Jacques Sernas is an impressive barbarian peplum hero
Whoever would have thought that a novel by the author of "Madame Bovary" would be the basis for a barbarian peplum film? Nevertheless, Salammbo is just that. Mathos ( a muscular and handsome Sernas) brings his angry band of unpaid barbarian merceneries to the king of Carthage demanding their just recompense. While confronting the king, he meets Hamilcar's daughter, the princess Salammbo, virgin high priestess of the goddess Tanit and guardian of the sacred veil. The villainous chief advisor (Purdom) promises to send chests of gold if they will await far outside the city. When they are delivered, the chests are filled with stones under a top layer of gold. Furious, Mathos vows revenge which involves the beautiful Salammbo and the sacred veil. Few if any complete prints of this film have survived. The American release was severely cut. After viewing a more complete, but still not intact Italian print which included more excised action footage and a final duel between Sernas and Purdom while awaiting execution, I have to say that what would have been a reasonably good film has been butchered. If anyone has the complete version I hope they will have it restored and made available.
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