The Colossus of Rhodes


Adventure / Drama / History / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 63%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 32%
IMDb Rating 5.9 10 2371


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Rory Calhoun as Dario
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23.976 fps
2hr 7 min
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2hr 7 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dglink 6 / 10

Joey, do you like Gladiator movies?

In "Airplane," when Captain Oveur asks young Joey, "Do you like gladiator movies?" he is slyly and salaciously referring to films like "The Colossus of Rhodes." While technically not a gladiator movie, Sergio Leone's directorial debut is rife with scantily clad men whose rippling muscles and impeccable abs are fully exposed while they wrestle with each other or undergo whippings, torture, and bondage. The national pastime of Rhodes must have been doing crunches and lifting weights, because even the mature men have flat tight stomachs and bulging biceps. Meanwhile, the women, while lovely of face, remain chastely clothed and relegated to the sidelines. The homo-erotic visuals of this tale of ancient Rhodes call into question the film's intended audience. Were there enough closeted gays in the early 1960's to make a success of mediocre movies such as this?

Despite some good action sequences that hint at Leone's directorial talents, the film's dialog is stilted, the special effects dated, and the performances generally wooden. In desperate need of judicious editing, the film drags on far too long, and the plot sags in the middle. American actor, Rory Calhoun, a fading western hero who was obviously hired only for his name, wanders through the proceedings like a stranger in a strange land in more ways than one. Portraying the Greek Darios as an American on holiday, Calhoun remains nonplussed in the face of death, torture, and the lures of beautiful women. Decidedly less buff than his Italian counterparts, Calhoun nevertheless overwhelms men whose physical strength obviously exceeds that of his own lean build. Perhaps his attire gave him self-confidence. The stylish mini-togas with colorful scarves thrown over one shoulder and white, laced boots to the mid-calf make Calhoun resemble Captain Marvel more than an ancient warrior.

When viewers tire of Calhoun's costume changes and the sight of bare male flesh, they can amuse themselves watching the actors' mouths move without once matching the words that they supposedly utter. In the scenes between Calhoun and Lea Massari as Diala, there is little doubt that neither performer knows what the other is saying. Calhoun recites his lines in English while Massari recites hers in Italian, which was later ineptly dubbed. However, even Italian sandal epics can be entertaining, and "Colossus" is no exception. If expectations are kept low or the viewer is an undying fan of Rory Calhoun, then "Colossus" provides some camp moments and decent action in addition to its legions of male Italian bodies.

Reviewed by ma-cortes 6 / 10

Classic but overlong Peplum by the great Sergio Leone

After dieing Alexander the Great , his empire was split itself originating some independent kingdoms ruled by descendants of the Alexander's generals, this one was called the Hellenistic time. In fact , this is one of the few films to be set in the Hellenic period that spanned the period from the death of Alexander the Great to the rise of Rome as a world power . It's set in 280 B.C , the starring is Dario (a likable Rory Calhoun , though the original choice for the role of Darios was John Derek) an Athenian on holidays living in Rodi with his uncle Lisipo (Jorge Rigaud) . There he meets a good girl (Mabel Karr, wife to Fernando Rey, starring in The last days of Pompeii) and a bad girl (a gorgeous Lea Massari) . A tyrant (Roberto Camardiel) and his hoodlum (Conrado San Martin) govern tyrannically the town . But rebels led by Peliocles (Georges Marchal) fight against the nasty rulers . Meanwhile, a Phoenician army attempts to attack Rodi . Dario trying to clean up the doomed Rodhes town from enemies and a foreign invasion .

Some years before conducting a master class on the art of widescreen composition in The good , the bad and the ugly , Sergio Leone directed his credited directorial debut , though he had previously stepped in to finish most of The Last Days Of Pompeii when the original director fell ill, with this equally epic sword and sandal film starring American cowboy actor Rory Calhoun. Ample cast formed by American Rory Calhoun and familiar faces as Spanish as Italian actors ; Rory was in Italy for the title role in MGM's Marco Polo (1962), stepped into the lead role of "Colossus" on only one day's notice . Roy is solid and sympathetic though uninspired in the lead role as a honest adventurer caught up in the prior momentous to earthquake that threatens noblemen and slaves alike , but acting honors go to the villains played by Roberto Camardiel and Conrado San Martin . It's an European co-production by Spain/Italy/France with several actors from various countries , the screenplay was reportedly the work of nine screenwriters and filmed in lavish Budget . Leone's dynamic framing of the towering statue at the center of the film combined with the frenetic action scenes set on top of it made sure the Saturday matinée crowd stayed glued to their seats for the film's excessive 128 min. running time . This historical epic about the Hellenistic time bears no relation whatsoever to real events and much of the dialog is of the wooden variety . In fact some scenarios contain abundant anachronism such as 'the Garden of the Granja of Segovia' built in XVIII century . The highlights are the images of the Colosso , one of the marvels of the world . The real Colossus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was 32 meters high and stood on a hill , the cinematic version stands 110 meters and its legs bestride the harbor . In the pier of Laredo (Cantabria, Spain) was built feet , and head and shoulders were made in ordinary size and a maquette reflecting its whole splendor . Some spectacular scenes including the explosive climax when ground shaking and the town blows its top .

Colorful cinematography by Antonio Ballesteros , the widescreen process used is TotalScope, an Italian version of Cinemascope and evocative musical score by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino . The film bears remarkable resemblance to 'Last days of Pompeii' by Mario Bonnard and Sergio Leone, such as the earthquake in which numerous images are taken , repeat several actors actors as Mimmo Palmara , Carlo Tamberlani, and of course, technicians, producers, writers : Ennio De Concini, Duccio Tessari, same cameraman : Antonio L. Ballesteros and assistant direction, Jorge Grau, among others . The motion picture was professionally directed by Sergio Leone . Although he had experience directing other films, this was the first to give full on-screen credit to Sergio .

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 7 / 10

"I wanted so much but I die without getting anything."

Leone served his apprenticeship in film by assisting various Italian directors as well as Walsh, Wyler and Melvyn Le Roy… By the late '50s he was writing scripts for gladiatorial epics, the genre in which he first gained directing experience, and took over "The Last Days of Pompeii" when the director Mario Bonnard fell ill before directing alone "The Colossus of Rhodes." Not until 1964, however, did he establish himself as a true original with his first film in what would come to be known as the Man With No Name trilogy…

"The Colossus of Rhodes" begins in the island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean Sea 280 B.C.

Rhodes is celebrating a proud day in her history… A magnificent statue will now dominate the seas… But the Colossus was erected in blood and the people in Rhodes do not want slavery… The chief of the rebels, Peliocles (Georges Marchal) needs a man like that visitor Dario (Rory Calhoun), who's a great warrior in Greece…

Thar (Conrado San Martín)—who is in love with Diala (Lia Massari)—is no longer content with the power Serse (Roberto Camardiel) stupidly bestowed upon him… He wants this beautiful island to sell to Phoenicia, than he'll be the reigning monarch… Of course the rebels don't have enough men to attack them openly…

There's only one plan, to enter the Colossus… But the Colossus is impregnable…How could they hope to get in? Rhodes' best soldiers are imprisoned underground… A heavy gate seals the only exit… This gate can only be opened by a control in the Colossus…

If you want to see how the Colossus is a huge trap don't miss this Sergio Leone's directorial debut…

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