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The Queen of Babylon (1954)
"La cortigiana di Babilonia" (original title)

 -  Action | Drama  -  10 August 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 61 users  
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Beautiful goatherd helps Chaldean rebel fight evil king in ancient Babylon.

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Story of an ancient Assyrian queen that supposedly took place around 810 B.C.

Director: Primo Zeglio
Stars: Yvonne Furneaux, John Ericson, Renzo Ricci


Credited cast:
Roldano Lupi ...
Carlo Ninchi ...
Anna Maria Mori
Tamara Lees ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Armando Annuale
Alberto Anselmi
Gianna Antonini
Gildo Bocci
Leonardo Bragaglia
Livia Cordaro
Rosanna Fabrizi
Ileana Flores
Patrizia Lari


In 600 BC, Babylon is conquered by the army of King Assur. When the Chaldean people refuse to submit to his rule, their leader Ahmal (Montalban) flees into the country and is hidden by a beautiful goatherd named Semiramis (Fleming). She is later captured, becomes the King's favorite and is soon made queen. When Ahmal himself is made a prisoner, he believes she has betrayed him. The king's wicked cousin tortures Ahmal and uses both him and Semiramis in his plot to depose the king and seize power for himself. When he does murder Assur, he blames Semiramis and prepares to burn her at the stake. But Ahmal and his people, toiling as slaves in a nearby quarry, are alerted by an informant... Written by R. Scott Gibson

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Action | Drama


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Release Date:

10 August 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Queen of Babylon  »

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Production Co:

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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sibari: [speaking to Semiramis of Amal] Every drop of water we give him, as well as every whiplash we spare him, depends on you.
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User Reviews

QUEEN OF BABYLON (Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, 1954) **1/2
5 April 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

A friend of mine – who, apart from being a well-known local film-buff, occasionally invites me (and three like-minded others) to his old-fashioned home theater to watch 16mm prints of vintage Hollywood movies – had, during our periodical meetings, often voiced his wish to revisit the movie under review. Therefore, when I was later contacted by an enthusiastic American film collector that happened to have a vast amount of titles in this vein at his disposal, I naturally acceded to his earnest request. Now that the Easter season is just around the corner, I was curious to learn what the fuss was all about and, naturally, I immediately got around to watching it as part of my annual Epic movie marathon.

I would be lying if I said that I was expecting to be overwhelmed by an Italian peplum whose only capsule review I was aware of (Leonard Maltin's) merely awarded it a *1/2 rating. But I was not really prepared for what I eventually got either: if this film were any campier, Indian chieftains would have convened in it to hold their war councils! Right from the outset, I was in for a laugh-out-loud moment when one of two horsemen is seen having trouble descending from his steed (ostensibly to cut off two corpses hung from a tree and give them a decent burial)…by which time soldiers from the opposing army reach them and kill hero Ricardo Montalban's elderly lieutenant (which, naturally, sets the revenge plot in motion). Besides, we are supposed to believe that a stunning redhead like Rhonda Fleming is an abandoned child of nature that lives blissfully with her animals in a cave (and yet her first appearance has her stretched out on a rock soaking in the sun and splashing in the water!); when the Assyrians attack the village in search of Montalban and in retaliation for Fleming's harboring of him, the soldiers leave just one woman alive (having been spared for being too old)!; a brutish Assyrian thug rapes Fleming when he traps her in the cave; the captured girls dim-wittedly display their dancing skills when they are offered a chance of survival by performing before the King (but, obviously, they are able to learn the intricate choreography overnight!); Montalban proves remarkably resilient throughout – when pierced with an arrow early on, he promptly removes this to impale a soldier on it and, again, during a particularly animated tavern brawl!; in an obvious attempt to out-do the man-eating lions from QUO VADIS (1951), here we get victims being fed to alligators…only these appear much smaller (being clearly younger) when the protagonist grapples with them in a pool for the King's amusement – naturally, while they get to kill their fair share of people, the stout Montalban effortlessly defeats one reptile after another!; the final confrontation, then, between Montalban and chief villain Carlo Ninchi is carelessly handled in a silent, hurried fashion!

In the past, I have checked out a quartet of Bragaglia (who died at the venerable age of 103!)'s genre efforts – notably HANNIBAL (1959; co-directed with Edgar G. Ulmer) and AMAZONS OF ROME (1961; co-directed with Vittorio Cottafavi); however, during my ongoing schedule, I should also be getting to his THE SWORD AND THE CROSS (1958) and THE FOUR MUSKETEERS (1963), while I might also be able to acquire the well-regarded THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS (1958). Similarly, renowned scribe Ennio De Concini contributed to innumerable such entries from 1948-63. As for the two leads, I recently watched Fleming (whose career seemingly lost its momentum after 1960) in YANKEE PASHA and have William Castle's SERPENT OF THE NILE – THE LOVES OF CLEOPATRA (both 1954) set up for the near-future; with respect to her co-star, I have MARK OF THE RENEGADE (1951) and THE SARACEN BLADE (1954; also by Castle) lined up. Supporting them here are Roldano Lupi (a Pedro Armendariz look-alike playing the historical figure of King Assur) and Tamara Lees (wife of actor Bonar Colleano in real-life). Finally, and for the record, other films to be found within this Mesopotamian subgenre are SLAVES OF BABYLON (1953; yet another William Castle entry) and THE HERO OF BABYLON (1963; which I have just acquired) – both of which are upcoming viewings – as well as WAR GODS OF BABYLON (1962; which I watched not too long ago) and I AM SEMIRAMIS (1963; one I foolishly missed out on Italian TV).

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