The Last Days of Pompeii (1959)

Genres - Adventure, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Adventure, Sword-and-Sandal  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - Germany, Spain, Italy, Monaco  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka

This was ironically the last film made by director Mario Bonnard, and it follows the pattern of the classic Italian costume dramas about macho or mythic heroes, in this case, a certain Glaucus (Steve Reeves, the glorious Greco-Roman past could not occur without him). Taking the cue from its larger-than-life hero, the story, set in 79 A.D., bounds from one spectacle to another without undue concern for nuanced dialogue or subtleties of character. Glaucus has to single-handedly tackle the brutal thugs that are taking over Pompeii and is forced to fight off a lion and a crocodile -- though not all at the same time. He overcomes wounds and enemies in preparation for his toughest fight, that of rescue and survival when Mt. Vesuvius blows its top, the biggest and final spectacle in a series of battleground fireworks.



volcano, anthropology, gladiator, hero, mythological-legends, thug