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Aphrodite, Goddess of Love More at IMDbPro »Afrodite, dea dell'amore (original title)

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Ars longa, vita brevis est

Author: unbrokenmetal from Hamburg, Germany
24 December 2010

AD 67. The artist Demetrio (Anthony Steffen) is at Corinth as a guest of Antigono (Ivo Garrani) when he falls in love with the poor innocent slave girl Lerna (Isabelle Corey). Yet the wicked Diala (Irène Tunc) is also interested in the handsome young Demetrio whilst pretending to care only for the rich old Antigono. Now that story is not complicated, really, and further on, it follows a safe path of morality when Lerna sympathizes with a (very early) group of Christians and Demetrio gets baptized, although they are all in danger of getting burned for sacrifice. Note this was released a year before Wyler's 'Ben Hur' so it is not a follow-up to its success, even if the impression may occur.

Demetrio makes an unusual hero for the Italian variety of the sword and sandals genre, because he is not the muscular Hercules/Maciste type, instead a sensitive artist with dialog lines like "She is the symbol of a goddess who does not exist anymore", when he describes his statue of Diala posing as Aphrodite. But as the Latin saying goes, "ars longa, vita brevis est"... Also a point of interest is that the famous Sergio Leone co-wrote the script and was assistant director to Mario Bonnard. Voted 6/10.

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Well-mounted, old fashioned Italian costume drama

5/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
19 January 2017

APHRODITE, GODDESS OF LOVE is a straightforward costume drama from Italy. Bizarrely, the version I watched on Amazon Prime was dubbed into French with English subtitles. The film has more in common with the staged and old-fashioned costume dramas of the 1950s than the all-action sword and sandal excitement of the post-HERCULES peplum wave, but fans of Italian cinema will probably still enjoy it.

The film tells the intriguing tale of Antigone, a man obsessed with building a temple to the titular deity. Unfortunately his plans are thwarted by plague and a disgruntled populace, and he turns on the Christians in the vicinity as a result. The main character in the film, Demetrius, is a sculptor who falls in love with a Christian slave girl, with harrowing results.

This story is well mounted by genre standards and very colourful. The costumes look and feel authentic. Sergio Leone had a hand in the script and also worked on the story as assistant director. Fans of Italian cinema will spot the likes of Anthony Steffen as the skinny hero alongside bit parts from Paul Muller and Massimo Serato. Best of the lot is Ivo Garrani's delightfully scheming Antigone.

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