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La rivolta dei gladiatori 1959
Description: Marcus Numidius (Ettore Manni), a Roman tribune sent to Armenia to place down a gladiators' revolt, captures the rebels' famous leader, Aselepius (Georges Marchal). Princess Amira (Gianna Maria Canale), with ambitions of being Queen and jealous of Asclepius' popularity, plans his death in the arena by substituting a lion for his human enemy
Released: 01 Nov 1959 Director: Vittorio Cottafavi Writers: Gian Paolo Callegari (scenario), Francesco De Feo (scenario), Gianfranco Parolini (scenario), Giovanni Simonelli (scenario), Francesco Thellung (scenario), Natividad Zaro (scenario), Ennio De Concini (scenario) Actors: Gianna Maria Canale, Ettore Manni, Mara Cruz, Lina Rosales Genres: Adventure
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La rivolta dei gladiatori Reviews:

This minor epic with standard plot in a various setting displays action , journeys , humor , climactic wars , luxurious scenarios and effects to be quite amusing . It is the standard-issue one about the oppressed citizens rising up to overthrow a tyrant . Thus we have the usual scenes of the townspeople being drilled in the fighting to prepare them to eliminate the occupying force along with a court intrigue in which a nasty princess attempts to overthrow the loyal ruler , a child whose leadership is his birthright . These scenes are wrapped around a predictable plot about rebel gladiators and a rebellious leader who leads his submitted country . Marcus Numidius (Ettore Manni) , a Roman tribune sent to Armenia to place down a gladiators' revolt , captures the rebels' famous leader , Aselepius (Georges Marchal) and frees a Roman officer (Rafael Luis Calvo) . Soon on , Marcus is treated well by the Roman governor (Jesús Tordesillas) who gives him a nice attention as guest of honour and splendid welcome but countrymen carry out a revolt . Meanwhile , Princess Amira (Gianna Maria Canale) , with ambitions of being Queen executes astute plans , as the tiny Lord is being poisoned to overthrow him . And jealous of Asclepius' popularity , she schemes his death in the arena by substituting a lion for his human enemy . But then , the bare-chested fighter helped by a dwarf (Salvatore Furnari who gives the comic relief) goes in an all-out rampage to save the man . "La Rivolta Dei Gladiatori" or "The Fighter and the Slave Girl¨(international title) directed by sometimes-lauded Cottafavi packages brief historical happenings about Armenia encroachment by Romans , superb landscapes , glimmer scenarios, and wars well staged with hundreds of folks . It is a fun movie plenty of action , humor , wars , entertainment and amusement . The film has not characterization precision neither expectation historic . This is a easy chronicle about an Oriental province at the Roman Empire where takes zone a rebellion . Evocative costumes , bright photography , and a several nice vistas support detract from the overall familiarity , and Ettore Manni makes an appealing though not especially charismatic character . Highlights are gladiator combats , breathtaking wars , thrilling soundtrack and color cinematography . Being a Spain/Italy production there appears few secondary actors , many of them Peplum and Spaghetti's usual such as : Mara Cruz , Rafael Luis Calvo , Santiago Rivero and Jesús Tordesillas . Atmospheric as well as evocative musical score by Roberto Nicolisi . Colourful cinematography by Mario Pacheco , being filmed on zone in La Pedriza , Manzanares Del True , Madrid , Lazio , Rome , as well as studios : Pisorno Studios, Tirrenia, Tuscany, Italy and Sevilla Movie Madrid, Spain . The flick will appeal to minor epic movies buffs . Rating : Better than average and entertaining .This motion picture titled ¨La Rebelión de los Gladiadores¨ is an enjoyable Sword and sandals flick , being professionally directed by Vittorio Cottafavi (1914-1998) ; he was a finished artist , painter and Peplum expert , as he directed : ¨Conquest of Atlántida¨, ¨Goliath and the Dragon¨(1961) with Tag Forest , Broderick Crawford , Bruce Cabot , ¨Hércules and the captive woman¨(1963) with Reg Park and the ordinary Ettore Manni , ¨Legions of Cleopatra¨, ¨Mesallina¨ and this ¨rebellion of gladiators¨. Vittorio began his professional career in the movie industry as a clapper man . After progressing to write motion picture screenplays and working as assistant director under Alessandro Blasetti and Vittorio De Sica, he became a director in his own right in 1943. Many of his movies have been lavishly-produced, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, "sword-and sandal" or ¨Muscleman¨ epics, dealing with mythological topics involving the Roman Empire or Ancient Egypt . From the mid-60's, Cottafavi concentrated exclusively on directing TV series and mini-series, under contract to RAI , many of them dealing with historic happenings or known personages such as Oliver Cromwell , Don Giovanni , Napoleone a Sant'Elena , Vita Di Dante and Cristóbal Colon .


