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Superman's Pal

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Location: Prague, Bohemia
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Subj: Re: Peplum review #45: Sins of Rome (1953) (Spartacus)
Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2022 at 02:05:08 pm EDT (Viewed 129 times)
Reply Subj: Peplum review #45: Sins of Rome (1953) (Spartacus)
Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 at 11:29:21 am EDT (Viewed 389 times)

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As the peplum wave was kicked off in 1958 with Hercules, this one predates the genre by a few years. Most notable is that it is in black and white which detracts from the usual colourful scenes of Rome.

It is probably most notable in that Stanley Kubrick bought up all the rights, negatives and copies of the film prior to 1960 when his Spartacus film came out so as not to damage his films commercial outcome. Hence the film was buried for about 30 years as a result.

The film itself is pretty good, even if it pales next to Kubrick's version. I would guess that it was filmed in English as their voices don't appear to be dubbed and the acting is better than your average peplum. It follows the standard story of gladiator turned rebel.

most significantly, it has a scene of the arena being flooded for a naval boat re-enactment as the colosuum famously was (but it wasnt the coloseum as spartacus predates the building by over a hundred years.

It must have cost a pretty penny to film as the arena looks full. But I was bummed that we didnt get a re-enactment of naval combat but instead a pride of lions are sent onto the boat. But the gladiators fighting lions (REAL LIONS) is pretty awesome.

I had to check out the flooded arena scene you mentioned. It's interesting. At first you get such a quick glimpse of the boat on the water that I thought it might have been a miniature. Then the lady dancing on the boat is clearly on a set in front of a painted backdrop of the crowd. There are so many cuts and I can see how some of the shots were accomplished. Like when the guy is being mauled by the lion I think he's just overlaid with a separate piece of lion footage.

But then later we get many shots that show it is clearly a full sized boat on water in front of a real crowd. As you said, it must have cost a pretty penny. I think that was a dummy lion they threw over the deck rail though.

Interesting trivia about Kubrick burying the film. I guess it makes sense for his big release but you would hope he would have released it sooner than 30 years.

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