have a run-in with a cyclops. Finally, they reach the land where the Golden Fleece is kept, and Giasone seizes it by climbing a large statue. Meanwhile, back in Thessaly a scheming regent named Adrasto plots with Giasone’s wife, Creusa, to steal the throne. Giasone successfully retakes the throne of Iolco, and somehow the movie ends up devoting its remaining time to Orfeo’s (Orpheus’) death scene and Atalanta’s marriage.


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Three Swords for Rome (1964)


THREE SWORDS FOR ROME (1964)


I tre centurioni (original title)

1964 Italy
Direction: Roberto Mauri
Writers: Roberto Mauri (screenplay), Edoardo Mulargia (screenplay)
Actors: Roger Browne, Mimmo Palmara, Mario Novelli

In 218-222 during the reign of the Syrian Roman emperor Eliogabalus, Marco Caio, commander of the Roman legions in Asia, runs out of money and is obliged to dismiss his mercenaries. Three centurions also retire and take up the training of guards. Meanwhile the wife of King Akadir plots to usurp the throne.


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Ursus the Rebel Gladiator (1962)


URSUS THE REBEL GLADIATOR (1962)


Ursus gladiatore ribelle (original title)

1962 Italy
Direction: Domenico Paolella
Writers: Alessandro Ferraù (story), Domenico Paolella (story)
Stars: Dan Vadis, Gloria Milland, José Greci

March 17, 180 A.D.: Marcus Aurelius, one of the greatest Roman emperors and distinct philosopher, is dying in the outskirts of the empire he has consolidated himself, by pacifying the neighboring peoples. His only son and heir is Marcus Commodus, a strong man who prefers to fight as a gladiator in the arena. Ursus will find himself fighting the emperor in the arena, and in the midst of political intrigue.


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Mars, God of War (1962)


MARS, GOD OF WAR (1962)


Marte, dio della guerra (original title)

1961 Italy
Direction: Marcello Baldi
Writers: Marcello Baldi (screenplay), Sandro Continenza (screenplay)
Actors: Roger Browne, Jocelyn Lane, Linda Sini

The king of Telbia defeats an African army through the intervention of the war god Mars. Remaining on Earth, Mars falls in love with the human girl Daphne, but she is forced to become a priestess in the temple of Venus.


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Goddess of Love (1957)


GODDESS OF LOVE (1957)


La Venere di Cheronea (original title)

1957 Italy | France
Direction: Fernando Cerchio, Viktor Tourjansky
Writers: Damiano Damiani, Federico Zardi
Actors: Belinda Lee, Jacques Sernas, Massimo Girotti

The god Zeus sends Venus, the goddess of love, to Earth to find her own true love.


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The Warrior Empress (1960)


THE WARRIOR EMPRESS (1960)


Saffo – Venere di Lesbo (original title)

1960 Italy | France
Direction: Pietro Francisci
Writers: Ennio De Concini (screenplay), Pietro Francisci (screenplay)
Actors: Tina Louise, Kerwin Mathews, Riccardo Garrone

Top-heavy with wild action scenes and female pulchritude, this routine Italian costume adventure is set in the 7th century B.C. on the island of Lesbos, where the immortal poetess Sappho (Tina Louise) is leading a revolt against the corrupt government of Mytilene. Aiding her in overthrowing the yoke of tyranny is the handsome Phaon (Kerwin Mathews). For some reason it is the temple of Aphrodite that is the focus of attention in this supposed battle for the rights of the ordinary people, and not the temple of Mars. Sappho’s sexual orientation is a moot point.


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Revak the Rebel (1960)


REVAK THE REBEL (1960)


The Barbarians (original title)

1960 Italy | USA
Direction: Rudolph Maté
Writers: John Lee Mahin (screenplay), Martin Rackin (screenplay)
Actors: Jack Palance, Milly Vitale, Guy Rolfe

Revak is an Iberian prince from Penda, a small island where the Carthagian fleet ransacked and enslaved the surviving native men, including him. After an eventful passage aboard a galley, Revak becomes an elephant driver in Carthage city, and could become the favorite of mighty women, but has only one thirst: bloody revenge, at all cost, so the barbarian makes common cause with the attacking Romans, Carthage’s historical enemy and rival for Mediterranean hegemony, scorning love.


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Goliath and the Sins of Babylon (1963)


GOLIATH AND THE SINS OF BABYLON (1963)


Maciste, l’eroe più grande del mondo (original title)

1963 Italy
Direction: Michele Lupo
Writers: Roberto Gianviti (story and screenplay), Francesco Scardamaglia (story and screenplay)
Actors: Mark Forest, José Greci, Giuliano Gemma

An iconic character goes through a gauntlet of torturous tribulations in this 1963 Italian swords-and-sandals adventure drama. Goliath (portrayed by Mark Forest) is compelled to save several virgins, whose fate is to be served as sacrificial lambs to a group of fighters who have overtaken the land of Babylon.


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