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Valley of the Lions (1961)

Ursus nella valle dei leoni (original title)
The evil dictator Ajak sends his armies to attack a neighboring kingdom, and during the battle, the besieged King Annurius orders one of his subjects to take his son Ursus to a place of ... See full summary »


Giuseppe Mangione (story), Giuseppe Mangione (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ed Fury ... Ursus
Moira Orfei ... Diar
Alberto Lupo Alberto Lupo ... Ayak
Giacomo Furia Giacomo Furia ... Simud
María Luisa Merlo ... (as Mary Marlon)
Michele Malaspina Michele Malaspina
Mariangela Giordano ... Annia
Gérard Herter ... Lothar
Orlando Orfei Orlando Orfei
Elena Forte Elena Forte
Andrea Scotti Andrea Scotti
Gianni Solaro Gianni Solaro
Nino Fuscagni Nino Fuscagni ... (as Serafino Fuscagni)
Aldo Barberito Aldo Barberito
Giancarlo Maestri Giancarlo Maestri


The evil dictator Ajak sends his armies to attack a neighboring kingdom, and during the battle, the besieged King Annurius orders one of his subjects to take his son Ursus to a place of safety outside of the city, after first putting a royal medallion around the baby's neck. Ajak kills the king and usurps his throne, but the infant prince is smuggled out of the city to safety. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Valley of the Lions See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At least some prints of the U.S. version, under the title "Valley of the Lions," are in black and white. See more »


Ursus: [to Ayak] What new tortures are you preparing for me?
See more »


Referenced in Deodato Holocaust (2019) See more »

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User Reviews

URSUS IN THE VALLEY OF THE LIONS (Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, 1961) **1/2
17 April 2009 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Though featuring many an unlikely plot point (starting off with Ursus as a baby – even if it was the third of his adventures to be released within the same year!), this emerges as a slightly above-average peplum in which the muscular hero is once again played by the affable Ed Fury. He is the heir to some throne, obviously coveted by the villain of the piece – Alberto Lupo – and thus the target of assassination; amazingly, he not only survives this but is also brought up, Tarzan-like, by a bunch of lions (hence the title). Amusingly, though he seems to have effortlessly mastered the faculty of speech regardless, Ursus is blissfully ignorant of etiquette since he sees nothing wrong in taking a dip into a stream while the protesting (and obviously annoyed) heroine – a girl, intended for a slave market, whom he helps – is bathing! Special mention, then, is given in the credits to the animal wrangler involved, Orlando Orfei, presumably a relative of the film's villainess Moira Orfei (who was actually a staple of such fare: as was the case with the first URSUS, she has to contend with another girl over the love of a man, even if the object of her affection here is Lupo). Surprisingly, the film maintains a fairly sober tone throughout – with little concessions to the genre's usual pitfalls (there is no insufferable comic relief, for instance)…but we still get the villain's unconvincing demise at the hands of Simba, Ursus' favorite lioness (elsewhere it also bonds with the heroine's snowy-white mutt), and some unintentionally hilarious action scenes: Gerard Herter, Lupo's henchman, is hit squarely on the head with a stone-block the hero has dislodged from his prison-cell and lives (at least long enough to be devoured by a creepy pack of hungry hyenas); a soldier is thrown into a fire during a scuffle, rises up blazing, trips and falls flat on his face; a number of soldiers are commissioned to demolish a cave, the meeting-place of rebels, only to end up buried within it themselves, etc. In the end, the film provides standard excitements but proves mildly entertaining nevertheless (if hardly essential); again like URSUS, we find some notable names among the credits – not just director Bragaglia but composer Riz Ortolani and assistant director Ruggero Deodato(!).

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