Oddities in CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS…

While examining the new German Blu-ray version of CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS (1961), I’ve noticed many particularities. The movie was heavily cut not just for the US version but the French and German versions differ greatly from the uncut Italian version. It’s not just missing scenes but same scenes but shot differently. I’ve seen this in other movies such as QUEEN OF BABYLON (1954), in which a US version was filmed and edited that’s different to the Italian (European) version but this one is simply odd. Take the scene at Monte Gelato waterfalls. The new Blu-ray includes the uncut Italian version and also a DVD-quality version that’s in German. The Monte Gelato scene in both versions are basically the same but shot differently. With Fausto Tozzi and Christine Kaufmann.

Same scene, shot differently: notice how the towel is different. How the placement differs. How he hold is clothes. It’s very odd when one notices it. It’s the same scene but it’s also not the same. Even the clarity is different. BTW, this scene is cut from the French version.

The German and US versions are the Irving Rapper directed/edited one while the uncut Italian version was directed by Lionello De Felice. This is the ┬ámain explanation but if the scene is basically identical why film it twice? Anyway, with QUEEN OF BABYLON, the Italian/European version felt like a rough cut while the US version felt tighter and more direct. The same thing can’t be said with CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS. It’s more sprawling and has so many different sets and situations but the movie sorta feels, in both the uncut De Felice and Irving Rapper versions, cobbled together.

MARCO POLO (1962) Blu-ray…

KINO LORBER has announced the upcoming release of MARCO POLO (1962) starring Rory Calhoun and Yoko Tani (above) on Blu-ray. The movie will be available early 2023. It will be the US print, with opening credits in English, as opposed to KINO LORBER’s version of SAMSON AND THE 7 MIRACLES OF THE WORLD, which didn’t have a genuine new transfer of the US version but a Fan Dub they created. Hugo Fregonese is credited for the English version while Piero Pierotti is credited for the Italian one. Can’t wait to see this.

From the KINO LORBER Facebook account:

The release will only include one cut. The credits on our master are in English and Hugo receives directing credit, so I’m sure it’s not the Italian version where Piero is credited as the director. The running time is 104 minutes and 13 seconds.

SUDAN on Blu-ray…

Nothing much on the BR front. The one interesting title, and it’s a pretty cool one, comes from the new Maria Montez – Jon Hall BD set. The set, which will be released in July, includes WHITE SAVAGE, GYPSY WILDCAT and SUDAN. Of course, their bigger titles, like COBRA WOMAN, ARABIAN NIGHTS and ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES, have all been available on BD already. So this set is not the top Montez – Hall titles but it’s still great news. SUDAN is a pretty cool movie. Buying the set just for that title will be worth it.

Jon Hall and Maria Montez

KING DAVID Blu-ray…

I just want to mention that this blog wasn’t supposed to wrote only about Blu-rays but it’s basically what it has become once and if the magazine project take hold.

Okay, back to Blu-ray releases. Paramount will release KING DAVID (1985) on Blu-ray on April 26. Great news. Unfortunately, it’s KING DAVID. Lol!

Anyway, one has to support all PEPLUM movies. Production is good but the casting of Richard Gere…well, the less said the better. I already have a HD copy of this movie and the movie itself looks good. But I just can’t get past Gere as King David. It’s a shame because it had a good director/crew/cast. Needless to say, this didn’t inspire a Biblical revival in the 1980s. PEPLUM movies were more the Sword & Sorcery or Adventure/Fantasy kind.

AMAZON

The image is nice. The audio is excellent. But this is not from the soon-to-be-released BD. But it is in full HD.

Watching movies in HD is great but it also showcases the bits were the movie tried to cut corners. In one violent battle scene, you can clearly see that mannequins were used for dead soldiers on the field. Oops…

SON OF SAMSON pre-order…

SON OF SAMSON Blu-ray release by KINO LORBER is now available for pre-order at Amazon. This is great news.

SON OF SAMSON BD @ AMAZON

The BD is still available for pre-order in Canada but there’s still two months left so I’ll wait and see.

Below is the official artwork of the release. Looks great.

This Blu-ray release is a complete opposite of the KL attempted release of the ill-fated GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES.

Are you ready for 4K?

Are you ready for PEPLUM movies in 4K?

There are already titles, all of them from Hollywood, that are available in 4K, such as SPARTACUS (1960) and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956). See Youtube video linked above. The scene they used for the comparison (below) is not impressive. I see some different, mostly clarity, or less fuzzy, but of all the scenes they could have used from THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, they used that one? Mind boggling. Oh well…

 

As usual, Hollywood big titles are getting the 4K treatment first. There are few PEPLUM movies from Italy on Blu-ray so the prospect of seeing HERCULES (1958) in 4K are not in the immediate future.