5.3/10
100
5 user 1 critic

The Warrior Empress (1960)

Saffo - Venere di Lesbo (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 24 August 1960 (Italy)
He-man Phaon impresses Sappho of Lesbos at the temple of Aphrodite, circa 600 B.C.

Director:

Pietro Francisci

Writers:

Ennio De Concini (screenplay), Pietro Francisci (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the 1950s, a poor Georgia cotton farmer and his sons search for the gold presumably buried on the farm by their grandfather but problems related to poverty, marital infidelity, unemployment and booze threaten to destroy their family.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Robert Ryan, Tina Louise, Aldo Ray
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Robert Ryan, Burl Ives, Tina Louise
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

During the Second Punic War between 214 and 212 B.C. occurred this history of the Roman siege in Greek city of Syracuse. The Romans were preparing for their invasion while Archimedes ... See full summary »

Director: Pietro Francisci
Stars: Rossano Brazzi, Tina Louise, Sylva Koscina
The Hangman (1959)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

U.S. Marshal Bovard comes to a small border town to identify and arrest a fugitive, but the whole town seems determined to prevent the Marshal from doing his job.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Robert Taylor, Tina Louise, Fess Parker
The Trap (1959)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In a remote Californian desert town, a lawyer arranges for a wanted mobster to skip the country via a small airstrip but the local sheriff and his deputy could pose a problem.

Director: Norman Panama
Stars: Richard Widmark, Lee J. Cobb, Tina Louise
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tina Louise ... Sappho
Kerwin Mathews ... Phaon
Riccardo Garrone ... Hyperbio
Antonio Battistella Antonio Battistella ... Peone
Enrico Maria Salerno ... Melanchro
Susy Andersen ... Actis (as Susy Golgi)
Alberto Farnese Alberto Farnese ... Larico
Strelsa Brown Strelsa Brown ... Priestess of Aphrodite
Annie Gorassini ... Dyla
Aldo Pini Aldo Pini ... Demetrio
Andrea Fantasia Andrea Fantasia ... Pittaco
Elda Tattoli Elda Tattoli ... Sappho's Nurse
Isa Crescenzi Isa Crescenzi ... Peasant Woman
Lilly Mantovani Lilly Mantovani ... Cleide
Fernando Hilbeck ... Scarface
Edit

Storyline

He-man Phaon impresses Sappho of Lesbos at the temple of Aphrodite, circa 600 B.C.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The World's Boldest Beauty! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

24 August 1960 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Warrior Empress See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy

Company Credits

Production Co:

Documento Film,Orsay Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Sappho: Immortal Aphrodite, Goddess of Flowers, Skilled in all Arts of Love, Daughter of Zeus, I pray thee, Come now, oh Queen, on thy winged chariot. And all that my heart desires to accomplish, accomplish thou. And be, thyself, my ally.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Pure escapism. An all around entertaining Peplum
5 October 2008 | by Maciste_BrotherSee all my reviews

When HERCULES, starring Steve Reeves and directed by Pietro Francisci, became a phenomenon, a dizzying number of Sword & Sandal (also known as Peplum) films soon followed. Nearly 300 such films were made between 1958 and the mid-1960s thanks to the success of HERCULES. It's one of the most unique film trends ever seen in cinematic history. Not even STAR WARS generated so many films after its massive success. The Peplum genre was diversified and many sub-genres proliferated, such as Peplum/Comedies, Peplum/Sci-fi, Peplum/Historical and most notably the Peplum/Romance sub-genre. Most Peplum films were made with kids or male viewers in mind but female viewers were actually quite important for the success of the genre and it was only logical that S&S films specifically made for female audiences were also produced. And this film is part of that Peplum/Romance sub-genre.

Known as THE WARRIOR EMPRESS in the US, which doesn't make any sense. There is no Empress in the movie and even less a Warrior Empress. The original Italian title translates to SAPPHO, VENUS OF LESBOS, which is what I'll use for this review.

SAPPHO, VENUS OF LESBOS is one satisfying S&S film. Directed also by Pietro Francisci, SAPPHO is fast, kitschy fun and dreamy. I'm memorized by it. After I initially saw it, I watched it once a day 4 days in a row. Regardless of the fact that there are no bare-chested men in it (which is THE main ingredient for a Peplum) SAPPHO hits all the right Peplum notes. Even if it's a romantic film filled with the usual conflicts of two men fighting over Sappho, it still has a lot of sword fights, chariot race, an impressive big battle, ramming ships and, of course, killer lions, all set to a great swirling score.

Take the beginning, for example, which I find brilliant. The set-up is amazing: the first 10 minutes has minimal dialogue, mainly music and sound. It introduces the characters in action and creates a wonderful world that swept you up and never lets go till the end of the film. The direction is mesmerizing.

All the main actors give their all. Tina Louise is perfect as Sappho, "the world's boldest beauty", as the film's tag-line says. The handsome Kerwin Mathews (who died last year, RIP) gives a thoughtful energetic performance. Kerwin was definitely an overlooked actor.

But best of all is the uniquely dashing Riccardo Garrone as Hyperbius, who almost steals the film from the American actors. Garrone gives a forceful performance that could have easily fallen into caricature but here he's totally believable. In contrast, the actor who plays the King is a caricature and is one of the weak notes in the film. Susy Andersen (credited as Susy Golgi), the actress who plays Actis, Sappho's close friend, is a stunning beauty. What happens to her character is one of the most pivotal moments.

This film has the best named cast of characters ever: Sappho, Phaon, Hyperbius, Actis, Laricus, Melanchrus, etc.

The soldiers' costumes are some of the coolest ever designed. Dark and detailed, with impressive Rooster-like helmets and short skirt line which accentuates, if anything else, the men's legs. And the girls' unique blue & black "nightgowns" are fetching even if they're probably not historically accurate.

The score by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino is truly a thing of beauty. Lavagnino is, like so many who worked in the Peplum genre, underrated, to say the least.

By now this film is totally forgotten. Heck, this will be the first review here at IMDb. And it's a shame because it's great fun and near perfect Peplum kitsch!

Thanks Pietro Francisci!


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed