Goliath Against the Giants (1961)

Article #1340 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-14-2004
Posting Date: 4-13-2005
Directed by Guido Malatesta
Featuring Brad Harris, Gloria Milland, Fernando Rey

Goliath must return to his native country to dethrone a tyrannical usurper.

If there’s any type of movie that needs to be in color, it’s a sword-and-sandal movie. As far as I know, all of them are, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some black and white prints floating around, and apparently I’ve managed to snag one of those for this movie, and I do have to admit that it tempers my enjoyment of this one somewhat. The usurping king plot is probably the most common of the sword-and-sandal storylines, and this one really doesn’t add much new to the formula. Still, you can sit back and enjoy Brad Harris taking on crowds of soldiers as well as various beasties, including a sea serpent, a lion, a strange ape-like creature, a dragon, and several big chunky guys with bad skin conditions (I think these are the “giants” of the title). He rescues his friend and his girl from torturous executions (the one with the wheel of knives looks pretty nasty). He also picks up big heavy things and throws them. However, he doesn’t bend the bars back; instead, in a real show of he-manship, he pulls the whole network of bars out of the cave wall. There’s the occasional rather odd lyrical moment here and there, and the sea monster sequence uses some truly eerie special effects. All in all, pretty standard sword-and-sandal fare.

Oh, and I also figured something out. If you were a stunt man who had wanted to work in a sword and sandal movie, what talent would you most need to develop? My answer would be to find creative ways of falling off of a wall / cliff / any high place, especially after being shot with an arrow. This movie is chock full of scenes of men tumbling off of high places.


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