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The production had to shut down when the money ran out. American-Internation Pictures' executives James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff were shown rushes from the film and agreed to buy the US distribution rights, which gave the film's producers the money to continue production. With their own Steve Reeves movie (retitled Goliath and the Barbarians (1959)) in theaters only five months after the box-office sensation Hercules (1958), American-International had one of its biggest hits up to that time. See more »
You're very strong, but you don't look like a woodcutter.
Appearances are deceiving.
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This is the ripest of the Steve Reeves muscleman movies.
This is probably the guiltiest pleasure of any of the late 50's, early 60's European peplum movies. Released in the US by American International Pictures (under the supervision of Arkoff and Nicholson), this picture was an amazing box-office coup for that studio and one of the most memorable exploitation pics of it's day. Though this film is less famous than his star-making vehicle, HERCULES, Mr. Universe Steve Reeves is on display to much better advantage here, and thanks to the extraordinary participation of the fabulous Cuban beauty, Chelo Alonso, more memorable, too. These two superstructures were, and probably still are, the stuff of adolescent daydreams and adult fetishes. This sword-and-sandal flick is pure sexist fun and exemplifies an era in films when marketing a movie was practically an art form in itself, instead of the crass, big-business system it is today. Hopefully someone can bring this potboiler to DVD in a widescreen version that does it some justice. Aside from Steve and Chelo, there's a memorable music score by AIP's lead music director, Les Baxter, which was used to perk up a lot of the muscleman epics of the time. I think the title card for this picture, paraphrased, says it all: "569 A.D. A TIME, WHEN, IF YOU DIDN'T FIGHT OR LOVE, LIFE WAS A VERY SHORT AND DULL AFFAIR." Stop the presses! You gotta love that! Enjoy.
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