Sword and sandal Films “Peplum”

 Hercules, Ursus, Maciste, Goliath, Perseus , gladiators and heroes at the “sword and sandal” films, also known as “Peplums” or “muscleman epics”

Sword and sandal films (or peplums from a Latin word for a sort of tunic that was easy to make and favored by the costume departments for these films) are a genre of adventure or fantasy films that have subjects set in Biblical or classical antiquity, often with contrived plots based very loosely on mythology or history. Most movies based on Greco-Roman history and mythology, or the surrounding cultures of the same era (Egyptians, Assyrians, Etruscans, Minoans) are sword and sandal epic films. The greatest productions of this film genre were made between 1958 and 1964.
Hollywood industry made epic films like “Quo Vadis” (1951)”Ben-Hur”(1959) “Spartacus”(1960) or “Cleopatra” (1962). Most of them filmed in Italy and Spain.

Legions of low budget films followed the American big epic spectacles, often using the remains of costumes and atrezzo.
Most of those cheap spectacles were also filmed in Italy and Spain as coproductions.
You can see miniatures, matte paintings, colorful scenarios, men on rubber monster suits, and some full size creatures. For today audience standards most of these effects look campy, but there are some interesting miniature and matte paintings and also some of the first animatronics monsters, mostly made by Italian artists like Carlo Rambaldi, who years latter became one of the most well known creature makers for films.

This place is dedicated to the Special effects at these movies, usually made with low budget, but with lots of enthusiasm, and imagination.

1954
- Attila (Pietro Francisci) (Matte shots: Ivor Beddoes)
- Teodora, imperatrice di Bisanzio/ Theodora, Slave Empress(Riccardo Freda)

1956
- Mio Figlio Nerone/Nero’s Mistress (Steno) (Fotografic effects: Mario Bava)

-1958
- Le fatiche di Ercole /Hercules /Labors of Hercules /(Pietro Francisci) (Dir Fotography FX: Mario Bava/Matte painting:Amedeo Gigli)
- Rebelión de los gladiadores/The Warrior and the Slave Girl (Vittorio Cottafavi) ( Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
1959
- Los ultimos dias de pompeya/The last days of Pompeii. (Mario Bonnard) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz )
- Sheba and the gladiator / Nel segno di roma(Guido Brignone) (Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Hercules unchained / Ercole e la regina de Lidia/ ( Pietro Francisci) (Dir Fotography FX: Mario Bava)
- Goliath and the barbarian /Terror dei barbari/ (Carlo Campogalliani)
- La battaglia di Maratona/ Giant of Marathon (George Tourneur) (Fotografic effects: Mario Bava/ Matte painting: Amedeo Gigli)
- Cartagine in fiame/Carthage in Flames ( Carmine Gallone)
1960
- Erode il grande /Herod the great (Viktor Tourjansky) (Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- La regina delle Amazzoni /Colossus and the amazon queen (Vittorio Sala)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Vengeance of Hercules /Goliat and the dragon (Vittorio Cottafavi) (FX animation: Jim Danforth)
- Las legiones de cleopatra /legion of the Nile (Vittorio Cottafavi)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Giants of Tesalia/ I giganti della Tessaglia (Ricardo Freda) (Creature FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
- David e Golias/ David and Goliath ( Ferdinado Baldi)(FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
- Gli amore di ercole /The loves of Hercules(Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia)(Creature FX Carlo Rambaldi)
- L’assedio Di Siracusa /Siege of Syracuse (Pietro Francisci)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Salambo /The Loves of Salammbo (sergio Grieco)
- Il sepolcro dei re / Cleopatra’s Daughter(Fernando Cerchio)
- La regina dei tartari / The Huns (Sergio Grieco) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
1961
- El coloso de Rodas / Il Colosso di Rodi (Sergio Leone) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Trionfo di Maciste /Triumph of the son of Hercules ( Tanio Bocio=Amerigo Anton)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Teseo contra Minotauro/The Minotaur (Silvio Amadio) (Matte shots: Joseph Natanson/(Creature FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
- Atlas against the cyclops ( Antonio Leonviola)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson/(Creature FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
-Goliath contro i giganti/Goliath Against the Giants (Guido Malatesta) (Creatures FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
-Hercules in the Center of the Earth /Hercules Vs the vampires /Hercules in the Haunted World (Mario Bava, Franco Prosperi)
- Hercules conquest Atlantis /Hercules and the captive woman / (Vittorio Cottafavi)
- La reina del Nilo / Nefertiti, regina del Nilo (Fernando Cerchio)
- I tartari /The tartars (Ferdinando Baldi)
- Il gigante di Metropolis /The giant of Metropolis (Umberto Scarpelli) (matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Costantino il grande/ Constantine and the Cross (Lionello De Felice)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Il gladiatore invincibile/ The Invincible Gladiator(Alberto de Martino) (matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Maciste, l’uomo più forte del mondo/Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules (Antonio Leonviola)
- Maciste alla corte del Gran Khan/ Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World (Riccardo Freda) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Francis of Assisi (Michael Curtiz) (matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- La schiava di Roma/ Slave of Rome (Sergio Grieco, Franco Prosperi)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Le vergini di Roma/ Amazons of Rome (Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, Vittorio Cottafavi) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
1962
- Los siete espartanos / seven gladiators (Pedro Lazaga)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
-Giulio Cesare, il conquistatore delle Gallie / Caesar the ConquerorTanio Boccia =Amerigo Anton)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Una regina per Cesare/A Queen for Caesar ( Víktor Tourjansky)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Maciste contro i Mostri/ Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules (Guido Malatesta) (creature FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
-Vulcano, figlio di Giove/ Vulcan, Son of Giove (Emimmo Salvi)
- Ponzio Pilato / Pontius Pilate (Gian Paolo Callegari)
- Marte dio della guerra/The Son of Hercules vs. Venus (Marcello Baldi)
- Los titanes/ Arrivano i titani /The titans (Duccio Tesari)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz, Joseph Natanson)
- Giuseppe venduto dai fratelli/The Story of Joseph and His Brethren (Irving Rapper, Luciano Ricci)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- L’ira di Achille/Fury of Achilles ( Marino Girolami)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
1963

