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The Giant of Marathon (1959)

La battaglia di Maratona (original title)
A Greek soldier leads the fight against an invading Persian army.

Writers:

Alberto Barsanti (idea), Raffaello Pacini (idea) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Reeves ... Phillipides
Mylène Demongeot ... Andromeda (as Mylene Demongeot)
Sergio Fantoni ... Teocrito
Alberto Lupo Alberto Lupo ... Milziade
Daniele Vargas ... Darius, King of Persia (as Daniele Varga)
Gianni Loti Gianni Loti ... Teucro
Miranda Campa Miranda Campa ... Andromeda's handmaid
Philippe Hersent Philippe Hersent ... Callimaco
Anita Todesco Anita Todesco ... Andromeda's friend
Ivo Garrani Ivo Garrani ... Creuso
Daniela Rocca ... Karis
Sergio Ciani ... Euros
Franco Fantasia Franco Fantasia ... Senator
Carlo Lombardi Carlo Lombardi
Ignazio Balsamo Ignazio Balsamo ... Ship's Captain
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Storyline

This classical peplum tells a fictitious story set in 490 BC, the time of the Medic Wars during which Persian armies sweep the Ancient world. Having brought home to Athens the Olympic victor's laurel crown, Philippides joins as commander the Sacred Guard, which is expected to defend the city-state's liberty, a year after the chasing of the tyrant Hippias. Athenian supporters of Hippias conspire, hoping to side Philippides by marriage to Theocrites' expensive servant Charis, and thus neutralize the guard. She fails to seduce him, as his heart is already taken by a young girl before the learns her name is Andromeda, daughter of Creuso. Everything personal is likely to be put on hold when the news breaks that the Persian King of kings Darius's vast army is marching on Greece, hoping its internal division will make its conquest a walk-over. Theocrites reproaches Miltiades to hold back the sacred guard to defend the Pallas temple after a likely defeat, and proposes instead to negotiate ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Spectacle! Grandeur! Glory! See more »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Giant of Marathon See more »

Filming Locations:

Titanus, Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It's pretty clear from the title on the screen that it translates to "The Battle of Marathon", which makes more sense since a good part of the film is dedicated to that particular event, even if it is greatly fictionalized. The change to "The Giant of Marathon" seems to be focused on highlighting Steve Reeves, which also makes sense. See more »

Crazy Credits

[U.S. poster] In Daring Color! See more »

Alternate Versions

The version now being seen in the USA was taken from the Lux (French) release version. It has been modified with the main title in English (the remainder of the credits are in French) and the English dialog track. It also contains shots of graphic violence that were deleted from the original US version that was released to theatres by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1960. See more »

Connections

Edited into Film socialisme (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
battle must have looked great on the big screen, once....
2 January 2009 | by winner55See all my reviews

Most of the other reviews are on target, I will limit myself to a couple of points needing consideration.

This was not intended as a muscleman-'sword & sandal' show, but a straight-ahead epic and a war movie. The reason this is easy to miss is because of the choice of Reeves for the lead. He actually tries hard to act in this film - but he has no capacity for it whatsoever.

In order to give him a chance to demonstrate this, the film gives Reeves an annoying romance that takes up half the film.

As an epic, the film is only half here, the second half, the battle itself. The battle sequences aren't bad at all, they are all technically correct, well mounted and nicely shot.

In fact, the visuals of the film are very striking, especially in the meetings with city elders trying to decide strategy. The print used for the DVD is an old TV copy, washed out and grainy; but remembering its original colors, and that it was made in wide-screen, a lot of this must have looked pretty awesome in theaters on first release.

However, visuals work best when the acting isn't important; besides the Reeves' problem, in fact only the central villain is performed with any gusto or skill. Everyone else walks around like cardboard on string. For the better actors involved, that may be partly because, with the exception of the romance, there's very little character-based drama involved here.

I suggest watching it for the battle sequences, and to forgive the damage done to it by the fortunes of poor preservation.


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