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Author Topic: Colossus of Rhodes R1 DVD 6/26/07  (Read 43500 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #45 on: June 26, 2007, 11:45:32 PM »

Not only the angles, but the entire mise-en-scene. To wit:



The dead horse is a nice touch. Really sells the idea of massacre.

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« Reply #46 on: June 27, 2007, 08:37:10 AM »

DVDSavant's (http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s2318epic.html) take:
Quote
The Colossus of Rhodes jumps ahead about five years, beyond Hercules and Ben-Hur when Rome's Cinecittà was the center of European production. Big money went into fancy pictures like The Last Days of Pompeii and The Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah, drawing money and stars from all over Europe and across the Atlantic. Dozens of much cheaper productions would soon clog the market, but The Colossus of Rhodes was an expensive proposition all the way. It's a hot ticket now because it's the first directing credit for Sergio Leone, who had made a name as an assistant director on many Hollywood shows filmed in Italy, from Quo Vadis? to The Nun's Story. The Colossus of Rhodes is more of a high-budget sword-and-sandal tale but it benefits from clean direction and some clever action scenes below, inside and clinging to the gigantic statue of the title.

As Dario, an Athenian on vacation in Rhodes, American star Rory Calhoun wears an incongruous smile through most of the show. In the first half he stumbles repeatedly into key meetings and events in a three-way struggle for power. It's all generic stuff. A fat pig of a king doesn't realize that his prime minister (Conrado San Martin) is smuggling in Phoenician warriors for a coup d'etat, while the lowly Rhodian freedom fighters hope that Dario will throw in with their lot. The architect of the giant colossus (Félix Fernández) regrets that his technological marvel will be put to evil purposes, even though he's rigged it to drop boiling oil on passing boats. A tireme carrying some freedom fighters parks itself under the statue, to demonstrate the statue's effectiveness.

The movie is a handsomely directed but rather slack series of secret meetings, double-crosses and narrow escapes. Lea Massari (L'Avventura) isn't much as a duplicitous lover, while Argentinian Mabel Karr steps in as a replacement love interest. Ángel Aranda (of Planet of the Vampires) is a jolly freedom fighter who likes to throw a knife. Dario sneaks around an underground labyrinth, witnesses some nasty Rhodian tortures and interrupts some grisly arena death games. In the film's best scene, he fights a duel on the arms of the towering statue, after crawling out a trap door in the giant bronze's ear.

The fitfully exciting The Colossus of Rhodes has a big cast of extras and some okay fighting scenes, and the mechanical interior of the statue is a novel setting. It's too bad that the script is content to settle for peplum clichés for most everything else.

The disc of The Colossus of Rhodes presents the SuperTotalScope production in its proper widescreen format. At 128 minutes, it's about a reel short of the Italian version (said to be available as an import disc), which may have a couple of extended torture scenes. The film seems long enough as it is. Angelo Francesco Lavagnino's score is somewhat subdued except for an opening series of sharp notes on the main theme. The track is in English with English and French subs; a trailer is included as well.

Sir Christopher Frayling provides a terrific commentary that places The Colossus of Rhodes in context with the later westerns of Sergio Leone , finding parallel themes and action even though this show is nowhere near as tightly directed. Frayling also promotes Leone's notion that the film is a parody of Alfred Hitchcock's movies, particularly North by NorthWest and Saboteur with its similarly hollow Statue of Liberty. The author and scholar misses few details, although fans of Ray Harryhausen will immediately recognize the rebel camp as placed in the middle of the weird rock formations featured in The Valley of Gwangi. Best of all, Frayling's interest in finding merit in the film contrasts strongly with commentaries from Peter Bogdanovich and the special effects experts on The Giant Behemoth. Although Frayling clicks off the sword and sandal clichés one after another -- pointy bearded villain, evil lady with an opulent boudoir, rag-tag freedom fighters -- he bears an affection and respect for non-elitist genres that the other commentators lack. As has been proven many times before, there's plenty of art to be found in popular genres, along with lessons that could benefit many more prestigious pictures.

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« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2007, 12:31:13 PM »

The Big Sword-Down


In the final sword-down, Somebody is obscured as Frank strikes.


Jill watches apprehensively.


Frank backs away. Has he won?


Frank turns, revealing a mortal wound.


Somebody steps into view: he’s okay!


The happy couple re-united.


It’s tough having to bite the dust without a harmonica to play….

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« Reply #48 on: September 26, 2007, 09:28:29 PM »

I now own it + have watched it. For you guys, I'd say it's definitely worth a purchase. For non-Leone fans ...forget about it.

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« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2009, 06:39:55 AM »

BTW, I assume we're getting the 127 minute version, not the Italain one that's 139.

There is a really nice uncut German box-set (http://www.amazon.de/Koloss-von-Rhodos-Rory-Calhoun/dp/B000I0S7NY/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1239797685&sr=1-8) but unfortunately Italian and German audio with no English subs. However, if you really want to see stronger evidence of Leone's forthcoming style, then it's definitely worth watching if you can. Apart from the end sequence which is heavily cut in the English-language release, most of the cuts are simply removals of different camera angles and longer shots.

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« Reply #50 on: April 15, 2009, 09:14:37 AM »

Thanks, I followed the link, but amazon.de lists the running time as 128. Would PAL speedup account for 11 minutes?

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« Reply #51 on: April 15, 2009, 09:59:24 AM »

Yes, they have the wrong running time listed. Here's the specs from the actual publishers where it is listed as 137mins:

http://www.e-m-s.de/dvd.php?name=116131

« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 10:01:07 AM by Novecento » Logged
dave jenkins
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« Reply #52 on: April 15, 2009, 12:31:32 PM »

Thanks. Guess I'll have to order a copy . . .

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« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2010, 12:58:35 PM »

I've just noticed this French release from last year.

The run-time is listed is 135 which appears to be 2mins shy of the excellent German release. Sadly, as with the German release, there is no English audio  Sad

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« Reply #54 on: October 06, 2011, 09:57:15 AM »

Now there's a scenario! What if Leone had carried over Calhoun to star in his next pic? This conversation wouldn't even be happening. Quantum physics. Didn't Asparagus rebel against Emperor Okra?

Frayling says on the dvd commentary that Calhoun was offered the part of the Man With No Name, which he declined, to his later regret

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