Saturday, July 15, 2017

Son of Cleopatra (1964)

Original title: Il Figlio di Cleopatra

Director: Ferdinando Baldi

Writers: Anacleto Fontini, Ferdinando Baldi, Franco Airaldi

Composer: Carlo Rustichelli

Starring: Mark Damon, Scilla Gabel, Arnoldo Foa, Livio Lorenzon, Samira Ahmed, Shukry Sarhan, Leila Fawzi, Paolo Gozlino

More info: IMDb

Plot: In Roman-dominated Egypt, the corrupt administration of a governor named Petronius has sparked a revolt headed by El Kabir, a young man who learns that he's actually the son of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. When Petronius' daughter, Livia, newly-arrived from Rome, falls into his hands, El Kabir uses this opportunity to win her over to his side before releasing her to her father. Livia's efforts to promote peace, however, are thwarted, and only the arrival of Octavian Caesar can bring about a resolution to the troubled situation.

My rating:  6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

I'm a sucker for any movie or show set in ancient Rome.  This is one of the better Italian Sword & Sandal pictures.  It's got wonderful production values, filmed in Egypt, there's a huge cast, plenty of actions and outdoor desert scenery.  On top of that Rustichellis provides a large score (bigger and better than the usual S&S fare) and you can hear some of the best of it in the opening action sequence.  The picture starts of with a bang and rarely lets go.  I can't imagine this being in anyone's top 20 S&S flicks but it is quite better than the average stuff this genre cranked out.  The performances, though all dubbed, are pretty good and the story is good enough but man, oh man, this is a great looking picture.  Another thing that struck me was the large cast of extras used in the battle scenes.  It makes the movie look much larger than you'd expect and it's better for it.  I watched a great looking anamorphic widescreen print and I'm better for it.

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