Friday, May 10, 2013

Hero of Rome (1964)

I'm not a big fan of the gladiator type peplum movies- I much prefer the one with a more supernatural element.  those usually have monsters of some kind.  the ones in the later cycle were not even musclemen, just regular guys. 

however, I've watched a few of them, and this one is pretty good.  this copy came from one of those 50 packs of movies, and the title here is video generated.  the credits are all in French.  makes me wonder if this movie was ever actually released in this country at all, since I'd think French credits would be remarked upon even back in the day.
this is based on a true story, more or less.  Gordon Scott plays "Gaius Mucius Scaevola" and plays him well.  he gets to act a bit more here and proves he's got the chops for it.  I'd never even heard of the legend before this movie, so that made it cool. 

here's the synopsis from Wiki, because it's easier for me to copy and paste.

The city-state of Rome has just expelled its Etruscan overlords and become a republic. The Etruscans declare war in an attempt to regain their territory; in the ensuing battle, they capture the courageous warrior Scaevola and threaten to torture him unless he gives them strategic information. Scaevola thrusts his right hand into a brazier and lets it burn, demonstrating that he loves Rome too much to care about physical pain. The awed Etruscans release him, but the damage to his hand prevents him from wielding a sword.
The Roman Senate manages the war badly, and it becomes clear that only Scaevola can lead his countrymen to victory. He trains himself to fight with his left hand, and is soon able to return to battle and defeat the Etruscan kings.

the action scenes are good as well.  I'd like to see this in a widescreen presentation.

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