The historical epic depicts the seige of Leningrad by the German army during World War II. The Russians suffered terrible losses but the Communists would not give up the birthplace of the Russian revolution.
A Greek military hero named Darios visits his uncle in Rhodes in the year 280 BC. Rhodes has just finished constructing an enormous colossus of Apollo to guard its harbor and is planning an alliance with Phoenicia which would be hostile to Greece. Darios flirts with the beautiful Diala, daughter of the statue's mastermind, while becoming involved with a group of rebels headed by Peliocles. These rebels seek to overthrow the tyrannical King Serse as does Serse's evil second-in-command, Thar. The rebels' revolt seems to fail, with Peliocles and his men being captured and forced to provide amusement in the local arena, but an earthquake eventually upsets, not only the Colossus in the harbor, but the balance of power in Rhodes as well. Written by
dinky-4 of Minneapolis
The credits of the U.S. release version lists four screenwriters. The screenplay was reportedly the work of nine screenwriters. See more »
The film dates itself to 280 BC. In the scene where the two thugs try to kidnap Darios, in the background, a bust of Cicero, a Roman statesman can clearly be seen. Cicero was not born until 106 BC. See more »
[pinned under fallen beam]
There's no pain at all. Funny, I... I... I wanted so much, but I die without getting anything.
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Not the Leone the world remembers, but a cut above most peplum
Having only see Sergio Leone's The Colossus of Rhodes in a panned-and-scanned TV version before, it's surprising how much more enjoyable the film is when you see it in its proper 'TotalScope' ratio. Where Leone's previous peplum, 1959's dreary and underfunded version of The Last Days of Pompeii, looked like it could have been made by any one of a hundred unimaginatively anonymous Italian directors, Colossus always looks terrific, with a mastery of the widescreen that Leone would take even further in his Westerns. It's a genuinely spectacular affair offering pretty much everything you could want from a peplum not much in the way of muscle men but plenty of corrupt rulers, rebels and conspiracies, torture in the dungeons and the arena, the spectacular destruction of a city in a natural disaster and imported American star Rory Calhoun imitating Victor Mature every time he laughs in profile, which is surprisingly often considering the misfortunes that befall him. Along the way Leone throws in plenty of playful riffs on Hitchcock, with the Colossus itself providing plenty of visual homages to both The Saboteur and North by Northwest. Not a major work by any means but a surprisingly enjoyable one.
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