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Subj: Peplum review #44: Sword and the Cross (1958)
Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2022 at 02:08:09 pm EDT (Viewed 174 times)
aka Mary Magdalene
I needed a peplum fix so I tried this one. As the title indicates, this one fits into the religious pepla that abounded in the wake of Ben Hurr, and of course suffers as a result.
This one has the focus on one of Jesus's most famous apostles, Mary Magdalene, in this case, played by Yvonne di Carlo, who would later play Lily Munster. Mary is a high-priced courtesan in Jerusalum. She falls in love with a Roman captain called Gaius, in a typical star-crossed romance. It looks like the actors were speaking English and later dubbed into Italian.
The bad guy in this one is Barrabas, a zealot leader, who is a militant contrast to Jesus's peaceful rebellion. Jesus has a few appearances, but always from behind, similar to Ben Hurr, such as when he saves Mary from being stoned at the temple. We also get appearances from Lazarus, Mary of Bethany and Judas Iscariot.
While its not a bad idea to fill in background on characters from the gospels (as in the Robe), but this one is just sluggish. It lacks even the light action of the political peplums. And I wont spoil the ending about what happens to Jesus.
its on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN6Tudm6eCU&list=PLNm68F8lHprCxcj_m-5wZJv8rdAEm2mbO&index=3&t=1320s&ab_channel=Film%26Clips
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