The void that the Warner Archive June 26, 2018 Blu-ray release of the 1961 Sergio Leone gladiator film "The Colossus of Rhodes" fills in this meh season of summer movies is for a big-budget action-adventure spectacular that is the guiltiest of pleasures. Fans of spaghetti westerns know that Leone goes on to make the Clint Eastwood "Dollars" trilogy and similar fare.
A technical note is that this epic with a cast of 1,000s of extras is crystal clear and has perfect sound in Blu-ray; the bigger picture is that Archive never fails to deliver regarding its remastering of films.
The titular Rhodesian idol is a mammoth statue that the current (but not necessarily future) monarch has slave labor construct for the dual purposes of representing his great power and to express "don't fuck with me boys; this isn't my first rodeo" to any visitor who harbors (of course, pun intended) an ill intent. All of this occurs on the Mediterranean island of Rhodes (presumably Mypos adjacent) in 280 B.C.
One of best early scenes has a clumsy regicide attempt turn sour on the would-be assassin. This leads to the hero of the film learning words literally to live by.
Greek soldier/Athenian war hero Dario (Rory Calhoun) gets the proverbial more than he bargains for while on the island initially as a guest of the state in a positive sense of that term. A faction that is attempting a coup d'isle make an initial snatch-and-grab effort that proves that you do not bring an ornamental pillar to a dagger fight.
Dario subsequently discovering that he is a guest of Hotel Rhodes in that he can check out but can never leave prompts him to rely on the kindness of a stranger who carries a torch for him. This leads to an ancient version of the Boat People of Cuba. The humor this time relates to our military genius belatedly learning that he is being shanghaied. He just wants to get home, and his hosts want him to deliver a strong message.
The aforementioned colossus soon serves one of its purposes in raining on the plans of the would-be fleers. This results in an incredibly sadistic torture scene that shows both for whom the bell tolls and that the powers-that-be have ways of making Dario talk. We also soon learn that the threat to the the current power structure is more serious and widespread than initially believed.
The background of all this is that the local populace obtains an increasingly strong sense that the new gigantic addition in the harbor and other factors has made the gods crazy mad; the ultimate lesson is similar to the one that is imposed on Pompeii that you do not fuck with Zeus.
A common element throughout all this is the wrestling and close-contact battling between muscular tanned (oft hairy chested) men wearing tunics with plunging necklines and short skirts that makes the line from "Airplane" "Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?" so amusing,
Folks who wish to learn more about "Rhodes" can listen to the commentary by film historian Christopher Frayling that is a Blu-ray special feature,
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