Directed by Sergio Leone
Starring Rory Calhoun, Lea Massari, Georges Marchal, Angel Aranda
Warner Archive is bringing Sergio Leone’s first picture as director, The Colossus Of Rhodes (1961), to Blu-Ray. Rory Calhoun stars, replacing a fired John Derek.
It’s certainly a notch above the usual Italian sword-and-sandal stuff of the period, with the well-orchestrated battle scenes you’d expect from Leone. And while it has its stylistic quirks here and there, they just hint at what the director would put into the Eastwood pictures. Of course, Leone’s use of the wide screen, called SuperTotalscope here, is incredible. And the statue, the colossus of the title, is very cool.
Some will see this as little more than a curio, a glimpse at Leone’s development as a director. Mistake. Others will see it as the usual peplum stuff with a bigger budget and better director. But it’s a very unusual, stylish movie with some terrific sequences — and an interesting performance from Rory Calhoun. Recommended.