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I grandi condottieri (1965)

The stories of Gideon and Samson from chapters 6-8 and 13-16 of The Book of Judges.


, (as Francisco Perez Dolz)


(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Flavio Nicolini) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview:
Anton Geesink ...
Ivo Garrani ...
Rosalba Neri ...
Lo straniero / The Stranger - Angel of the Lord
Luz Márquez ...
Donna di Gaza / Woman of Gaza
Paolo Gozlino ...
Ana María Noé ...
Moglie di Gedeone / Wife of Gideon
Giorgio Cerioni ...
Jeter - Figlio di Gedeone / Jether - Son of Gideon
Piero Gerlini ...
Lucio De Santis ...
Sergio Ammirata ...
Generale filisteo
Barta Barri ...
Fara (as Barta Barry)
José Jaspe ...
Zebaj / Zebah (as José Jaspes)
Consalvo Dell'Arti


The stories of Gideon and Samson from chapters 6-8 and 13-16 of The Book of Judges.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

samson | gideon | biblical | See All (3) »


Adventure | History | War


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Release Date:

8 October 1965 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Great Leaders of the Bible  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 45594 delivered on 28-8-1965. See more »


Follows Giacobbe, l'uomo che lottò con Dio (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

Passable Spaghetti/Paella Biblical story produced between Italy and Spain , being shot in Cinecitta and Almeria
24 August 2014 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

Spectacular hokey Bible epic produced by by San Paolo Films formed by two episodes from Bible , the first filmed in Almeria (Spain) by Spanish director Francisco Perez Dolz and second in Cinecitta , Rome , Italy , by Italian filmmaker Marcello Baldi . It deals with Gedeon (Ivo Garrani) , a humble farmer who is assigned by an Angel (Fernando Rey) to a holy mission to defeat Amalekites . The second part concerns Samson (Anton Geesink) and Delilah (Rosalba Neri , Francesca Neri's mother) who robs Samson his incredible strength .

"I Grandi Condottieri" or "Great Leaders of the Bible" remains an enjoyable and entertaining picture with great camp performances that still looks fine today . This dumb but fun film contains breathtaking outdoors , a lot of extras and with glorious paper-Maché sets on the temple of Dagon . Ivo Garrani is surprisingly nice as Gedeon along with a sympathetic Angel well incarnated by Fernando Rey . Anton Geesink as Sansone or Samson is acceptable though his famous fight against a philistine army is hopelessly phony . Rosalba Neri supplies biggest surprise by playing a tempter and beautiful vixen Delilah . Being a Italian/Spanish co-production here appears several actors usual from Peplum and Spaghetti Western such as Barta Barri , Luz Marquez , Beni Deus , Jose Jaspe , Paolo Gozlino , Mirko Ellis , among others .

The stories of Gideon and Samson from chapters 6-8 and 13-16 of The Book of Judges . As is the pattern throughout the book of Judges, the Israelites again turned away from God after 40 years of peace brought by Deborah's victory over Canaan and were allowed to be oppressed by the neighboring Midianites and Amalekites and the children of the east. God chose Gideon, a young man from the tribe of Manasseh, to free the people of Israel and to condemn their worship of idols. Very unsure of both himself and God's command, he requested proof of God's will by three miracles: firstly a sign from an angel in Judges 6:16, and then two signs involving a fleece, performed on consecutive nights and the exact opposite of each other . On God's instruction, Gideon destroyed the town's altar to the foreign god Baal and the symbol of the goddess .However, God informed Gideon that the men he had gathered were too many – with so many men, there would be reason for the Israelites to claim the victory as their own instead of acknowledging that God had saved them. God first instructed Gideon to send home those men who were afraid. Then the Lord said to Gideon, "You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink." During the night God instructed Gideon to approach the Midianite camp. Gideon overheard a Midianite man tell a friend of a dream in which God had given the Midianites over to Gideon. Gideon worshiped God for His encouragement and revelation. Gideon returned to the Israelite camp and gave each of his men a trumpet and a clay jar with a torch hidden inside. Divided into three companies, Gideon and the three hundred marched on the enemy camp and they cried, "A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!" and the enemy army fled .

According to the biblical account, Samson was given supernatural strength by God in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats such as killing a lion, slaying an entire army with only the jawbone of an ass, and destroying a pagan temple. Samson had two vulnerabilities, however: his attraction to untrustworthy women such as Delilah and his hair, without which he was powerless. These vulnerabilities ultimately proved fatal for him. One day the Philistine leaders assembled in a temple for a religious sacrifice to Dagon, one of their most important deities, for having delivered Samson into their hands. They summon Samson so that people can gather on the roof to watch. Once inside the temple, Samson, his hair having grown long again, asks the servant who is leading him to the temple's central pillars if he may lean against them . He pulled the two pillars together , and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people . Thus he killed many more as he died than while he lived

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