Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Fabiola, 1949

Sticking with vintage epics & peplums (see the 1925 BEN-HUR below), the 1949 Italian FABIOLA may well be the first of those costumers that became so popular in the 1950s and early 60s. It is a gleaming black and white production, directed by Alessandro Blasetti, starring the French husband and wife team of Henri Vidal and Michele Morgan. He is the gladiator ambitious to get ahead, and she is Fabiola, popular with the people - the daughter of a senator who is murdered early on. The film does start to drag half way, with too much dialogue, but once we get to the gladiators and the arena with those wild animals on the loose, it certainly livens up.

In ancient Rome a love story blossoms between Fabiola, daughter of a senator, and Rhual, a gallic gladiator. When Fabiola's father is killed, the Romans blame the Christians and the persecution begins. Rhual confesses to be a christian and is accused of the murder and sentenced to fight to death in the arena.

Morgan (now in her 90s) is an alluring presence, but the hunky Vidal (more on him at label) died young - aged 40 in 1959. The large cast also includes Michel Simon, Franco Interlenghi , Rina Morelli, Paola Stoppa and Massimo Girotti as the martyr St Sebastian. Its certainly worth a look if your taste runs to sword-and-sandal stuff set in ancient Rome with Christians in peril and Roman mobs lusting for their gruesome entertainments. Its almost as much fun as QUO VADIS,

No comments:

Post a Comment