Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Giant of Marathon

Before switching to Xena, I watched yet another Sword & Sandal movie, so here's a review of The Giant of Marathon. This is a Steve Reeves vehicle, but he shaved off his beard so no one would confuse his character Phillipides with Hercules. Phillipides is a semi-historical character, who, depending on what legends you read, either ran all the way to Athens to announce the Greek victory over the Persians at the battle of the plain of Marathon, or ran all the way to Sparta to seek help against the Persians, or in the movie, runs all the way to Athens to warn of the Persian fleet landing on the coast of Greece. In any event, he ran a long way for some reason and yes, that legend is the origin of the term Marathon.
This one seemed to have a much higher budget than many of the other sword & sandal movies, and apparently was picked up and distributed by MGM, as their Lion roars at the beginning of the movie. There are definitely more and better sets, costumes, special effects, and even some decent miniatures. Both the good Italian babe and the bad Italian babe are hot, with the winner probably being the blonde good babe who has sort of a Bridget Bardot pouty thing going.
The battle scenes are well choreographed, which in this genre means that the extras don't look bored while they make inappropriate fencing moves with swords that weren't designed for fencing. There's some nice underwater footage of the Greeks setting up traps for the Persian ships. All and all, I liked it, so we'll give it a 3 out of 5 Sandals.

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