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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pompeii gets the King Kong Treatment, 14 Feb 2009
Guy Mannering (Maidenhead, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Last Days of Pompeii [DVD] [1975] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This 1935 movie was produced by the same team who gave us King Kong (you can tell this almost immediately when you hear the thumping opening music) and was Hollywood's last stab at the sword and sandal genre until the late 40s. Sadly, it's not based on Bulwer-Lytton's classic 19th century romance, but is a tale of a young blacksmith reduced by poverty to fighting as a gladiator and who during a visit to Judea has a fateful encounter with Pontius Pilate and Jesus Christ. The movie zips along at a fair old pace but you have to wait to the very end for the King Kong style special effects and spectacle. But it's worth the wait, the scenes in the amphitheatre and the destruction of Pompeii by Mount Vesuvius are pretty impressive (keep an eye on that colossal statue of Mars and for your life!) If you like this sort of thing I recommend you seek out the 1980s mini-series, available as a three disc German release with the original English soundtrack and as a two disc American import. It's even more impressive, sticks closely to the elaborate plot of Bulwer-Lytton's novel and recreates with great accuracy and realism the gaudy world of Pompeii.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This review is for the ODEON Entertainment "Hollywood studio Collectionn", 12 April 2012
A. W. Wilson - See all my reviews
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I typed the title above so there should be no confusion as to which DVD I am writing about. As we know Amazon tend to put reviews of one release under many, thus confusing the issue...Nuff said. This B/W 1935 film from RKO is well worth getting, as, whilst obviously it has dated, it still holds up, particulaly for the older viewer (that's me), tho younger viewers may find it odd and a bit dull(?). Anyway, I enjoyed it - The casting is a bit odd - Pres Foster is a bit hard to take as Marcus, the hero, but he is big. Alan hale as his villainous faithfull best friend is Alan Hale doing his usual faithfull etc.., Basil Rathbone is good as Pontius Pilate and the plot moves along well apart from a slight sagging in the middle. The climax, whilst good for it's time, seems a bit hasty, and were there some shots from a silent film? Maybe not. The plot has nothing to do with the book (which they do admit to in a prologue), but that's OK. It is quite religious as well with a great heavenly choir for the dramatic moments. The print (sound and picture) is really very good, with no reservations. If you have a liking for vintage films/epics I am pretty sure you will enjoy this as I did. Take a chance...
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Last Days of Pompeii [DVD] [1975] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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