Sword and Sandal …Babes and Beef

20 Sep

I will admit it I really have a thing for the “Sword and Sandal” films of the 50’s and 60’s. It might be my Greek heritage,due to the fact that all greek children are bombarded with “The Greeks invented everything” from the moment of birth. I happen to think that the films had a definite appeal to pubescent boys, due to the scanty outfits and combat scenes. Peplum films were the closest thing to porn that a 14-year-old could get, without Mom’s interference…”but Mom it’s history and it’s Greek” that always worked.

The screenplays paid little attention to historical or mythological accuracy. Hercules conquered everyone from Saracens to Moon Aliens, Ulysses could conquer the Minotaur while Nero plucked his lyre as Atlantis sank beneath the waves in sight of the Isle of Lesbos. great fun! The Italian movie producers had their pick of American B actors who migrated to Europe, seeking fame denied them in Hollywood. American studios were busy producing big budget epics like Ben Hur, Cleopatra and Quo Vadis with A list actors, Elizabeth Taylor,Victor Mature, Susan Hayward and of course Charlton Heston.

The Beef and Babes featured in most of these less-than-epic features were drawn from all backgrounds. Some were established professionals, Lana Turner wore beads and not much more, Anita Ekberg in gold lame could be force to be reckoned with. Joan Collins wearing a deep based make up was a fetching slave girl. Tina Louise way before she was shipwrecked on Gilligans Island did a gig in ancient Rome. Many others were not as noteworthy, being drawn from casting couches across Europe.

The mythological Heroes were likewise from varied sources. Steve Reeves was without doubt the definitive Hercules. A farm boy from Montana,then served in WW2 went on to win Mr Universe in 1950. Gordon Scott another Hercules, was a WW2 vet and a military police officer before he became Lex Barkers replacement as Tarzan. His turn as  Hercules came through Reeves a friend and fellow bodybuilder. Mark Forest is Brooklyn born. he began building at age 13. He did nightclub acts “feats of strength” stuff until 1952 when he won Mr Venice Beach in 1952. It wasn’t long before he was recruited by Italian producers who put him in a Peplum and sandals. Ed Fury, another fav of Italian producers for other reasons. Fury’s early career consisted of modeling for various physique studios in the 1950s, such as the Athletic Model Guild (AMG) and Bruce of LA. In addition, Fury made several home movie loops distributed by Apollo and AMG as 16mm and 8mm films in the 1950s. Fury also graced the covers of a number of physique culture magazines in the 1950s and 1960s.

PEPLUM PEPLUM - Heroes and Beefcake - Google Chrome 9202013 83425 AM

This is the epitome of Sword and Sandal

This is the epitome of Sword and Sandal

Many thanks to http://peplums.blogspot.com/ I always thought I was the only one who thought about these. Take a look he has posted everything you could want to know about Sword and Sandal

Don’t miss Peplums Rules….http://peplums.blogspot.ca/p/peplum-rules.html an essential guide for sword and Sandal films


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