Leone, Sergio Corbucci, Duccio Tessari & Jorge Grau
The Crew behind this Epic Actioner!
original Italian title: GLI ULTIMI GIORNI DI POMPEI
starring: Steve Reeves · Cristina Kauffman · Barbara Carroll · Anne
Marie Baumann · Fernando Rey
on the historical novel by 19th century British author Edward Bulwer-Lytton,
here is the story of corruption and intrigue in the doomed city of Pompeii
just before [and during] the deadly volcanic eruption of Mt Vesuvius.
The film begins as Roman soldier Glaucus (played by Steve Reeves of
fame) returns home after a far-off war, only to find that his father
has been murdered by a gang of black-hooded bandits. Legionnaire Glaucus
vows revenge against the killers but his investigation soon uncovers
a conspiracy that coils all the way up to the top officials.
did a 'Peplum' attempt to tackle such compelling narrative within
the sword-n-sandal backdrop, especially within a story based on the
legendary destruction of an ancient city.
Perhaps, that's the reason the project's crew reads like a who's-who
of Euro cinema. Producer Lucio Fulci [who would later become the Godfather
of Italian Gore] hired veteran director Mario Bonnard to helm the project.
But since Bonnard was elderly (making his first film in 1916), the producer
also hired newcomer Sergio Leone - having proven himself as a second
unit director for Ben-Hur - for the assistant director position.
As it turned out, Mario Bonnard fell severely ill during the first day
of production and Sergio Leone slipped onto the director's chair. Even
though some reference books still credit this film as belonging to Bonnard,
rightfully it should be considered a Leone project [his first] since
he was responsible for 99% of it (he's given that recognition in this
print, see top center photo). Leone immediately moved Sergio Corrbucci
from the writer's stable into the position of assistant director (he
would later helm such legendary hits as HELLBENDERS,
CLAY, et al). Also working as a scriptwriter here was
Duccio Tessari, another genre stalwart (PISTOL
FOR RINGO, MAN
WITHOUT A MEMORY, THREE
TOUGH GUYS. In addition, one of the editors was filmmaker Jorge
Grau, who later made numerous genre classics including LET
SLEEPING CORPSES LIE, LEGEND
OF BLOOD CASTLE and COTA
DE CAZA. Sergio Leone would follow this project - using much
of the same crew - with another peplum COLOSSUS
OF RHODES before embarking on his MAN
WITH NO NAME trilogy.
film in English language; widescreen format, uncut (94 minutes),
DVD encoded for ALL REGION NTSC WORLD FORMAT; extras include original