Goliath and the Barbarians (1959)

Article #1454 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-8-2005
Posting Date: 8-5-2005
Directed by Carlo Campogalliani
Featuring Steve Reeves, Chelo Alonso, Bruce Cabot

A man named Emiliano (aka Goliath) takes revenge on rampaging barbarians who kill his father.

There are three things I don’t think I’ll ever see the end of as part of this series of write-ups; old dark house movies, Jesse Franco movies and Sword and Sandal movies. Actually, I don’t mind the ones on the ends (it’s the middle one that bothers me), and as far as Sword and Sandal movies go, this one is not too bad. No, it’s not the Biblical Goliath; after all, this takes place in 568 A.D., a fact that is established both visually and verbally, and this was quite a ways from Biblical times. No, he’s just a man so strong that he’s called Goliath (and if you’ve seen enough of these Sword and Sandals, you should be familiar with how often voice-overs at the beginnings of these movies have to establish that the titular hero is NOT the famed one of legend, but just a really strong man who earned the name). Actually, he’s referred to as THE Goliath, but I’m not going to debate as to whether he’s properly “Goliath” or “The Goliath” (I’ve already done that with Batman).

At any rate, “Goliath” is played by Steve Reeves, and the whole movie looks more expensive than others of its ilk, but that’s probably due to the fact that it was made before they really started churning them out. During the first part of the movie, he makes his raids on the barbarians while wearing a monstrous mask, which (along with his massive strength) gives the movie some of its fantastic content. The characters are given a bit more dimension than usual, and the dance scenes actually seem tied to the story, as the main dancer is also the leading actress. Still, it’s hard to find a decent print of this one; mine is so faded that it looks like black and white most of the time. It’s not too bad, though it’s not quite up to the level of Reeves’ Hercules movies.


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