Sword & Sandal


(Silvanito) #1

According to author Christopher Frayling the Italian “sword and sandal” or “peplum” genre from the late 50s/early 60s had some influence in shaping the early SW genre.

I have not seen any of these films myself. Anybody seen some, and is there any truth to this?


(Yodlaf Peterson) #2

These are Hercules ang gladiator films, several directors made these before they made westerns, including Sergio Leone. Stars like Steeve Reeves (The Schwarzenegger of the 50’s), Gordon Mitchell, even Giuliano Gemma were in them.

I can’t see much link to spaghetti’s myself but i can see what he is saying if for instance you could say the Italian crime films are westerns of the modern day… catch my drift :slight_smile:


(Silvanito) #3

Yes, Leone made The Colossus of Rhodes in 1961, and worked on several others too.

Would perhaps be a little interesting too see some of these films even if they don’t have much in common with Spaghetti Westerns after all.

I catch your drift :wink:


(R-T-C Tim) #4

From what I know, it was while shooting a peplum in Spain in 1959 that Sergio Leone and his AD Mr. Corbucci realised that the area would make a great shooting location for a Western.

The films also set up the Spanish locations and extras casts (plus horses) that would later be used extensively in the SWs.


(Stanton) #5

This was The Last Days of Pompeji, a cheap Reader’s Digest version of Quo Vadis, officially credited to Mario Bonnard who went ill and Leone took over as director. His unofficial debut, he also was co-screenplay writer.
And you’ll find nothing in this simple film which looks like it could have been directed by Leone.

Corbucci made the 2nd unit, with Enzo Barboni (alias E.B. Clucher) as 2nd unit photographer.
Tessari was assistant director and also co-screenplay writer.
Franco Giraldi was also involved.
All 5 were also working on Romulus and Remus (1961), which was directed by Corbucci.

These 5 amigos are responsible for every important early SW up to mid 1966.

Corbucci’s story is denied by Leone, who has claimed not to remember it. But even if it’s a legend, it’s a fitting one.

Print the legend!


(The Halitosis Kid) #6

Gladiators, Gunfighters and Gangsters, are all Italian Cinema audiences totally obsessed with machismo? Oh no, sorry I forgot, they’re obsessed with Girls as well. ;D


(Bill san Antonio) #7

[quote=“stanton, post:5, topic:525”]This was The Last Days of Pompeji, a cheap Reader’s Digest version of Quo Vadis, officially credited to Mario Bonnard who went ill and Leone took over as director. His unofficial debut, he also was co-screenplay writer.
And you’ll find nothing in this simple film which looks like it could have been directed by Leone.[/quote]I’ve seen this film but it was not that good. I could hardly stay awake while watching it. But those who are interested to see it: it’s been released on dvd in Germany, english audio included.


(Stanton) #8

And Leones official debut The Colossus of Rhodos is better, but also not very interesting.
A routinely made film where you also find hardly anything of Leone’s skills.
Later on Leone wasn’t very keen on speaking about this phase of his career.


(Bill san Antonio) #9

[quote=“Silvanito, post:1, topic:525”]According to author Christopher Frayling the Italian “sword and sandal” or “peplum” genre from the late 50s/early 60s had some influence in shaping the early SW genre.

I have not seen any of these films myself. Anybody seen some, and is there any truth to this?[/quote]
Some film historians have suggested that the spaghetti westerns were so violent and full of action because the first directors of the genre(Leone, Corbucci, Tessari, Caiano etc) were used to work as a assistant directors in second unit crews which usually directed all the action scenes in peplums.


(Bad Lieutenant) #10

You can find som of the here http://www.publicdomaintorrents.com/ available for free download. Most of those movies are pretty bad, cheaply made homo erotic muscle-man movies. Sometimes they’re fun in a bad way, but most of the time just bad. Apart from the same cast and crew, I rreally can’t see any resemblance between these two type of movies. I think Italian cinema just goes through fases, where is made what is popular in that particular time frame. Sword & sandal, spaghettiwestern, horror, then giallo.


(Buckshot) #11

If you want to see one of the worst but also one of the funniest ‘peplum’ movies, (not an easy pick I grant you), check out: ‘Goliath and the Dragon/La Vendetta di Ercole’. See Goliath battle a man in a bear suite (why would a man dress up like that?)! See our mighty hero face the tiniest dragon in the history of stop motion animation! Quiver as fearless Goliath battles a fire breathing three headed hellhound! He didn’t need a wax job after that encounter, I can tell you! It ain’t Bergman but it sure isnt boring! Did I already mention the giant bat men or the elephant which gets wrestled to the ground by manly Goliath?

I think the later ‘spaghetti’-directors learned a lot during the making of these ‘peplum’ movies about working on a tight schedule, an even tighter budget, handling ‘b’ grade american ‘actors’ with an ‘A’ grade ego and using lots of imagination.

If I have to choose between ‘Troy’ or ‘Ercole alla conquista di Atlantide’ (with Gian Maria Volonte as King of Sparta), Hercules is my main half god ;-)!


(Cian) #12

Sounds like a “must see” movie! Exactly how drunk and/or stoned would I have to be to really enjoy it?


(Buckshot) #13

Completely! :slight_smile:


(Bad Lieutenant) #14

This movie, right? http://www.publicdomaintorrents.com/nshowmovie.html?rstitle=Goliath+and+the+Dragon
I shall download!


(alk0) #15

[quote=“Bad Lieutenant, post:14, topic:525”]This movie, right? http://www.publicdomaintorrents.com/nshowmovie.html?rstitle=Goliath+and+the+Dragon
I shall download![/quote]
Yeah, sounds like a great fun. I love movies so bad that they are good :stuck_out_tongue:
I’ve watched “The last days of Pompeii” yesterday. Leone’s style is not visible in this movie, he problably haven’t developed it. Not bad movie, but I found some fighting scenes laughable (main character throwing enemies on the ground momentally knocking them out:P ).


(Buckshot) #16

Oh, I might add, if you did like "Goliath and the Dragon’ (And how can one not like a grown man battling a rubber dragon?) you might also like to check out: ‘Il conquistatore di Atlantide’. It comes as a bonus on the DVD of ‘Goliath’ (which also features some fantastic ‘peplum’-trailers. The whole genre in all its glory right there for you folks) but tops it in being even more weird and camp. I lift the veil a little bit: androids (men painted blue) and an evil queen with an all female bodyguard. Oh, and watch out for the guy who loses control and falls smack down from his camel during a wild charge. OOOH! That’s gotta hurt!

Just get some (liters) beer and waste 90 minutes of your life :wink:


(Bill san Antonio) #17

[quote=“Bad Lieutenant, post:14, topic:525”]This movie, right? http://www.publicdomaintorrents.com/nshowmovie.html?rstitle=Goliath+and+the+Dragon
I shall download![/quote]I downloaded this film but for some reason it doesn’t have any sound.


(Bill san Antonio) #18

Sergio Leone’s first film Colossus of Rhodes has been released in US:

http://www.dvddrive-in.com/reviews/t-z/warnerjune07promo.htm

It even has a commentary by Christopher Frayling.


(Bad Lieutenant) #19

Do you use vlc media player?


(alk0) #20

Great player, it can open and play everything!