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Author Topic: Spartaco / Spartacus the Gladiator / Sins of Rome (Riccardo Freda, 1953)  (Read 2090 times)

R-T-C Tim

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In the early 1950s, Riccardo Freda made a name for himself with a series of historical drama films. Unfortunately for fans of the Peplum hoping to find a fascinating pre-genre epic, Freda's Spartaco is obviously intended much more as a drama than an action film. The storyline revolves around the seduction of Spartacus by Sabina, daughter of Marcus Crassus and his feelings for a woman in his group of escaped slaves. The result is a very generic romance plot that is never particularly interesting. Unfortunately the action scenes are few and far between, an impressive looking arena sequence (on which a young Mario Bava worked) sees some sort of performance art piece rather than gladiator combat, while the climactic battle scene is largely stagebound and looks more like a sequence from an old silent film with sped-up footage and no narrative flow at all.

It is available from VCI in the RKO American print as Sins of Rome, it may well have been altered from the original Italian print, but it is hard to imagine that much good could come of a longer cut. The VCI DVD also includes I giganti della Tessaglia (1960) a generic Freda Peplum that manages to make the story of the Argonauts dull.
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Mondo Esoterica - Cult film and DVD reviews from Karl May to Bruno Mattei
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