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The Colossus of Rhodes (1961)

Il colosso di Rodi (original title)
While on holiday in Rhodes, Athenian war hero Darios becomes involved in two different plots to overthrow the tyrannical king, one from Rhodian patriots and the other from sinister Phoenician agents.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peliocle (as George Marchal)
Tireo / Thar (as Conrado Sanmartin)
Mabel Karr ...
Mimmo Palmara ...
Roberto Camardiel ...
Alfio Caltabiano ...
Creonte (as Alf Randal)
Lisippo (as Jorge Rigaud)
Yann Larvor ...
Carlo Tamberlani ...
Ignazio Dolce ...
(as Ignazio Dolce)
Antonio Casas ...
Phoenician Ambassador


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Monster Statue Of Bronze And Stone Twenty Stories Tall Guarded Their Secret!


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Release Date:

16 June 1961 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

The Colossus of Rhodes  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Spanish)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The widescreen process used is TotalScope, an Italian version of Cinemascope. 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 »


Thar: It's a waste of time to try to get anything out of these jackals. See that they're all kept in chains while I go and prepare for their execution.
See more »


Edited into Caligula et Messaline (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

I wish it could have been better
30 June 2007 | by (the rock) – See all my reviews

I've waited a long time to see COLOSSUS OF RHODES and I'm sad to say how disappointed I am with it. I purchased the Historical Epics collection and watched COLOSSUS OF RHODES the same evening I got the DVDs. Having seen over 60 Peplums in the past 3 months and still wanting to see more of this underrated genre, I believe I have a pretty good idea what makes a great S&S (and what I enjoy and dislike about these films) and COLOSSUS OF RHODES is not one of them. Good but not great.

The sets are spectacular. The Rhodes statue, with its big child-like eyes, is a great design. The use of widescreen is excellent. Some scenes, like the one when they revel in the King's chambers, are truly eye-filling. The memorable soundtrack is another plus. Overall, the amazing sets and the production values are well above average than your standard Sword & Sandal films and yet I was remarkably underwhelmed by it all. The carefully constructed film is let down by an uninteresting script which has very little focus or impetus to it. It moves along mechanically, intermingling 3 or 4 different (dull) story-lines, which after a while became confusing. Rebels want to overthrow the King of Rhodes because of corruption and the lack of justice but then people within the Kingdom also want to take over the goofy looking King by overthrowing him and his army with a group of Macedonian "slaves" captured by Phoenicians who are actually soldiers and are brought within Rhodes, sorta like the Trojan Horse ploy. The Rebels fight the Rhodes soldiers. The Rhodes soldiers fight the Macedonian "slaves". The Macedonian "slaves" fight the Rebels. All of this happens while Rory Calhoun seduces every women on screen. After a while I couldn't tell who was who and what they wanted to accomplish. The story is not complicated it's just the direction is all over the place. And if that wasn't enough, during the climax they throw in an earthquake which levels Rhodes to muddle up the whole thing.

The film is so all over the place that many scenes from this film have been used as stock footage in other Peplums made after this, including the fun and thrilling TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS, which didn't have a tenth of this film's budget and yet accomplished more in respect to entertainment than this first Sergio Leone effort.

The actors are mostly serviceable with the exception of Georges Marchal and Mimmo Palmara who clearly stand-out from the pact. Marchal, who was excellent in the ULYSSES AGAINST THE SON OF HERCULES, is the best actor in this film too. He gives gravitas to his role, much more than any other actor in this crowded cast. ULYSSES AGAINST THE SON OF HERCULES, as uneven as it was, is sadly more memorable than COLOSSUS OF RHODES. Then there's Mimmo Palmara, a regular actor in S&S films, who really shines in action scenes here. Thank god he was in it or else I would have thought this wasn't an action film at all. But the main character is played by Rory Calhoun in what could be one of the best examples of miscasting in screen history. Calhoun is completely out of his element here and every moment he's acting, it drags the film down considerably. I could easily overlook the muddled script but with Rory, who's in almost every scene, he's easily the film's biggest liability. I have nothing against Rory. I'm sure he's a swell fellow but he just didn't belong in this film. He's certainly unconvincing as a lady's man. The loves scenes are really boring and I needed to fast forward through them because they were just too much to endure. Had someone like Lang Jeffries (as seen in REVOLT OF THE SLAVES, ALONE AGAINST ROME and FIRE OVER ROME) been cast in Rory's role, everything about what the role demanded (action & romance), Jeffries' presence would have been much more credible.

Sergio Leone had to start somewhere as a director and this film is good enough for a first film and as visually spectacular as it is, COLOSSUS OF RHODES features few of those Leone qualities that would become a staple of his style in his Spaghetti Westerns.

All in all, there are much more satisfying Peplums out there, maybe not as spectacular, like GIANT OF MARATHON or the TEN GLADIATORS sequels. If you're a fan of Leone or Peplums though, this is a must see.

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