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The classic story from the early days of Rome where there are no women. Romulus, the founder of Rome, finds women to be wives from Sabina where there are a lot of women. The Sabine men, of course, attack Rome to get their wives and daughters back. Written by
This is really a rare movie. A totally forgotten one. In its times, it was lost among the deluge of others, more fortunate films of the genre so called "swords and sandals". It was a veritable Tower of Babel, mixing English, French, Italian, German and another languages between the cast and the crew. Today, it has survived in versions with dubbing in German, Spanish and French but not in English or Italian. Even it exists a copy in Russian, with the voices that make the translation, overlaying to the dialogue in German. And the formats are a nightmare. There are in the old 4:3 proportion, and in the new 16:9 standard, even in the original 2.35:1. And the editions of the film are also different, so don't dream about putting the sound track that you understand, in place of the one in another language because it's a task for the Mission Impossible Force. Nevertheless I confess that I like this unwanted concoction. Let's begin with the cast. Romulus is Roger Moore. This was the year 1961 and The Saint, The Persuaders! and James Bond were in the future. Sir Roger came from Hollywood, where in the fifties he had participated in a series of films for MGM and WB without much of a success. But in TV, already, he had three series under his belt: Ivanhoe, The Alaskans and the Fourth Season of Maverick replacing the great James Garner. Instead of muscle he created a very likable Romulus. Handsome, proud, ambitious, cunning but also vulnerable and caring. If you are a fan of Sir Roger, he will not disappoint you in this role. The romantic interest is brought about by french actress Mylene Demongeot, a sight for a sore eyes. She is Rea, the daughter of the King of the Sabines. She is breathtakingly beauty but she is consecrated as a Vestal, truly a precarious position for such alluring girl. Today Mylene is recognized as an excellent actress. But Romulus also elicits passions. Scilla Gabel, is the other woman in his life, the Fenician amazon Dusia. Scilla was the Stand-in of Sophia Loren and, in order to earn this job, a woman would have to be voluptuous and very well built. Scilla filled the bill and also had a volcanic temper. But the picture not only deals in lust and passion, there is also tenderness. The young lovers, Lavinia and Lino are very well represented by Giorgia Moll and Marino Mase. Giorgia was known for her part of a Vietamese girl, in the movie The Quiet American (1958). And the Olympic Gods, Venus and Mars, enter in a dream sequence while Romulus is asleep in the temple, debating about the merits of love and war as the driving force in the souls of little mortals. Specially invited for these roles were the Italian temptress, Rossana Schiaffino and the tough and multifaceted French actor, Jean Marais. Furthermore, among the beautiful Women of the Sabines, there is Luisa Mattioli as Silvia. For those who loves trivia, Luisa would become the third wife of Sir Roger and would abandon her incipient cinematic career in favor of the role of mother in real life. And acting as Titus Tasio, king of the Sabines, we found the experienced Italian actor Folco Lulli. The man who prevented the collapse of this Tower of Babel was the Austrian director Richard Pottier. Evidently, an expert in juggling different languages. The result was incredibly good. The story is based in the well known legend of the Kidnap of the Sabines Women, it has action and sense of humor, and it is apt for all audiences. It's not all about war and heroism and brute force. It's about how to be a just leader, a king and a companion and in the end choosing between a glorious future as a powerful monarch or the anonymous destiny beside the woman that one loves.
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