This old article from a French magazine is interesting. It’s purports to be a nice article but hmm…It also mentions ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1961) but they use a photo from FURY OF ACHILLES (1962)
Here’s the translation of the text.
“Gordon Mitchell, 36, American…He is the most frightening of Macistes. Culturist, accomplished sportsman, he rarely cheats in his cinematographic ‘effects’.
He practices wrestling and judo. Despite his age, he remains one of the most spectacular ‘monumnets’ in cinema.”
Correct description? The definition of a backhanded compliment?
It’s hard to believe Mitchell was only 36 years old. That’s a rough looking 36 years old.
Achilles (Gordon Mitchell) in a fight with Hector (Jacques Bergerac) in FURY OF ACHILLES. The top photo in the article is not from ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS.
In the American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography by Rob Craig, the author describes Mitchell: “…certainly must be the most gruesome European “muscleman” ever to grace the screen.” (review of Fury of Achilles).
Was Gordon Mitchell scary?
Just a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t have a copy of A STORY OF DAVID (1960) and now I have three versions of it. It’s a rarely shown movie, made for British TV and for ABC, produced in Britain and also filmed in Israel. It stars Jeff Chandler, who also appeared in SIGN OF THE PAGAN (1954).
This is not a review of the movie but the quality of the copies. Since this was made for TV it doesn’t have a widescreen format. I have a German TV broadcast, one US broadcast and one Canadian broadcast (Moviepix). Overall, the German copies is much better than the other two. It looks more cinematic and the frame not as cropped as the other two copies.
Angela Browne and Jeff Chandler
The German copy is much better. The other two are way too dark. There’s virtually no difference between the US and Moviepix copies aside from the resolution. If you clearly, the already small frame in the US and Moviepix copies are more cropped. The German one has more information on the sides.
Basil Sydney as King Saul
The German one looks less like a TV movie.
The major difference are the opening/ closing credits. Since it’s a TV movie, the credits are different than a regular theatrical release. In the US and Moviepix versions, the full credits occur at the end while those end credits are shown at the beginning in the German version. The US and Moviepix versions’ full title is actually A STORY OF DAVID – “The Hunted”. It definitely looks like a TV movie title. The German one is simply A STORY OF DAVID.
I’ll have a full review of this movie at PEPLUMTV.com soon.
One of the fun things in scoping old magazines dedicated to the movie industry is finding ads which indirectly dealt with the PEPLUM genre. Here’s a good example: the durability of the prints for SPARTACUS (1960). It seems Hollywood used the epics of the time to boost new technological advances, including THE ROBE (1953) being the first movie shown in widescreen.
Here’s a rare glimpse of an Italian magazine, Epoca, with a page showing Steve Reeves and Mylene Demongeot, still in costume for THE GIANT OF MARATHON (1959), walking about a street in modern day Rome, and shopping in a men’s clothing store. I’ve never seen these photos before. Really amazing. I’m going to try to get that issue.
Just a simple post to remind the world that SAMSON & DELILAH star, Angela Lansbury, is still alive. The movie was released 71 years ago. It’s incredible when you think about it.
With the recent passing of Max Von Sydow, and a quick overview of his PEPLUM titles, one stood out from the pack: his appearance in the TV movie version of SAMSON & DELILAH. It’s an oddly cast movie with Anthony Hamilton as Samson and Belinda Bauer as Delilah. It’s forgotten, certainly compared to other versions. What’s interesting about the TV movie is how they tried or try to sell in on home video.
Not very inspiring packaging. Only the first one has some nice artwork. Does anyone like this version?
One of the most interesting aspect of Steve Reeves’ career is not necessarily the roles he got but the long string of roles he was set to play but missed out. One of them was Li’l Abner.
The movie role went to Peter Palmer. The movie musical itself is not that great (in fact, it’s pretty odd…), and it’s sorta forgotten today. So, Steve didn’t really missed out. Needless to say, he would have been perfect in the role.
Peter Palmer played Li’L Abner, a role he played on Broadway.
This is just one of many roles Steve could have gotten but didn’t, including playing Samson in Cecil B. DeMille’s SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949).
The humongous GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES (1961) pressbook for the US release is something else. Who wrote these? Anyway, I have it and I get a chuckle in reading the text describing the movie.
‘FEMME STAR’? The text spells Jacques Sernas’ name as Cernas. It describes her as an Amazonian military leader…?!? She’s a Sultan’s aid. It’s nice that they used her actual name and not Maria Canale or something. They’re right in saying she’s best in ‘sexy, villainess roles’.
Again, who wrote this stuff? They definitely didn’t see the movie.
Does anyone have the laserdisc of DEMETRIUS & THE GLADIATORS (1954)? I’ve never own a laserdisc and I’m not thinking of buying one. But I’d be curious to know the image quality. I’m sure it’s nowhere as close as anything on Blu-ray but I’m thinking: did Twilight Time’s limited edition of the movie on Blu-ray was taken from this?
I still can’t believe how bad the image of the Blu-ray release, presumably taken from the Twilight Time edition. Below is the comparison between the DVD and the BR. The BR image is even cropped. To me this doesn’t make any sense. Was the BR copy simply an unconverted version of the laserdisc? I’m wondering since some have stated the BR is an unconverted version of the DVD but the image of the DVD has more information on the sides.
The only major non-italian PEPLUM Blu-ray release is the double disk of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, the 1923 and 1956 versions. It’s a good idea but nothing earth-shattering.
Aside from titles that are scheduled to be released but have yet to see the light of day, such as the Blu-ray of GOLIATH & THE VAMPIRES (1961), titled SAMSON & THE VAMPIRES for the release, there’s no major European titles in the foreseeable future. Oh well…