In ancient Rome, the people finally oust their despised king, Tarquinius, and declare the city a republic. Tarquinius makes an alliance with the Etruscan king, Porsenna, to take back power ... See full summary »
Protests break out in Corinth against Roman domination, injuring Caius Vinicius, a Roman centurion. He's rescued by Hebe -- daughter of the anti-Roman governor, Critolaus -- who's being ... See full summary »
John Drew Barrymore,
In ancient Rome a love story blossoms between Fabiola, daughter of a senator, and Rhual, a gallic gladiator. When Fabiola's father is killed, the Romans blame the Christians and the ... See full summary »
Based on the Edward Bulwer-Lytton novel. Set in the shadows of Mt. Vesuvius just before its famous eruption, the film begins with Glaucus, a Roman legionnaire, returning to his home from ... See full summary »
While fighting in Britain, Roman forces commanded by Caligula capture the noble warrior, Glaucus. Seeing in him gladiator material, Caligula takes Glaucus back to Rome along with other ... See full summary »
The decurion Randus holds himself so well in the command of his troops, that Caesar promotes him to centurion. He is subsequently sent to Egypt, to keep Caesar informed on the actions and ... See full summary »
Gianna Maria Canale
SWORD AND SANDAL or 'pepla/peplum' is a enduring genre of the Italian Cinema. It dates back to the beginning of their efforts and comes and goes in waves. The wave best remembered in the U.S.A. started with STEVE REEVES in HERCULES (1958) released here in 1959 and died out in the mid 1960s'. Hollywood would also make contributions and it's films would generally be better financed and produced. Some becoming enduring Classics.
L'assedio di Siracusa (1960) 'THE SIEGE OF SYRACUSE' is a ambitious attempt to illustrate a era of Historical importance, The Second Punic War (218-201 B.C.E.). It was a divergence from the typical fantasies involving 'Hercules, Goliath, Maciste, Ursus' or whatever the 'Strong-Man' was called for that particular 'minor epic'. Rather it's 'Hero' was one who used brain not brawn to achieve his ends. SYRACUSE is at the apex of the confrontation between ROME and CARTHAGE. ROME has the best Army and has mastered the Sea and wants SYRACUSE to control the Mediterranean and defeat CARTHAGE. SYRACUSE has ARCHIMEDES (287-212 B.C.E.), Genius and Inventor, whose ambitions are to thwart ROME's will and maintain the independence of his State.
International Star Rossano Brazzi issues forth as ARCHIMEDES with his romantic lead DIANA/ARTEMIDE/LUCREZIA played by Tina Louise. Yes, GINGER GRANT of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND (1964-1967). These two (2) characters weave their romantic story through the Military and Political struggles of the time. In in his spare time ARCHIMEDES whips up his 'Solar Death Ray' to defend SYRACUSE by setting fire to the Roman Fleet. In the end SYRACUSE does fall, but true love is not denied. For details watch the film.
Whether ARCHIMEDES did all the things portrayed in the film is problematical. In addition he was killed at the end of the siege and did not go off into the Sunset with his main squeeze. The main problem with the film was the Italian Cinema's 'Reaching Beyond Their Grasp'. The concept of the film was fine and there is nothing wrong with Rossano Brazzi's interpretation of ARCHIMEDES. What was needed here was Hollywood MONEY and production values. Compared to BEN HUR (1959) or SPARTACUS (1960) it comes across as just another Italian 'B' effort with all the typical shortcomings.
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