PEPLUM actor Mark Forest died on January 7 at the age of 89. He made 12 movies, all entertaining and fun. I wrote a comprehensive overview of his career and his movies at the main PEPLUM TV blog. Make sure to check it out.
None of his films have made it on Blu-ray. Many of his movies have been broadcast in HD but never published to Blu-ray.
What can one write about 2021? The faster it’s forgotten the better?
We’re still going through a 2 year strong pandemic even though it’s seemingly on its last leg. Hopefully, 2022 will be more productive, and more great PEPLUM titles will be released on Blu-ray or in HD.
Happy new year everyone!
SCHEHERAZADE (1963) starring Anna Karina (below) and Gerard Barray is available on Blu-ray. It was released last September. I didn’t buy it yet. I’ll buy it next year (haha!). Anyway, it looks good. Audio and subtitles in French only. It was released in the UK and Canada as SCORCHING SANDS.
I just got the new SINS OF POMPEII (1950) Blu-ray from France. The Blu-ray worked fine (haha!). The shipping was very fast. And the price reasonable. I’ve examined the movie to give a quick overview of this release.
According to IMDb, the original runtime is 110 minutes. The new BD is 98 minutes. The previous DVD, also from France, was 94 minutes long. So there’s a discrepancy with runtime, which I haven’t checked in detail since I only got the BD yesterday. The extras are barebones. This HD release has two short documentaries, one on the Italian cinema highlighting the movie itself and the other has something to do with propaganda films made to showcase France and its culture (???), both narrated by the same expert.
The image is nice but the image of the DVD was also nice. The beginning of the movie they state that the movie was ‘fixed’ or restored in 2017. The prints are virtually the same. The only big difference, and it’s a big one, is the resolution. To compare, I placed screenshots of the new BD version next to the old DVD. The size difference is amazing.
Was it worth buying? Yes, since the movie now looks great in a higher resolution but this transfer offers no new surprises, well, except for the cover which is stunning.
I don’t have this specific Spanish DVD of HELEN OF TROY but I love the cover art. It’s one of my favourites DVD covers and the best of any release for this 1956 epic directed by Robert Wise.
The new German Blu-ray edition of SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962) is scheduled to be released next week, on December 9. Initially, it was supposed to have been released during spring but it has been delayed. The old German DVD release of this movie wasn’t that good with odd video artifacts reminiscent of old VHS transfers. Hopefully the Blu-ray won’t replicate these issues. Even so I’m taking a wait and see approach with this BD. The new Japanese BD is pretty good even though it’s not complete. Anyway, the German Blu-ray is not yet available on Amazon for pre-order so that’s that. Not a good sign. One should be able to pre-order by now.
There are more Blu-ray releases scheduled which I’ll mention in another post.
I recently purchased the Blu-ray for THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (1965) after I realized I didn’t have it on DVD or any other adequate format. Once I got it the Blu-ray didn’t work. It stops working in the middle of the movie. It’s not the Blu-ray player is not the problem as I played other movies on it afterwards. This is a bummer. I really wanted to view this movie in HD but now I can’t save it for my collection. I bought it on eBay from a seller with no returns. Oh well…
SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962) starring Stewart Granger, Pier Angeli and a host of European actors is available on Blu-ray in Japan!
I purchased it and it’s already on its way.
The runtime is only 117 minutes and not the 150 + plus one. Regardless, I’m curious to see the image quality.
Front and back covers. Not the best quality. Hopefully, the film itself will be excellent. I’ll keep you posted on this.
Here’s a glimpse of the PEPLUM titles playing in May 1960
GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS
SOLOMON AND SHEBA
How cool is that!