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The Colossus of Rhodes (1961)

Il colosso di Rodi (original title)
While on holiday in Rhodes, Athenian war hero Darios becomes involved in two different plots to overthrow the tyrannical king, one from Rhodian patriots and the other from sinister Phoenician agents.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dario
... Diala
... Peliocle (as George Marchal)
... Tireo / Thar (as Conrado Sanmartin)
... Koros
... Mirte
Mimmo Palmara ... Ares
... Serse
Alfio Caltabiano ... Creonte (as Alf Randal)
... Lisippo (as Jorge Rigaud)
Yann Larvor ... Mahor
Carlo Tamberlani ... Xenon
... Carete
Ignazio Dolce ... (as Ignazio Dolce)
... Phoenician Ambassador


A Greek military hero named Darios visits his uncle in Rhodes in the year 280 BC. Rhodes has just finished constructing an enormous colossus of Apollo to guard its harbor and is planning an alliance with Phoenicia which would be hostile to Greece. Darios flirts with the beautiful Diala, daughter of the statue's mastermind, while becoming involved with a group of rebels headed by Peliocles. These rebels seek to overthrow the tyrannical King Serse as does Serse's evil second-in-command, Thar. The rebels' revolt seems to fail, with Peliocles and his men being captured and forced to provide amusement in the local arena, but an earthquake eventually upsets, not only the Colossus in the harbor, but the balance of power in Rhodes as well. Written by dinky-4 of Minneapolis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Monster Statue Of Bronze And Stone Twenty Stories Tall Guarded Their Secret!


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Release Date:

11 August 1961 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Colossus of Rhodes  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Spanish)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the few films to be set in the Hellenic period that spanned the period from the death of Alexander the Great to the rise of Rome as a world power. See more »


The picture dates itself to 280 BCE. The island of Rhodes is shown as an independent state, which is true enough for the time; however, it's alleged to have a king although Rhodes was a republic at the time. The king bears an uncharacteristic non-Greek name: Serse, an Italian corruption of Xerxes, a Greek corruption of an Iranian name that it scarcely resembles. The king receives an ambassador from Phoenicia - at the time an integral part of the Seleukid Empire (Syria). Greece is referred to as if a united country, which at the time was untrue - divided as it was between Attika, Lakaidemon, the Akhaian League, the Aitolian League, Epiros, Makedon, and other states. See more »


Thar: It's a waste of time to try to get anything out of these jackals. See that they're all kept in chains while I go and prepare for their execution.
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Referenced in An Opera of Violence (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Well, at least Leone got better.
25 September 2013 | by See all my reviews

Technically master director Sergio Leone's debut, The Colossus of Rhodes wasn't his first foray into swords-and-sandals epics. He was famously the second unit director for Ben-Hur and had to take over the reigns himself for The Last Days of Pompeii. Although he's known now for his Westerns, he certainly had a little niche going at the start. Unfortunately, there's fundamental flaws with that niche and it just doesn't hold up to today. Bland characters, bland story. It takes itself too seriously and ends up overly camp. It wants to have a camaraderie about war but it comes off awkward and childish ending with meaningless conflict and catastrophe. It's an interesting film and relatively watchable but it's terribly dated. While it has the pace of his subsequent films, it has none of the grit or tension. The most disappointing aspect is that the photography is incredibly flat. While the frames take a massive expanse for a debut, there's no depth and the sets are just obvious. Well, at least he got better.


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