Rejoice…THIEF OF BAGHDAD in HD!

Great news on the Blu-ray front:  THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961)  starring Steve Reeves, Giorgia Moll, Hedy Vessel and Arturo Dominici will finally get a proper HD transfer. This has been a long time coming. All DVD releases were terrible, which horrible pan & scan or faux widescreen aspect ratios, and murky image quality. This is one of my most sought after titles and it’ll be available in Germany. I’ve already ordered it. This Blu-ray also has the Italian, German and English audio. This is a great Christmas present. In fact, the movie has a very Christmassy feel to it so hopefully I’ll receive before the holidays. Thanks to Chris for this tip.

Link to Amazon.de : THIEF OF BAGHDAD

Check out the screengrabs.

ULYSSES in HD

I recently posted about getting the Blu-ray version of ULYSSES (1954), wondering which one to get: the German print or Japanese print. Well, someone (Alan) sent me a link to a HD version of a TV broadcast of the movie in France. It is gorgeous. Makes the movie look like a million bucks. I’m still wondering which Blu-ray to get but in the meantime this one will suffice. It’s only in French with no other language available. Starring Kirk Douglas, Sylvana Mangano and Umberto Silvestri. These screenshots don’t do it justice.

Cinematic confusion…the saga continues

Ebay seller mis-identifies movie and identifies Helga Liné as Hélène Chanel! The photos are from MISSIONE SABBIE ROVENTI (1966) with Howard Ross (aka Renato Rossini).

Another one I came across on eBay:

Portuguese DVD for FURY OF HERCULES which stars Brad Harris but they used a photo of Gordon Scott’s head. That’s NOT his body. So, Gordon Scott is now a substitute for Steve Reeves and Brad Harris.

HERCULES UNCHAINED…the graphic novel?


I came across this comic book/ graphic novel on Amazon. I have no idea why this was made. It apparently began as a Kickstarter project. Anyway, I bought it. It credits the movie and some aspects are the same but many other aspects are different. Instead of Antaeus, Hercules fights the Minotaur. Odd.

Which one to get…

Above is the German Blu-ray of ULYSSES (1954). It comes with 2 discs: one with a HD digital transfer from the original negative, at 100 minutes runtime, and the other is of a digital transfer with additional scenes, at 109 minutes. The audio included are Italian, German and English. The Blu-ray is region B, which means it’s not playable in standard Blu-ray players in North America.

On the other hand, there’s a Blu-ray from Japan, @103 minutes. The cover is amazing. The only audio: Italian. The Blu-ray is Region A which means it can be played with Blu-ray players in North America.

The deciding factor would be the price: the German one is 15.99 Euro while the Japanese one is 5100 Yen, or $51.00.

I really liked the HERCULES Blu-ray from Japan and I’m tempted in getting the Japanese one. Hmm…decisions. Why are Blu-rays so expensive in Japan?

What’s odd about this DVD cover…

This Spanish DVD set is interesting, not only for the titles included but the cover art.

The set includes:  THE TROJAN HORSE (1961), CORIOLANUS – HERO WITHOUT A COUNTRY (1964), HERCULES AGAINST ROME (1964), MACISTE IN KING SOLOMON’S MINES (1964), SLAVE OF CARTHAGE (1956; The Sword and the Cross) and SIGN OF THE GLADIATOR (1959).

Pretty good set. Aside from the fact that the movie from which the artwork comes from is not included in the pack, what else is peculiar about it? A true PEPLUM fan would know this.

The answer:

GOLIATH & THE DRAGON was the US version of VENGEANCE OF HERCULES aka La vendetta di Ercole. VENGEANCE OF HERCULES was re-edited for the North American market and additional scenes were added, including those with Mark battling the dragon and became GOLIATH & THE DRAGON which was never released in Europe. This Spanish DVD cover shows the artwork of a movie that was never released there.

Mistakes and the PEPLUM genre

Mistakes, confusion and the PEPLUM genre go hand in hand. For example, here’s a screenshot of the massive book, L’ANTIQUITE AU CINEMA by Herve Dumont. You’d think they would know their stuff but alas even authors who write books on PEPLUM movies don’t know their stuff.

Mistakes are normal (I’ve done my fair share of mistakes) but this one is inexcusable. The author cites this photo as being from HERCULES (1958…not 1957) when in fact it’s from HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959). It’s pretty obvious to anyone who has seen these two films. With Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina and Gabriele Antonini.

How can you tell if a movie poster is authentic…

How to determine if a movie poster is legit. This one looks real but it’s actually not. It’s quite clever but not authentic. How can you tell?

Addendum: it looks like the poster is actually legit. It’s from the UK release. The reason it looked fake to me because of the misspelling of Giuliano Gemma’s name but mostly because the part of the artwork is from the original US poster (the chained women) of GOLIATH & THE SINS OF BABYLON, released in 1963, but the image of Mark is from HERCULES AGAINST THE SONS OF THE SUN, which was released in 1964. How can a poster from 1963, in English, have a photo from a movie made a year later? This aspect didn’t make any sense to me but it seems the UK release was in 1965, after both films were already released and they cobbled images and artwork from both movies for this specific release. Cinematic confusion!