|Index||5 reviews in total|
Going to Saturday morning pictures in the UK was a great way to spend the
weekend . From the age of 7 I went to the Regal in Hammersmith, London and
saw series, cartoons and feature films like this. As far as I was
concerned, as a 9 year old, this was the ultimate in film entertainment.
Exciting, other worldly and exotic , I confidently stated it to be my
favourite film at my interview for senior school at age
Of course I realise, nearly 30 years on, it is unlikely to be anything other than undiluted tat of the first order but now I am a mature, urbane, sophisticate and then I was a wide eyed youngster prepared to believe that 7 slaves could take on Rome and heroically put the enemies of Christianity to the sword.
It made me love the cinema and for that I am grateful.
I remember the title as "Seven Slaves Against Rome".
This movie was clearly made at the same time as La vendetta di
Spartacus, by the same director using some of the same cast and
locations. Both are rarely seen peplum films, at least in the US, but
both have been issued on Italian DVD, cropped to 1.78:1 aspect ratio
instead of original 2.35:1, but with brilliant color and optional
This movie is not quite as good as La vendetta di Spartacus, but it still displays some of the trademarks of director Michele Lupo, including amazing close-ups (especially of Gordon Mitchell with his brutal features and steel-blue eyes) and cinematic storytelling that mixes rousing melodrama (a slave uprising) and over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek fight scenes that go on and on (and on), here including a dwarf named Goliath (Arnaldo Fabrizio) for dubious comic effect.
The scene is a Roman aqueduct being built by slaves in the Syrian desert (probably using some impressive footage from the 1962 movie Ponzio Pilato). Thirst and water become recurring motifs. An early, powerful scene shows a brawny, bearded, and desperately thirsty slave trying to drink from a pool and being whipped and repeatedly dunked as punishment. A fight scene between two Roman commanders, Roger Browne and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, ends with the loser dunked in the same pool. Later, there's a fight scene between Gordon Mitchell and another escaped slave that takes place under a waterfall and then continues as they hurtle downstream, still throwing punches. This movie is all about wet, muscular men whaling on each other.
Scilla Gabel was a scintillating presence in La vendetta di Spartacus, but here she has little more than an ornamental walk-on. This movie is all about the guys. Even Roger Browne gets bare-chested, which I've never seen him do before.
If you love peplums, this is a fun outing with some memorable scenes of action and punishment, and lots of wet fisticuffs.
I wish that I, like reviewer Marek, had seen this at the age of 9. I would probably have been delighted by its many bursts of action, its muscular cast, its exotic locations, its handsomely-mounted look. However, while still admiring these virtues, as a grown-up I must point out the serious flaw which handicaps this movie. Call this the "divided hero" flaw. A pre-title sequence introduces us to Gordon Mitchell, a farmer whose refusal to give up his horses to the Romans condemns him to slave-labor on an aqueduct project. Then we meet Roger Browne, a Roman Tribune who seeks to treat slave-laborers in a fair and humane manner. Both these actors get star billing above the title and the script can't decide which one on which to concentrate. Is the movie about Gordon Mitchell's efforts to free himself from Roman bondage so he can return in peace to his farm? Or is the movie about Roger Browne's efforts to clear his name from false charges made by the villainous Gaius, (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart), so he can hold his head high when he marries his Roman fiancée? The movie's confusion about its central purpose is never fully resolved. And then there's that annoying midget. At least there's a lot of beefcake to look at while pondering these matters, though it takes quite awhile before Mitchell and Browne bare their nipples, and Browne's big bare-chest scene, when he sword-fights Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, is, alas, dimly lit.
I agree with Marek heartily.
Along with several dubbed European films from the mid 1960s, "Seven Slaves" made me a lover of the cosmopolitan cinema.
Actually, it was pretty good film. But then it is based, somewhat, upon Aeschylus.
This is a fine example of Italian movie garbage. Nothing about this movie is worth seeing, not even once! The plot is non-existent, the actors are no actors at all and the sets succeed to be only unconvincing. We have this well to do Roman citizen who is attacked by soldiers for no apparent reason. He is enslaved and put to work in the mines. There are these five slaves and this soldier who join forces with him and soon they raise hell in the city. Somewhere, no one knows exactly were, a woman enters the story - naturally, the obligatoray love story in every Italian movie. In the 1960's movies of this genre were produced in Italy as spaghetti. This is a perfect of example of how low one can get. DESTROY IT!!!
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