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Review: Sergio Leone's "The Coloussus Of Rhodes" (1961) Starring Rory Calhoun; Warner Archive Blu-ray Release

By Fred Blosser

I saw many, many Italian-made sword-and-toga movies as a kid in the early 1960s at the Kayton, my neighborhood movie house, where they usually played on mismatched double-bills with B-Westerns, British “Carry On” comedies, low-budget noir dramas, and fourth-run Elvis movies. Many of these Italian epics were simplistic and formulaic, as if the producers figured that people had come to see spectacle, sex, and sword-fights, and never mind anything else. Regardless, more ambitious productions occasionally surfaced with slightly more dramatic substance and marginally higher production values. One such entry was “The Colossus of Rhodes” (1961), Sergio Leone’s first acknowledged directorial credit preceding his breakthrough success with “A Fistful of Dollars” in 1964. The Warner Archive Collection has released the 1961 movie on Blu-ray with audio commentary by Sir Christopher Frayling, Leone’s biographer and longtime critical champion.

The script co-written by Leone has plenty of plot -- almost too much,

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