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The Giant of Marathon (1959)
"La battaglia di Maratona" (original title)

 -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  25 May 1960 (USA)
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 492 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 22 critic

A Greek soldier leads the fight against an invading Persian army.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(idea), (idea), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Giant of Marathon (1959)

The Giant of Marathon (1959) on IMDb 4.9/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Teocrito
Alberto Lupo ...
Daniele Vargas ...
Gianni Loti ...
Teucro
Miranda Campa ...
Andromeda's handmaid
Philippe Hersent ...
Callimaco
Anita Todesco ...
Andromeda's friend
Ivo Garrani ...
Creuso
Daniela Rocca ...
Karis
Sergio Ciani ...
Euros
Franco Fantasia ...
Senator
Carlo Lombardi
Ignazio Balsamo ...
Ship's Captain
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Storyline

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 KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Giant Among Men in a Gigantic Spectacle! See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 May 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Giant of Marathon  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Director of photography Mario Bava was called to step in as director (uncredited) to finish the film, as Jacques Tourneur did not wish to extend his ten month contract. Galatea Film decided to reward Bava by giving him a chance to develop his own project as a solo director, Black Sunday (1960). See more »

Connections

Edited into Alexander the Great (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Persians Are Coming
2 December 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Giant Of Marathon is a cut above the peplum films of the Italian cinema, being directed by Jacques Tourneur. The film concerns the activities of one Phillipides, played by Steve Reeves who goes running around all of Greece as an ancient Paul Revere arousing the populace with the sum and substance cry of 'The Persians Are Coming'. Indeed they were.

The ancient histories beginning with Herodotus tell of the athlete/runner who brought news of the Greek victory and then promptly died as his body gave out. Here Tourneur opted for a happy ending, but the film is still good with some very nicely staged battle scenes.

Phillipides was probably the first celebrity athlete in the history of the world. As the winner of one of those original Olympic games he was a sports celebrity figure back in those ancient times. And because of that he's the guy sent on a diplomatic mission to Sparta to get those rival city states working together to beat back the Persians.

Of course Phillipides does just that, but Athens is facing some problems from what would later be called fifth columnists in the city. Phillipides has to deal with them as well.

Steve Reeves as athlete is not shown as a runner, he's shown heaving a discus which would be more in line with the kind of a support his upper body would be an asset for. In fact as a runner all that weight on top would be quite the liability. But he sure looked good.

Giant Of Marathon would not be considered a great film in most quarters. But it is Citizen Kane next to some of the peplum films I've been viewing lately.


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