Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ages >> View Post
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Location: Prague, Bohemia
Member Since: Tue Apr 06, 2010
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In Reply To
Superman's Pal

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,803
Subj: Re: Peplum review #45: Sins of Rome (1953) (Spartacus)
Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2022 at 07:51:25 pm CDT (Viewed 145 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Peplum review #45: Sins of Rome (1953) (Spartacus)
Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2022 at 01:05:08 pm CDT (Viewed 133 times)

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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.

yeah, as far as Ive seen, this is the first and only film to address the mock naval combats that took place in the Colosseum and other arenas (interestingly, a tradition started by Julius Caesar himself to celebrate one of his naval victories)

As you say, it is a mix of a model, set and backdrop and a full scale boat and arena. Its a pity we didnt get more wide shots of the full boat.

I found it interesting that the stuntmen they had fighting the lions were clearly lion tamers. In one scene you can see a gladiator holding his trident high, using it to distract the lion's attack, much as a tamer would use a chair. Its interesting because we have little info on exactly how the gladiators who fought animals (called beastiarius) actually did their fights. I find it highly likely that they would have developed techniques similar to lion tamers.

(PS there is one report of an unarmed gladiator defeating a lion by jamming his forearm into a lion's mouth to prop it open then using his other hand to extract the lions tongue, strangling it. Anybody who thinks gladiators werent hardarses is nuts.)

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