Based on the book of the same name by Frank Yerby. Pietro is an orphan who is raised by a family friend in 15th century Italy. When the friend is killed by the same nasty baron who murdered... See full summary »
In the reign of emperor Tiberius, Gallilean prophet John the Baptist preaches against King Herod and Queen Herodias. The latter wants John dead, but Herod fears to harm him due to a ... See full summary »
A spy is brought back from cryogenic suspension after being almost killed in a plane crash returning from a mission to learn about a deadly new weapon being developed in the East. But the ... See full summary »
A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction--with even more ... See full summary »
The Jews are taken from Jerusalem and made slaves by King Nebuchadnezzar. In the meantime Cyrus, king of the Persians, who has been living as a shepherd, is proclaimed king and defeats ... See full summary »
A typical Sam Katzman sand-and-sandals saga that is better than his later "Harem Scarum" only because this one doesn't have Elvis Presley. Gloria Grahame is the princess, Turhan Bey is the ... See full summary »
Based on the book of the same name by Frank Yerby. Pietro is an orphan who is raised by a family friend in 15th century Italy. When the friend is killed by the same nasty baron who murdered Pietro's father as he led the peasants in revolt against the baron's tyranny, Pietro vows vengeance against the entire family. This will prove difficult, since he's been in love with the daughter of the nasty baron since he was a child and wants to marry her. Written by
Marta Dawes <email@example.com>
Like the Saracen Blade, Castle always just bounces back
Like other films in this era of Katzman-Castle production, The Saracen Blade puts an emphasis on tableau (symmetrical composition of mise-en-scene within the framing of a static camera positioned with frontality as the dominant). Castle outdoes himself this time as he adds a new element to his beleaguered stylistic system - suture! The shot-reverse-shot editing system is not only naively constructed and overt, but poorly employed with relation to the plot progression. As a result, there is a stagnant pace. I pity that a talented director such as William Castle found himself compulsively alternating between two stylistic systems for different films. The Saracen Blade is a 1954 release - and one of eight Castle films released that year! If the authorial voice seems mute perhaps it was a result of the man being overworked. The script doesn't help as the narrative is relayed with tweenish 'dear-diary' precision and crossing-guard intuition. If only this film wore a bright reflective 'X' it might become self-aware and develop a set of compensatory unique qualities. As it stands, the film hunches and then limps. Despite each sequence taken individually having the flavor of a bad porno, there is no passion infused into character relationships. All the characters seem sickeningly smug about the conflicts that befall them. But fear not, for Castle would soon break free from a bunk system of mechanical and mass reproduction in the guise of historical action-drama storytelling in order to forge the better parts of a stylistic system that he had been struggling to express for most of his career (When Stranger Marry had established most of the elements).
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