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Gianna Maria Canale
This classical peplum tells a fictitious story set in 490 BC, the time of the Medic Wars during which Persian armies sweep the Ancient world. Having brought home to Athens the Olympic victor's laurel crown, Philippides joins as commander the Sacred Guard, which is expected to defend the city-state's liberty, a year after the chasing of the tyrant Hippias. Athenian supporters of Hippias conspire, hoping to side Philippides by marriage to Theocrites' expensive servant Charis, and thus neutralize the guard. She fails to seduce him, as his heart is already taken by a young girl before the learns her name is Andromeda, daughter of Creuso. Everything personal is likely to be put on hold when the news breaks that the Persian King of kings Darius's vast army is marching on Greece, hoping its internal division will make its conquest a walk-over. Theocrites reproaches Miltiades to hold back the sacred guard to defend the Pallas temple after a likely defeat, and proposes instead to negotiate ... Written by
Classical Peplum deals with the famous battle and intervention of Philippides and Miltiades
The story is set in 490 BC, during Medic Wars between Greeks and Persians .The Battle of Marathon was a watershed in the Greco-Persian wars, showing the Greeks that the Persians could be beaten; the eventual Greek triumph in these wars can be seen to begin at Marathon. Since the following two hundred years saw the rise of the Classical Greek civilization, which has been enduringly influential in western society, the Battle of Marathon is often seen as a pivotal moment in European history .The defeat at Marathon barely touched the vast resources of the Persian empire, yet for the Greeks it was an enormously significant victory. It was the first time the Greeks had beaten the Persians, and showed them that the Persians were not invincible, and that resistance, rather than subjugation, was possible. The battle was a defining moment for the young Athenian democracy, showing what might be achieved through unity and self-belief; indeed, the battle effectively marks the start of a 'golden age' for Athens. The film is inspired on facts but most events developed are fictitious . Having brought home to Athens the Olympic victor's laurel crown, Philippides (Steve Reeves) is proclaimed leader of the Athenian Sacred Guard , which is expected to defend the city-state of Athens, a year after the chasing of the tyrant Hippias. Athenian followers of Hippias ( uncredited Gerard Herter ) led by Theocrites ( Sergio Fantoni ) conspire and scheme a coup d'etat and a fiendish treason . Meantime , Philippides' heart is already taken by a young girl named Andromeda (a gorgeous Mylene Demongeot ), daughter of Creuso (Ivo Garrani) , one of the various conspirators. Everything personal is likely to be put on hold when the break news that the Persian King of kings Darius's ( Daniele Vargas) vast army is marching on Greece, hoping its internal division will make its conquest a walk-over. Hearless Theocrites reproaches Miltiades to hold back the sacred guard to defend the Pallas Atenea temple after a likely defeat, and proposes instead to negotiate terms with Darius, but is told an alliance with Sparta could save the Hellenic nation. At the same time, Athens's greatest runner, Pheidippides (or Philippides in some accounts by historian Herodotus) had been sent to Sparta to request that the Spartan army ( on of them results to be Sergio Ciani , or Alan Steel , another hunk man like Reeves) march to the aid of Athens. Philippides makes the trail and survives an ambush on his journey ; he goes back with Sparta's engagement during the Persian attack in far greater numbers on Militiades valiant troops. Charis (Daniela Rocca as the matronly sacrificial love interest) , left for dead after overhearing Darius's orders, reaches the camp to tell that the Persian fleet, now led by traitor Theocrites, is heading for Piraeus to take Athens. Miltiades (Albert Lupo) sends Philippides ahead to hold out with the sacred guard until his hopefully victorious Greek troops arrive . Under the guidance of Miltiades, the Athenian general with the greatest experience of fighting the Persians, the Athenian army marched quickly to block the two exits from the plain of Marathon, and prevent the Persians moving inland. Of course , the hero Philippides defeats Darius the Persian at the Battle of Marathon .
This Sword and Sandals movie contains adventures , thrills , a love story and hokey historic events dealing with the time of the Medic Wars in which Persian armies sweep the Ancient world , being defeated in Marathon . The picture is well starred by the bouncing Steve Reeves as the famous war-time messenger of the Battle of Marathon named Pheidippides.In 1957, Reeves went to Italy and played the lead character in Pietro Francisci's Hercules, a very low-budget epic based loosely on the tales of Jason and the Argonauts, though inserting Hercules into the lead role .From 1959 through 1964, Reeves went on to appear in a string of sword and sandal movies shot on relatively small budgets, and although he is best known for his portrayal of the Greek hero Hercules, he played the character only twice: in the 1957 film and its 1959 sequel Hercules Unchained (released in the US in 1960). He played a number of other characters on screen, including Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton's Glaucus of Pompeii; Goliath ; Tatar hero Hadji Murad; Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome (opposite Gordon Scott as his twin brother Remus); pirate and self-proclaimed governor of Jamaica, Captain Henry Morgan; and Karim, the Thief of Baghdad. Twice he played Aeneas of Troy and twice he played Emilio Salgari's Malaysian hero, Sandokan.
Screen-written by Ennio De Concini who wrote lots of Peplum , Giallo and Spaghetti Western . This film is colorfully photographed by the great Mario Bava who little time after launched his career as as a cult terror filmmaker . Atmospheric and evocative musical score by Robert Nicolisi . The Giant of Marathon (Italian: La Battaglia di Maratona) was regularly directed by Jacques Tourneur and Mario Bava (Bava had to step in to complete the film) and in Italy signed it Bruno Vailati who actually was the producer .
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