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Early and hokey Peplum based on biblical characters by Prieto Francisci
In ancient Israel King Salomon whose wisdom and benevolent rule is seen as a threat to more tyrannical monarchs in the region . Solomon is wise and rules his kingdom well. King Salomon (Gino Cervi) names his younger son, Rehoboam (Gino Leurini), his heir and sends him on a spy assignment to Sheba . But he slowly falls in love with the Queen(Leonora Ruffo) . In fact, the Queen is in league with other kingdoms and her aim is to divide the twelve tribes of Israel . Over time however, she too falls in love with Rehoboam choosing to side with him against the priests . The luscious Queen of Sheba falls in love with the King of Israel's son , Rehoboam , however, he is in love with someone else ,Zamira (Marina Berti who played Quo Vadis as Petronio's gorgeous slave) , daughter's King of Tiro . The Queen thinks Rehoboam has double-crossed her and influenced by Kabaal (Franco Silva), commander of the Sheban army attacks the city of Jerusalem . The Queen of Sheba royally ticked off , invades Israel King but Rehoboam attempts to prevent a war between their two countries .
This is an early Peplum with drama, court intrigues , a love story and spectacular battles , but not brain food .Don't look for too much of a screenplay, because the emphasis is on lavish spectacle . Lousy performances in theatrical style with lots of gesticulation .As usual in Peplum films appears the choreographic girls dancers and lots of action with several adventures including spectacular fights , impressive sets and some good effects . The sets and production design impress too .The film contains an evocative and spectacular music by Nino Rota -The Godfather- well conducted by Franco Ferrara . This elaborate recounting is regularly directed by Pietro Francisci though with little relation with the Biblic events . Francisci was an expert on Peplum as he proved in 1963 Ercole sfida Sansone , 1960 Saffo, Venere Di Lesbo ,1960 The battle of Siracusa ,1959 Hércules unchained and particularly 1958 Hércules with the great Steve Reeves . Fun for the whole family though it tends toward the ponderous at times but for the most part, it's an average movie .
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