An evil king makes a bargain with a devil in order to get away with murdering his wife.
Krios, the youngest of the Titans, may be the least strong of the seven brothers whose strength comes from their mother, earth-goddess Gaia, but is by far the smartest, and thus their natural leader. He arrives on Crete, the kingdom of the mighty king Minos, impresses him as gladiator, gains his trust, falls in love with a mortal girl and discovers both Minos's human sacrifice-cult and a foreign conspiracy to seize power with a hidden army.
This amusing Muscleman epic picture has mythological remarks , as it appears , ¨Los Titanes ¨, in Classical Greek mythology, they were members of the second order of divine beings, descending from the primordial deities and preceding the Olympian deities . Based on Mount Othrys, the Titans most famously included the first twelve children of the primordial Gaia (Mother Earth) and Uranus (Father Heaven). They were giant deities of incredible strength, who ruled during the legendary Golden Age, and also composed the first pantheon of Greek deities. As they had overthrown the primordial deities, the Titans were overthrown by younger gods, including many of their own children - the Olympians - in the Titanomachy (or "War of the Titans"). The Greeks may have borrowed this mythology from the Ancient Near East . The film deals with a nasty King called Cadmo (Pedro Armendáriz) makes a covenant with an evil devil in order to get away after murdering his wife , marrying his lover Ermione (Antonella Lualdi) and subsequently defies the Greek Gods . Likable Krios, (Giuliano Gemma) the youngest of the Titans, is assigned by the Olympian deities to punish Cadmo , as he may be the least strong of the seven brothers whose strength comes from their mother , earth-goddess Gaia . He arrives on Crete, the kingdom of the mighty king Minos , impresses him as gladiator , gains his trust, falls in love with his daughter , a gorgeous young called Antiope (Jacqueline Sassard) , joins forces with another gladiator , Rator , and faces off mortal soldiers as well as Medusa who has on head plenty of serpents . But then he is caught and chained to wall . With help his brothers , The Titans , Krios finds out both Minos's human sacrifice-cult and a dark conspiracy to seize power helped by hidden forces .
The picture is a fun sword and sandals epic with stirring adventures , struggles , absurd humour , irony , bizarre scenarios and turns out to be quite entertaining . This is a giant spectacle shot in Spain with acceptable production design , colourful cinematography and evocative soundtrack . There is plenty of action in the movie , guaranteeing some shots or stunts every few minutes . Funny and thrilling screenplay , including tongue-in-cheek, by prolific Ennio De Concini , adapted by the same filmmaker Duccio Tessari . The comic relief in charge of Crios/Gemma character was written by scriptwriter/director Duccio Tessari , who often uses humorous touches , for example , his various Spaghetti Western . Nice acting by Gemma as a sympathetic Titan , he is by far the smartest , and thus their natural leader . Giuliano is very fine , he ravages the screen , he jumps , bounds and leaps , hit and run . Gemma as a brave and two-fisted Titan is terrific , subsequently the would play similar role in other Péplum and Spaghetti . Gemma , along with Anthony Steffen and Gianni Garco , results to be one of the greatest stars of the Spaghetti genre . Gemma in his beginning worked as stunt-man , practiced many sports in his life, boxing, gymnastics, such as is well proved at the movie . Then the director, Duccio Tessari, gave him the first role as protagonist in the film " The Titani" and the first spaghetti western films where he often worked under the name of Montgomery Wood , playing Western as ¨A pistol for Ringo¨, ¨The return of Ringo¨ and others as ¨Adios Gringo¨, ¨Arizona Colt¨, ¨The price of power¨ , ¨Day of anger¨ and later ¨California¨. However, his first big opportunity came with the important Italian director, Luchino Visconti in ¨El Gatopardo¨ this was followed by important roles in "Angelica" , ¨Tenebre¨ , ¨Young Lions¨ and ¨The master touch¨. Then he played his most significant roles in ¨Il Deserto Dei Tartari¨ and ¨Il Prefetto Di Ferro¨ . In the movie appears usual support actors from Peplum as well as Spaghetti . Being a France/Italy/Spain co-production turns up several Spanish actors such as Fernando Rey , Rafael Albaicín and Fernando Sancho , Spaghetti Western regular . Besides , appearing famous Eurotrash babes such as Jacqueline Sassard , Antonella Lualdi Tanya Lopert and Ingrid Schoeller . As usual , colorful cinematography by Alfio Contini with gaudy colours and groundbreaking atmospheres . It was shot on location in Manzanares Del Real , Colmenar Viejo , Madrid , Spain , where in the sixties and seventies filmed a lot of Spaghetti/Paella Western . Agreeable music score being well conducted and splendid leitmotif ; it's full of enjoyable sounds and lively score by Carlo Rustichelli .
