The Colossus of Rhodes 1961 – Rory Calhoun

This film came out a little bit later than  the Steve Reeves ones – ‘Hercules Unchained’ was one of them.  Steve Reeves was good in these and fitted the role of Hercules well. The first Hercules was 1959 – and Steve Reeves continued to play in this type of role for the next decade almost – and very successfully too.

He looked the part and seemed very ‘at home’ with these roles  - more so that Rory Calhoun in this one.

“Colossus of Rhodes” is a good  action thriller with  Rory Calhoun in a role that you would not normally associate him with but he  is pretty good as the Greek adventurer  visiting the island who finds himself  in the middle of a sinister conspiracy. His villa is invaded one night by mysterious marauders and a very exciting fight ensues with  Rory Calhoun outnumbered and desperately fighting until he’s overpowered … It seems the  young lady he’s been chasing (Lea Massari) is also in the plot.

As Rory Calhoun gets more drawn in, his safety is put at risk and he has to take sides. The duel he fights inside and outside the colossal statue is an unforgettable piece of cinema. 

He suits  the devil-may-care adventurer  who is reluctantly forced into violent action to risk his own skin and stand up for what’s right.

 

The Colossus of Rhodes

 

Rory Calhoun was an underrated actor who deserved more roles than the many westerns to which he was mainly relegated. This is one of the few times he gets to break the mould. 

It is an action film with quite a good  plot and with  outstanding costumes and sets to fill up the impressive Wide screen – in SuperTotalScope

 

The Colossus of Rhodes 2

 

The Rhodes statue of the Colossus is a great design. The use of widescreen – Supertotalscope – is excellent. Overall, the  sets and the production values are well above average than your standard Sword & Sandal films of the day. 

As the story goes – it seems that Rebels want to overthrow the King of Rhodes because of corruption and the lack of justice but then other people within the Kingdom also want to overthrow the King and his army with a group of Macedonian “slaves” captured by Phoenicians who are actually soldiers and are brought into Rhodes.  The Rebels fight the Rhodes soldiers.

 

The Colossus of Rhodes 3

The story is not too complicated really although it sounds  like it is.  If all this action weren’t  enough, during the film’s climax we get  an earthquake which levels Rhodes.

Maybe then we can pause for breath.

According to the records that I have seen – the film brought in a profit of $350,000 which just underlines what we cinema-goers wanted to see at that time – I must admit, this type of film is just my cup of tea – even now !!

Apparently John Derek had been to original choice to take the lead role but for whatever reason he didn’t take it on – and so Rory Calhoun made the trip to Europe to do it.

 

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