by Cinemageddon | created - 13 Jul 2014 | updated - 07 Aug 2016 | Public

The sword-and-sandal, or peplum film (pepla plural) is a genre of largely Italian-made historical or biblical epics (costume dramas) that dominated the Italian film industry from 1958 to 1965, eventually being replaced in 1965 by the Spaghetti Western.

The pepla attempted to emulate the big-budget Hollywood historical epics of the time, such as Spartacus, Samson and Delilah and The Ten Commandments.

The terms "peplum" (referring to the togas or robes which the ancient Romans wore) and "sword-and-sandal" were used in a condescending way by film critics. Italian director Vittorio Cottafavi called the genre "Neo-Mythology".

Info taken from wikipedia

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1. The Colossus of Rhodes (1961)

Approved | 127 min | Adventure, Drama, History

While on holiday in Rhodes, Athenian war hero Darios becomes involved in two different plots to overthrow the tyrannical king, one from Rhodian patriots and the other from sinister Phoenician agents.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Rory Calhoun, Lea Massari, Georges Marchal, Conrado San Martín

Votes: 2,762

2. Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964)

Unrated | 88 min | Adventure, Fantasy

Hercules is summoned to oppose the evil Queen Samara, who has allied herself with aliens and is sacrificing her own people in a bid to awaken a moon goddess.

Director: Giacomo Gentilomo | Stars: Sergio Ciani, Jany Clair, Anna Maria Polani, Nando Tamberlani

Votes: 1,627

3. Hercules and the Princess of Troy (1965 TV Movie)

47 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The mighty Hercules battles a sea monster to save the legendary city of Troy.

Director: Albert Band | Stars: Gordon Scott, Paul Stevens, Mart Hulswit, Diana Hyland

Votes: 225

4. Hercules Against the Mongols (1963)

Not Rated | 90 min | Adventure, Drama

Though Genghis Khan eventually sought peace with the West, his death in 1227 AD puts into power his three war-like sons: Sayan, Susdal, and Kin Khan. These sons quickly overrun the city of ... See full summary »

Director: Domenico Paolella | Stars: Mark Forest, José Greci, Maria Grazia Spina, Ken Clark

Votes: 197

5. Hercules and the Masked Rider (1963)

Not Rated | 86 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

In 16th century Spain, Don Francisco reluctantly betroths his daughter, Blanca, to the arrogant Don Ramiro in order to preserve the lands in the family estate. Then Don Juan, Don ... See full summary »

Director: Piero Pierotti | Stars: Sergio Ciani, Mimmo Palmara, José Greci, Pilar Cansino

Votes: 141

6. Giants of Rome (1964)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, War

An elite group of soldiers led by the courageous Claudius Marcellus are handpicked by Julius Caesar to embark on a desperate and dangerous suicide mission to destroy the Druids' secret weapon.

Director: Antonio Margheriti | Stars: Richard Harrison, Wandisa Guida, Ettore Manni, Philippe Hersent

Votes: 206

7. The Invincible Gladiator (1961)

Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Drama

A Roman warrior leads a revolt against an evil ruler.

Directors: Alberto De Martino, Antonio Momplet | Stars: Richard Harrison, Isabelle Corey, Livio Lorenzon, Leo Anchóriz

Votes: 77

8. Rebel Gladiators (1962)

95 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

March 17, 180 A.D.: Marcus Aurelius, one of the greatest Roman emperors and distinct philosopher, is dying in the outskirts of the empire he has consolidated himself, by pacifying the ... See full summary »

Director: Domenico Paolella | Stars: Dan Vadis, Gloria Milland, José Greci, Sergio Ciani

Votes: 54

9. Thor and the Amazon Women (1963)

84 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

A race of Amazon warriors is enslaving the men of a country, and the mighty Thor is called upon to help them regain their freedom.

Director: Antonio Leonviola | Stars: Susy Andersen, Joe Robinson, Harry Baird, Janine Hendy

Votes: 151

10. Vengeance of Hercules (1960)

87 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

A warrior returning home to his country must battle giant bats, three-headed dogs and a vicious dragon to save his wife, and his people, from the machinations of an evil ruler.

Director: Vittorio Cottafavi | Stars: Mark Forest, Broderick Crawford, Gaby André, Renato Terra

Votes: 413

11. Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules (1961)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Maciste arranges for himself and his new friend Bangor to be captured by a mysterious band of white-clad marauders and taken to an underground city. There the two are forced to turn an ... See full summary »

Director: Antonio Leonviola | Stars: Mark Forest, Moira Orfei, Paul Wynter, Gianni Garko

Votes: 236

12. Goliath and the Barbarians (1959)

86 min | Adventure

When barbarians invade his village and kill his father, a local man wages a one-man war against them.

Director: Carlo Campogalliani | Stars: Steve Reeves, Chelo Alonso, Bruce Cabot, Giulia Rubini

Votes: 245

13. The Slave (1962)

100 min | Adventure, Drama, History

During the power struggle between Caesar and Crassus, a Roman centurion, who is the lost son of Spartacus, is dispatched to Crassus' camp to observe his movements and keep Caesar informed.

Director: Sergio Corbucci | Stars: Steve Reeves, Jacques Sernas, Gianna Maria Canale, Claudio Gora

Votes: 334

14. Goliath and the Sins of Babylon (1963)

80 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Goliath battles for the freedom of the Babylonian people.