¨Arrivano i Titani" also titled "Sons of Thunder" or "My Son, the Hero" or "The Titans¨ was well directed by Duccio Tessari . This Italian writer / filmmaker Duccio Tessari so consistently mixed the good with the mediocre that it became quite impossible to know what to expect from him next . He wrote several Westerns as ¨A fistful of dollars ¨, ¨A train to Durango ¨Seven guns for McGregor¨ , ¨The return of McGregor¨ . He directed five Western with abundant touches of humor as ¨Vivi o Preferibilment Morti¨, ¨Don't turn the other cheek¨ and ¨Zorro¨ with Alain Delon and of course ¨Ringo ¨and sequel , mostly starred with his fetish actor Giuliano Gemma . Rating : 7 , entertaining and amusing movie that will appeal to ironic Peplum buffs . I taped this pic off Turner Classic Movies about 4 years ago but for some reason never got around to watching it until today. Made about 1961, this is a slightly pre-deluge entry in the peplum fest that was Italian cinema until the sudden burst of spaghetti western in the middle 1960s.
Cadmus, King of Crete, and his new wife Hermione (they killed the previous Mrs C), in angry response to a prophecy, declares himself a god and drives the worship of Jove out of his kingdom. If the mills of the gods grind fine, they also grind exceeding slow, since it takes Jove 18 years to get around to this case! But finally Crios, the youngest and most clever of the Titans, is sent to Crete to take on Cadmus. If he's successful, his brother Titans will get their release from Hades, so the ball is definitely in Crios' court.
Crios has the usual run of adventures -- a gymnastic brawl with the royal guards that leaps from street to rooftop and back again ad lib, then imprisonment and being forced to do small arena gladiator work. He also manages to catch a glimpse of, and fall in love with, Antiope, daughter of Cadmus and the first Mrs C. Now things begin to get complicated. See, the prophecy is that when Antiope falls in love, that means the Big Sleep for her evil daddy. So, natch, it's in his interest to keep her away from guys.
Pic is a little long, at 112 minutes, but it doesn't drag. Think of it as watching 3 arced episodes of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" back to back, but w/o the commercials. Tone of the production is similar to the Herc series, since it's full of mostly slapstick violence. The Titans, on earth, have no power other than their strength, so we get plenty of knock 'em down and bang 'em around scenes. Only at the very end does the violence get moderately serious, and even then, it's still well within a PG rating. Leonard Maltin's TV movies book says this was dubbed for comedy effect, a la "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" but if he's referring to the sound track on this version, it's quite misleading. The American dialogue track is breezy, though not the Valley dude and surfer boy yak of the Raimi series, and we're not within light years of "Tiger Lily" or "Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters" here. Anyway, it's obvious from the start that this pic was meant as a comic take on the peplum.
Giuliano Gemma plays Crios in full bleach-blonde mode. He grins a lot, but he always seems smarter than the average peplum lead of the 60s, and he's not called on to throw around papier-maché rocks from time to time like a Son of Hercules. Jacqueline Sassard, as Antiope, is a looker and a half. (Movie eschews several script opportunities to show her soaking wet.) Pedro Armendariz, in one of his last roles, is dubbed as Cadmus and brings only his presence to the US version of the film. Antonella Lualdi, as Hermione, doesn't get a lot to do but is something in the red wig she wears at the start, when she's young and hot. Since Gemma is just an ordinary-built guy, the muscles are supplied by Serge Nubret, a black man, as Rator, a fellow slave who becomes Crios' ally.
Production values are higher than average for the genre; the Cretan palace is really nice-looking and seems quite spacious. You might wonder why several of the Titans are shown as blonde, including Sisyphus and Prometheus, while they are in Hades, but when they eventually show up on earth to help out Crios, they're all dark-haired guys with facial hair. (At least, I wondered about it.) Light-hearted costume actioner is fun, without the cheap grinder looks the genre took on as production increased and budgets fell. I wish I'd seen this when I was about 12, but they'd have had to make it some years earlier than they actually did.
One complaint: the print shown on TCM is 1.33 ratio. The original was obviously shot in a wider ratio, perhaps 1.77 or 1.85 (no reference to 'scope in the credits or the AFI catalog). As a result, the framing is not always satisfactory. (Isn't it awful how letterboxed DVDs have spoiled us all when it comes to aspect ratios?) On the IMDb scale, I give this a solid 6. 7cb1d79195
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