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  • I saw this film on an old Sinister Cinema video release version just recently. It was dubbed almost as poorly as any Italian Peblum flick from the early 60's ever was and the print was panned and scanned, in poor quality, very reddish and the sound was only fair with lots of annoying hums and pops.

    Still I found the film Alone Against Rome one of the very best films of this type.

    The film was produced by Rossana Podesta's (known for Sodom and Gomorrah) husband. It tells the story of an over agressive Roman Tribune taking over an entire town and having Gladiator fights put on for his amusement. He takes a liking to Fabiola (Rossana) and to save her lover Brenno's life he becomes her captors lover. Her real love Brenno is forced to become a gladiator. Many of the healthiest town people, it's former rulers and guards become hostages and slaves for the Roman Tribunal. There are rebel forces that attempt to overthrow this corrupt roman tribunal.

    Unlike the more recent Gladiator, this film shows the fate of a Christian hostage, avoids man against lion sequences, and shows several women throughout the town. Both Gladiator and this film feature a man doing battle against two lethal chariots outfited with sharp blades.

    The film is extremely well acted (for this type of thing) has a pretty good script (though there are still some howlers in the dubbed version), and is quite suspenseful. The fights are well directed, and quite exciting to watch (usually in these types of films the fights are as phony as junior high schoolers play-wrestling--not the case here). The film was made with a pretty decent budget and while no where near the spectacle of something like Gladiator, it presents it's arena gladiator fights with plenty of spectacle.

    Here's an almost lost and forgotten film that needs to be re-discovered, restored and given a DVD release. It's one of the very best of it's type. And if you are a Rossano Podesta fan she is radiant throughout.

    Chris Jarmick (author of: The Glass Cocoon) 7/15/2000
  • Competent direction, a well-constructed script, and an above-average cast elevates this "Sword-and-Sandal" production into something close to Grade-A status. In fact, when first viewed on a large theater screen while its colors were still sharp and clear, it must have been a rather impressive piece of work.

    Unlike the recent "Gladiator," this movie occasionally drifts into Sunday School posturing about the rise of Christianity, but also unlike that Ridley Scott effort, it knows the value of "beefcake" and "bondage." The arena scenes here feature a number of muscular, bare-chested gladiators and leading-man Lang Jeffries often gets to show off his physique either while fighting duels or while chained to dungeon walls.

    That fine actor, Philippe Leroy, adds substance to the role of the villainous Roman, Rossana Podesta makes for a suitable if somewhat subdued heroine, and Gabriele Tinti offers good support as Lang Jeffries' loyal friend.

    Early in the movie Jeffries is tied to a column at the edge of the town square and given a flogging. While this flogging can't compare to the one he received in the earlier "Revolt of the Slaves," it does provide an interesting touch. The Roman in charge of the proceedings announces that the punishment will continue until the townspeople fill with gold a Roman shield which has been tossed, concave-side-up, on the ground. As Lang suffers lash after lash, various townspeople come forward, removing their gold jewelry to toss into the shield.

    The movie ends with that traditional scene of the hero triumphing so spectacularly in the arena that the crowd demands he be spared. (In these movies, the hero never seems to succeed by intellectual or moral superiority by rather by sheer physical prowess.)
  • A Roman Tribune, left behind to mind a subdued city, decides to go against orders and ends up becoming a tyrant in order to spread the glory of Rome. The tribune falls in love with a girl who is in turn in love with the leader of the rebellion.

    This movie is interesting in that the villain isn't really bad, he's just misguided. From his point of view, one that is truly understandable, he's doing the right thing. This gives the movie a nice shade of gray missing from most other epics of this sort.

    My one question is why is this called Alone Against Rome when no one is really alone against Rome and there isn't even a central character?