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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.

Director:

Sergio Leone

Writers:

Ennio De Concini (story), Sergio Leone (story) | 12 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rory Calhoun ... Dario
Lea Massari ... Diala
Georges Marchal ... Peliocle (as George Marchal)
Conrado San Martín ... Tireo / Thar (as Conrado Sanmartin)
Ángel Aranda ... Koros
Mabel Karr ... Mirte
Mimmo Palmara ... Ares
Roberto Camardiel ... Serse
Alfio Caltabiano Alfio Caltabiano ... Creonte (as Alf Randal)
George Rigaud ... Lisippo (as Jorge Rigaud)
Yann Larvor Yann Larvor ... Mahor
Carlo Tamberlani ... Xenon
Félix Fernández ... Carete
Ignazio Dolce Ignazio Dolce
Antonio Casas ... Phoenician Ambassador
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | Spain

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

11 August 1961 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Colossus of Rhodes See more »

Filming Locations:

Bay of Biscay, Atlantic Ocean See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Spanish)

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

According to Sir 'Christopher Frayling', 'Sergio Leone (I)'s early concept for the Colossus was to have its arms crossed and the visage of 'Benito Mussolini'. This concept was abandoned and replaced with Helios/Apollo. See more »

Goofs

The film dates itself to 280 BC. In the scene where the two thugs try to kidnap Darios, in the background, a bust of Cicero, a Roman statesman can clearly be seen. Cicero was not born until 106 BC. See more »

Quotes

Lissipu: [to Darios] I imagine soldiering is not a simple job, especially when you have to play the hero all day.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There are several different versions, running from 126 minutes to 142 minutes. The French version is shortest but has some longer shots than English and German version. The Italian original is available in a restored 142 minute long version which contains all scenes. The main title sequence also differs between versions. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Satisfying spectacle
27 June 2007 | by pninsonSee all my reviews

Now that this film is at last available on DVD (having never been issued on tape or laserdisc), more people will get a chance to see it and hopefully it will be better appreciated. Until now, the only way to see it was to wait for it to show up on TCM, which happened once or twice.

While this is Sergio Leone's first credited film as a director, you won't see the hallmarks of the distinctive Leone style. He's working here more as a director for hire, just as Stanley Kubrick had done the year before with "Spartacus." Rory Calhoun is woefully out of place, his hairstyle wildly anachronistic (full of that greasy kid stuff), he grins idiotically at inappropriate moments and gives his inane dialogue all the gusto it deserves. The story is fairly straightforward, although refreshingly free of the ersatz piety that infects so many epic Hollywood films of the era. There's a lip-smacking taste for brutality, as some of the heroes are fiendishly tortured; this appears to have been a hallmark of Italian epics of the time.

Where this movie works --- and it does --- is in the spectacle itself. You might not think that set decoration, production design, costumes, and cinematography can carry a picture, but in this case these elements are so well done it more than offsets Calhoun's dorky performance and the weaknesses of the plot. Bear in mind when you watch this that Leone did not have a computer to work with. Everything that you see had to be built or painted, and it's remarkably effective.

The film is perhaps a bit overlong, but the story has enough energy to carry the action sequences and bring all those incredible sets to life. The supporting cast is good enough to make up for Calhoun, although the dubbing is poorly done.

It's not as sophisticated as "Spartacus", but it's certainly more effective than, say, "Clash of the Titans." If you like sword-and-sandal films, this one is well worth your time.


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