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The Colossus of Rhodes (1961)

Il colosso di Rodi (original title)
While on holiday in Rhodes, Athenian war hero Darios becomes involved in two different plots to overthrow the tyrannical king, one from Rhodian patriots and the other from sinister Phoenician agents.

Director:

Sergio Leone

Writers:

Ennio De Concini (story), Sergio Leone (story) | 12 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rory Calhoun ... Dario
Lea Massari ... Diala
Georges Marchal ... Peliocle (as George Marchal)
Conrado San Martín ... Tireo / Thar (as Conrado Sanmartin)
Ángel Aranda ... Koros
Mabel Karr ... Mirte
Mimmo Palmara ... Ares
Roberto Camardiel ... Serse
Alfio Caltabiano Alfio Caltabiano ... Creonte (as Alf Randal)
George Rigaud ... Lisippo (as Jorge Rigaud)
Yann Larvor Yann Larvor ... Mahor
Carlo Tamberlani ... Xenon
Félix Fernández ... Carete
Ignazio Dolce Ignazio Dolce
Antonio Casas ... Phoenician Ambassador
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Storyline

A Greek military hero named Darios visits his uncle in Rhodes in the year 280 BC. Rhodes has just finished constructing an enormous colossus of Apollo to guard its harbor and is planning an alliance with Phoenicia which would be hostile to Greece. Darios flirts with the beautiful Diala, daughter of the statue's mastermind, while becoming involved with a group of rebels headed by Peliocles. These rebels seek to overthrow the tyrannical King Serse as does Serse's evil second-in-command, Thar. The rebels' revolt seems to fail, with Peliocles and his men being captured and forced to provide amusement in the local arena, but an earthquake eventually upsets, not only the Colossus in the harbor, but the balance of power in Rhodes as well. Written by dinky-4 of Minneapolis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Monster Statue Of Bronze And Stone Twenty Stories Tall Guarded Their Secret!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | Spain

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

11 August 1961 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Colossus of Rhodes See more »

Filming Locations:

Bay of Biscay, Atlantic Ocean See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Spanish)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The credits of the U.S. release version lists four screenwriters. The screenplay was reportedly the work of nine screenwriters. See more »

Goofs

The cinematic Colossus has its arms stretched out and holding a vessel containing fire. The real Colossus had its right hand above its right eye in what historians believe is a salute. See more »

Quotes

Diala: [pinned under fallen beam] There's no pain at all. Funny, I... I... I wanted so much, but I die without getting anything.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There are several different versions, running from 126 minutes to 142 minutes. The French version is shortest but has some longer shots than English and German version. The Italian original is available in a restored 142 minute long version which contains all scenes. The main title sequence also differs between versions. See more »

Connections

Referenced in An Opera of Violence (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Joey, do you like Gladiator movies?
12 July 2007 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

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.


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