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Nobody
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« on: April 03, 2004, 03:48:43 AM »

Sergio Leone was a second unit director on this, and is also an uncredited director. Christopher Frayling has said that this is the only pre-Dollar film where you can see the stylist Leones work, making it much more interesting than his other peplum films. He also mentioned that Leone directed the italian version, while Robert Aldrich(the credited director) shot the american version. I don't quite understand this. Did they shoot two films simultaneously like they did with "Dracula" (Lugosi version) and "Druids" (with Christophe Lambert)? One italian and one english version. Or does it mean that Leone shot all the footage that was shot in Italy, while Aldrich only shot in studio in America.

By the way, has anyone seen this film? How is it? Is it possible to find on dvd? It seems like it is an essential item in every Sergio Leone dvd collection.

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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2004, 01:54:17 PM »

I have a video of this film,although it's a heavily cut version[I think uncut it runs around 170 mins,my version is 114 mins],I don't think it is available on DVD.It's basically a highly entertaining but extremely corny Biblical epic with lots of fairly tame sex and violence like Cecil B.DeMille's films[Samson and Delilah,etc.].From what I know Leone's major involvement was in the lengthy battle scene about two thirds of the way through,which remains a stunning sequence with some great camerawork.I like the film despite it's silliness and to my mind it's better then Colossus Of Rhodes.It deserves a DVD release[uncut].

I don't think there were two versions shot,but I'm not sure.As far as I know the film was shot in English,maybe Leone supervised the Italian dialogue?

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Novecento
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 02:59:03 AM »

I watched this last night on a German R2 DVD.The image quality varied because it was compiled apparently from a high quality shorter print and a lesser quality longer print. I think it still missed a few snippets here or there (the PAL runtime listed was 143min) but at least it was all in the correct aspect ratio.

As for the film itself, the supposed Leone-directed battle scenes in the middle were clearly the best part. I also particularly liked the introductory sequence. The end scenes were sadly tame even for that era and were a far cry from Leone's vastly better scenes of city destruction in the "Colossus of Rhodes". For anyone who likes these biblical epics, I'd recommend a viewing; for Leone fans, it's always nice to see examples of his very early career.

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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2011, 07:44:54 PM »

This has played a few times over the course of the last year on Fox Movie Channel in a widescreen three hour version. There's nothing in the film that looks like anything Leone has done, at least not to me. Maybe others who are more finely tuned to his style can say differently. Supposedly, he was never comfortable directing big action scenes leaving those to his AD's. Still, I like this movie a lot despite not being religious in any way at all. It's a good story filled with a lot of gorgeous women and a wagon load of familiar Italian genre stars like Giacomo Rossi Stuart and Anthony Steffen among them. I'll post the exact running time of this version once I've burned it to DVD-R later tonight.

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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 01:05:29 PM »

Just checked the running time and the widescreen version that's been airing on Fox Movie channel runs 2 hours and 35 minutes.

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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2014, 07:07:06 PM »

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s4448sodo.html

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2014, 05:02:26 PM »

Thanks for posting that. Savant has a very interesting footnote to the article that should be burned into every boardmember's skull:
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In some reference sources, Italian Sergio Leone was erroneously listed as a co-director of The Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah. According to interviewer Pierre Sauvage's account in Alain Silver and James Ursini's book What Ever Happened to Robert Aldrich? Leone was an assistant director only briefly. Aldrich visited the second unit, found nothing happening and Leone "loafing", and fired him on the spot. Although Leone was known to embellish his accomplishments to interviewers, so did most everyone else in movies...
It may be that nothing in the picture is Leone's.

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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2014, 05:41:14 AM »

No, he did some 2nd unit directing. But 2nd unit directing normally means to do what the director says one to do.

Aldrich said that he fired him at one point when he visited the set and nothing was happening all day. Actually Aldrich's and Leone's memories are very, very different about what had happened.

Just checked the Aldrich Interview book. In 1963 he said that Leone "didn't do anything really" and that he fired him after about 4 days. And that "in the Italian version credits there are all kinds of other gentlemen who had nothing to do with the film."
In 1976 he said about Leone that "he was loafing and terrible".
The story why and how he fired him is quite funny.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2014, 01:45:42 PM »

Sounds to me like nothing in the finished film is by Leone. If it's a choice of believing Aldrich or Leone, much as I love the big guy's work, I'd believe Aldrich.

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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2014, 03:06:14 AM »

But Leone said he worked 8 weeks on the film. Quite a difference between 4 days and 56 days.

The big action scenes in Sodom & Gomorrah are at least expertly done. Which I can't say for similar scenes in FOD and DYS.

Anyway, Aldrich said that in his films the DoPs have exactly to do what he tells them. "It's never a dialogue where we decide together. I tell my photographer exactly what he has to do". I doubt that he cared less for the 2nd unit work. So, whoever actually shot it, it is surely Aldrich's stuff in any respect. (which reminds me of a certain western by signore Leone)

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