Marcus Valerius, a young consul, is assigned the mission to assist Menecrate, the leader of the Pretorian Guard, in the arrest and execution of as many Christians as possible. While raiding... See full summary »
Framed for the escape of five gladiators from the arena, the son of one of Sparta's leading citizens is sentenced to the arena as gladiator himself and forced to fight for his life in the ... See full summary »
So-so ¨Sword and Sandals¨ movie co-produced by Italy/Spain and shot in Madrid surroundings
A truly thunderous Peplum with agreeable ensemble cast as well as stirring action . IV Century , B.C. , Athens has fallen under the powerful Sparta and terror expands along Middle East . Macedonians rule over Sidon , in modern day Lebanon , and there governs the ruthless Rabirio . Some patriots hidden in shelters located in the mountains fight for their freedom . Leslio (Tony Russel) enlists a group of prisoners (Renato Baldini , Livio Lorenzon , Barta Barri , José Marco , and the bouncing Cris Huerta) to carry out his plans , and thanks to a great amount of money , he frees them . They getting their freedom from prison , and then help Leslio to get freedom his brother Axel . Meanwhile , Axel (Massimo Serato) is imprisoned by the Macedonians led by the tyrant despot Rabirio (Gérard Tichy) . The magnificent seven attack the detachment and the fortress where is imprisoned Axel . Thanks his courage Axel escapes and joins forces with the Magnificent seven , he unites his six rebel to rid itself of the scourge , to fight the patrician ruler . Seven rebels are faced at every turn by enemy army and they assault tax collectors who brutally invade villages under the pretext of collecting taxes . Later on , the brave group robs a valuable treasure and throw it from a tower . Soon after , in the enemy court Leslio posing as an architect and he falls in love again with his former sweet-girl named Lydia (Helga Liné as the old flame) and then must rescue her from slavery and death .
Peplum or ¨Sword and Sandals¨ remake to Akira Kurosawa's classic ¨The seven samurais¨ and John Sturges's ¨The magnificent seven ¨ , it's an adventure film with all the ingredients as action , suspense , comedy , amusement and typical confrontation between good guys and bad guys . The picture allows for periods of humor and calm in which to establish characters punctuated by viscerally exciting bursts of action . It contains fights , sword-play , adventures and some touches of light humor . It culminates in the spectacular climatic battle between the Spartans and the enemies with horse stampedes included . This is a B-film that was released in several countries in doublé programmes , as the UK as a double bill with The Devil-Ship pirates (1964) . Ample support cast with most of the actors are relative unknowns and formed by muscle-men and regular Spanish/Italian players from Western and Peplum , such as : Tomás Blanco , Massimo Serato , Pedro Mari Sánchez , Jose Marco , Chris Huerta , Renato Baldini , and Gerad Tichy as malicious ruler , among others . As comic relief appears Bernabe Barta Barry , a sympathetic secondary playing a corpulent man who uses a boomerang and Livio Lorenzon who invents a Gatling-gun-type weapon that fires arrows . Good production values with breathtaking final battle full of extras and horses , and matte-painting , nice maquettes and scale model by Emilio Ruiz Del Rio . It's shot in the area round Madrid , Manzanares Del Real , Colmenar Viejo and La Pedriza where in the 60s were filmed several epic movies as ¨El Cid¨ , as well as lots of Westerns and being a Spanish/ Italian co-production , efficiently financed by Italo Zingarelli . It packs atmospheric score by Carlo Franci with catching musical leitmotif . Evocative and colorful and cinematography by Eloy Mella .
The motion picture produced by Chamartín Studios was regularly directed by Alberto De Martino . He managed to make a fluid and filled with thrills , duels , attacks , and shots , though average . He was an Italian craftsman , working from the 60s in all kind of genres and B movies . As he directed Peplum (Secret seven , Spartan gladiators , Invincible gladiator , Valley of stone men) , Spaghetti Western (Django shoots first , Providence , Charge of seven cavalry) , Warlike (Dirty heroes) , European spy genre (OK Connery , Operation Lady Chaplin) , and Terror (Miami Golem , Tempter , Horror , Holocaust 2000) , among others . Rating : 5.5/10 acceptable and passable , though sometimes embarrassing . If you like Peplum sub-genre , this one remains lightly watchable .
This flick belongs to a cycle of films starred by seven heroes whose main hit was ¨I Sette Gladiatori¨ or ¨Gladiator 7¨ by Pedro Lazaga with Richard Harrison , Livio Lorenzon , Tony Zamperla , Joe Marco , Enrique Avila , Barta Barry , Antonio Molino Rojo , Gerard Tichy , this film bears remarkable resemblance to ¨Gli Invincibili Sette" or "The Secret Seven" or "Los Siete Invencibles¨. It's followed by other films in similar style such as the ¨The ten gladiators¨ trilogy formed by ¨I dice gladiatori (1963) by Gianfranco Parolini with Roger Browne , Jose Greci and Dan Vadis and followed by ¨Spartacus and ten gladiators¨ and the third outing titled ¨Triumph of ten gladiators¨ or ¨Il Trionfo Dieci Gladiators ¨ again by Nick Nostro .
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