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Edwin L. Marin
Alboino, the Lombard ruler, wants to marry the daughter of a neighboring king, but she loves another. Her father arranges the marriage to Alboino, which he believes will be beneficial to him, only to have Alboino kill him and leave Amalchi, his daughter's real love, beaten and left for dead. Amalchi recovers to lead a revolt against the murderous Alboino and reclaim his woman. Written by
Taking place in the year of our Lord 566., this Titanus production stars the incomparable Jack Palance as 'Alboin, Konig der Langobarden'. Ravaging the country during the opening credits, this barbarous war lord has his eyes set on princess Rosmunda (Eleonora Rossi Drago) and her father agrees to a marriage of convenience. This is merely so she can't be with her one true love Amalchi (Guy Madison), who has already passed every fairy tail test her daddy came up with. Instead the good king almost puts Amal into an Iron Maiden before he catches on to the Barbarian opportunity. After this I will not be mentioning any more character names, as they are far to confusing and similar sounding.
There are too many talky scenes taking place in tents, only occasionally interrupted by fighting. At one point even Palance has had enough and starts a gladiator contest inside his briefing tent. None of the other guys in this meeting interfere when the lead warrior takes on one of his most trusted advisers. They say Jack's over acting borders on self parody, but this is less apparent in the German dub I saw, because here Palance had rather a sissy voice. The one exception is his final scene, but isn't every actor allowed to go OTT when the end is near? Anyhow, our Pally kills the king and leaves Amalchi floating in the river. When the widow queen proves herself a big blabbermouth, Alboino bribes Rosmunda into marrying him on account of her bastard baby (by Amalchi). The mighty Alboingo claims to know everything yet still misses the fact that the young hero has escaped to start some revolting developments.
Some time later, under yet another piece of draped cloth, Albonio is trying to convince Rosmunda he is not an animal, but the next king (she is still the heir to the throne). So he takes her on a romantic date watching her people being thrown to the lions. Rightfully suspecting Rosmunda of waiting for an opportunity to kill him, King Jack gives her several tests, including sentencing her servants to death and forcing her to drink from her fathers jewel embedded skull, When their wedding day finally comes, he goes out to hunt some more of her former subjects, giving the righteous Amalchi the opportunity to enter the castle by (wait for it) a hidden passage known only to his pals from the peasant resistance. The wedding orgy turns into a spectacular sprawling mess, but nothing compares to the final scene I more or less spoiled somewhere during the last paragraph.
6 out of 10
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