This is other splendid peplum (actually the director's entry into the field he would revisit 6 more times) vastly undersold by the "Leonard Maltin Movie Guide", which he rates at a mere **. That said, I managed to acquire and watch a widescreen print in Italian (albeit somewhat worn and with virtually illegible credits!), and should not picture it English-dubbed and panned-and-scanned afterwards – which may well be how many foreigners caught the film, on TV, to start with...and, in fact, it has frequently aired on the U.K. channel "Movies 4 Men" this last year! Anyway, it re-unites Gianna Maria Canale and Georges Marchal from Riccardo Freda's equally fine THEODORA, SLAVE EMPRESS (1954), though the two do not now meet face-to-face here – as the passage of just 4 years had relegated the former (despite receiving top-billing) to a villainess role and the latter to second lead! The hero, then, is Ettore Manni who would virtually become synonymous with the category (in fact, he appeared two more times for Cottafavi) and, in this case, is possibly at the very top of his game.Its deceptively-brief running-time of 82 mins betrays a busy and rather complex plot (whose essence neither the bland English game nor the prosaic original, translating to THE REVOLT OF THE GLADIATORS, can really hope to capture!) that sees the Romans, led by Manni, taking on two various countries that rarely featured in this kind of fare – the Armenians and the Shi'ites. Canale is the aspiring Queen of the former (the official ruler is a kid whom she is slowly poisoning to death!), ingratiating herself with the conquerors in order to hold her status (but subsequently conspiring with the latter folks so as to regain the upper hand), while Marchal is the rugged leader of a rebel Armenian units – who has lived much of his life fighting, either in the gladiatorial arena or for his country's freedom. There are few twists-and-turns along the method which has all the protagonists going from victor to vanquished (the hero's hatred of injustice and display of clemency towards the barbarians now brings about the titular rebellion!): more importantly, following the obvious initial enmity, Manni and Marchal eventually earn one another's respect and, through a mutual understanding, join forces vs a common enemy.Similarly, an Armenian woman whose father had been killed by the Romans and ends up as Canale's slave (her knowledge of medicine even effects in the tiny King's recovery!), is confounded by her feelings for Manni but, by the end, the two are at every other's side (in fact, rather than the standard anonymous long-shot of the landscape, Cottafavi emphasizes the intimacy of the narrative by sticking with them, silent observers to Marchal's funeral procession, for the closing shot). Indeed, such sturdy film-making abounds in this outing (in direct contrast to the director's two subsequent juvenile journeys featuring the mythical Greek demi-god Hercules!)...but, as with his picaresque masterpiece THE HUNDRED HORSEMEN (1964), we also receive a mischievous dwarf thrown into the fray for (thankfully not over-stressed) comic relief purposes! Another memorable scenes here include: Marchal's duel in the arena with a lion; Canale's demise at the hands of one of her escaped pet tigers; Manni getting virtually single-handedly freed from prison by his devoted strong-man lieutenant (hilariously, the midget is thought to have thrown a guard clear across the room when it was really him!) but who pays the price with his life – incidentally, both he and Marchal also have strong-minded female companions (which is quite atypical of the genre!); and the heroine being herself saved from the stake at the proverbial eleventh-hour by her lover.


Despite some decent set-pieces and nice characterisation, I found THE WARRIOR AND THE SLAVE GIRL to be a cute dull and routine entry in the peplum genre; even sub-par outings like THE SWORD OF EL CID are more fun. It sounds strange to call a movie which details gladiator wars vs lions and a full scale uprising vs cruel oppressors dull, but there you go.The trouble with THE WARRIOR AND THE SLAVE GIRL is that it just plods along to a joyless climax without making much effort to intrigue or indeed excite the viewer. The different plot elements of the Roman movie category are all show and correct, and yet you receive that "seen it all before" feeling about the production.Not that there's anything particularly at fault here; certainly, seasoned cast members like Gianna Maria Canale and Ettore Manni do their best, and the production values are mid level; the scenes of spectacle are a lot of fun. Yet it's not nice enough to come across as a classic, nor is it cheesy enough to be entertaining as a B-movie, nor is it terrible enough to laugh at. Instead, it's just a forgettable, middle-of-the-road type of production.



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