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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hannibal (1959)

During the second Punic War after Rome wages a war against Spain, the Carthaginian General Hannibal (Victor Mature) marches toward Rome by way of the Alps with an army of elephants. This piece of Italian peplum was directed by Edgar G. Ulmer (DETOUR) and unusual for the genre, it concentrates on the romance as much as the political atmosphere and battles. Elephants marching over the Alps makes for a rather dull movie so the screenwriters have fabricated a romance between Hannibal and the niece (Rita Gam) of a Roman senator (Gabriele Ferzetti, L'AVVENTURA). A visibly aging Mature seems tired but Ulmer does what he can with some of the action scenes. Mature and Gam are the only English speaking actors in the cast so the rest of the film has that hollow post dubbing sound so familiar with sword and sandal flicks. The movie ends on a bizarre note with a quick montage explaining that Hannibal fought on for many more years. Hopefully those interested in the real Hannibal will read their history books rather than depend on this film for historical accuracy. But for fans of peplum, there's a lot less cheese than one would expect. With Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Rik Battaglia and Milly Vitale.

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