Maciste contro i Mongoli / Hercules Against the Mongols
- Los invencibles / Invencible seven. (A. de Martino)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Perseo l´invencibile /Medusa vs. the Son of Hercules/El valle de los hombres de piedra (Alberto De Martino) (Dir FX Amando De Osorio/ Cretures FX Carlo Rambaldi/ Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Brenno il nemico di Roma/Brennus, Enemy of Rome (Giacomo Gentilomo)
- Giacobbe, l’uomo che lottò con Dio/ Jacob: The Man Who Fought with God (Marcello Baldi)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Le gladiatrici / Thor and the Amazon Women (Antonio Leonviola)
- L’eroe di Babilonia/The Beast of Babylon Against the Son of Hercules (Siro Marcellini)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
1964
- Combate de gigantes/Ercole, Sansone, Maciste e Urus gli invecibili (Giogio Capitáni)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- El valle del ecco tonante /Hercules of the desert (Tanio Bosccio=Amerigo Antón)
-Maciste en el infierno de Gengis Khan /Hercules Against the Barbarians (Domenico Paolella)
- Hercules contra los hijos del sol /Hercules Against the Sons of the Sun(Osvaldo Civirani)
- Ercole sfida Sansone/ Hercules, Samson & Ulysses (Pietro Francisci)
- Ursus il terrore del kirghisie /Hercules, Prisoner of Evil (Antonio Margueriti=Anthony Dawson)
- Ercole l’invincibile/Hercules the Invincible (Alvaro Mancori)
- I predoni della steppa/Terror of the Steppes (Tanio Boccia)
- Maciste nelle miniere del re salomone/ Samson in King Solomon’s Mines (Piero Regnoli)
- Maciste gladiatore di Sparta/The Terror of Rome Against the Son of Hercules (Mario Caiano)
- Il conquistatore di Atlantide/The Conqueror of Atlantis (Alfonso Brescia)
- I grandi condottieri/ Great Leaders of the Bible ( Marcello Baldi)
- Anthar l’invincibile/Devil of the Desert Against the Son of Hercules (Antonio Margheriti)
- Il triunfo di Ercole/Hercules vs. the Giant Warriors (Albert Di Martino) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Una spada per l’impero/ Sword of the Empire (Sergio Grieco) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)