Director: Michele Lupo | Stars: Mark Forest, José Greci, Giuliano Gemma, Erno Crisa

Votes: 193

15. Gladiators 7 (1962)

Unrated | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Framed for the escape of five gladiators from the arena, the son of one of Sparta's leading citizens is sentenced to the arena as gladiator himself and forced to fight for his life in the ... See full summary »

Director: Pedro Lazaga | Stars: Richard Harrison, Loredana Nusciak, Livio Lorenzon, Gérard Tichy

Votes: 155

16. Colossus of the Stone Age (1962)

Not Rated | 82 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Wandering strongman Maxxus comes upon two warring tribes, the Sun worshipers and the Moon worshipers. He saves the leader of the Sun tribe from a sea monster, then later on when the Moon ... See full summary »

Director: Guido Malatesta | Stars: Reg Lewis, Margaret Lee, Luciano Marin, Andrea Aureli

Votes: 206

17. Colossus and the Headhunters (1963)

79 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Maciste and his people flee their volcano-ravaged island. They end up caught in between two warring tribes.

Director: Guido Malatesta | Stars: Kirk Morris, Laura Brown, Demeter Bitenc, Frank Leroy

Votes: 596

18. Vulcan, Son of Giove (1962)

76 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

A superhero battles lizard men and other monsters that are terrorizing the countryside.

Director: Emimmo Salvi | Stars: Bella Cortez, Iloosh Khoshabe, Liliana Zagra, Furio Meniconi

Votes: 148

19. Aphrodite, Goddess of Love (1958)

91 min | Drama, History

Antigonus, archon of Corinth, wants to build a magnificent temple dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite, for which the people are oppressed by new and very high taxes. The sculptor Demetrius, ... See full summary »

Director: Mario Bonnard | Stars: Isabelle Corey, Anthony Steffen, Irène Tunc, Ivo Garrani

Votes: 82

20. The Giant of Marathon (1959)

90 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A Greek soldier leads the fight against an invading Persian army.

Directors: Jacques Tourneur, Bruno Vailati, Mario Bava | Stars: Steve Reeves, Mylène Demongeot, Sergio Fantoni, Alberto Lupo

Votes: 746

21. Herod the Great (1959)

93 min | Biography, Drama, History

Herod, King of Judea, is made a prisoner by the Romans. Convinced the King is dead, his faithful lieutenant, Aaron, is nevertheless unable to keep his promise to kill the Queen if something untoward happened to the King. He leads the young woman out into the desert. Herod's pleas to Augustus are successful and he returns to his palace. His son, Antipater, informs Herod that Aaron has betrayed him.

Director: Viktor Tourjansky | Stars: Edmund Purdom, Sylvia Lopez, Massimo Girotti, Sandra Milo

Votes: 172

22. The Loves of Hercules (1960)

Not Rated | 98 min | Fantasy, Adventure

Hercules must save his true love from an evil queen.

Director: Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia | Stars: Jayne Mansfield, Mickey Hargitay, Massimo Serato, Tina Gloriani

Votes: 936

23. Hannibal (1959)

103 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

During the Second Punic War in 218 BC, Carthaginian general Hannibal attacks the Roman Republic by crossing the Pyrenees and the Alps with his vast army.

Directors: Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: Victor Mature, Gabriele Ferzetti, Rita Gam, Milly Vitale

Votes: 646

24. The Conqueror of the Orient (1960)

86 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Centuries ago in the Orient, the fiscal exactions on the people lead to a revolt against the usurper of the throne, and the empowerment of a new leader.

Director: Tanio Boccia | Stars: Gianna Maria Canale, Rik Battaglia, Irène Tunc, Edda Ferronao

Votes: 79

25. The Last Days of Pompeii (1959)

Approved | 103 min | Action, Adventure, History

A demobilized centurion returns home to Pompeii to find his father murdered by a gang of black-hooded Christian robbers that terrorizes the city and he decides to investigate the matter while the nearby volcano threatens to erupt.

Director: Mario Bonnard | Stars: Steve Reeves, Christine Kaufmann, Fernando Rey, Barbara Carroll

Votes: 988

26. David and Goliath (1960)

Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Drama, Family

King Saul of the Israelites is visited in Jerusalem by the Prophet Samuel who foretells him that a war with The Philistines is inevitable and the shepherd David will become king.

Directors: Ferdinando Baldi, Richard Pottier, Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Ivica Pajer, Eleonora Rossi Drago, Massimo Serato

Votes: 570

27. Simbad contro i sette saraceni (1964)

80 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

A rebel leader returns to his city for a final confrontation with the evil king he is fighting. However, he finds himself attracted to the king's beautiful niece.

Director: Emimmo Salvi | Stars: Gordon Mitchell, Bruno Piergentili, Bella Cortez, Carla Calò

Votes: 111

28. The Loves of Salammbo (1960)

72 min | Action, Drama

During the 3rd century B.C. a horde of barbarians are hired by the Phoenian city of Carthage to fight against the Roman empire, but when the city's ruler is unable to fulfill the promised ... See full summary »

Director: Sergio Grieco | Stars: Jeanne Valérie, Jacques Sernas, Edmund Purdom, Arnoldo Foà

Votes: 62

29. Cleopatra's Daughter (1960)

109 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

Cleopatra, after the civil war that followed the assassination of Caesar, met with Marc Antony in Assyria where they planned the defense of Egypt against the Romans. Before leaving, ... See full summary »

Director: Fernando Cerchio | Stars: Debra Paget, Ettore Manni, Erno Crisa, Corrado Pani

Votes: 164

30. Messalina vs. the Son of Hercules (1964)

98 min | Adventure, Drama

While fighting in Britain, Roman forces commanded by Caligula capture the noble warrior, Glaucus. Seeing in him gladiator material, Caligula takes Glaucus back to Rome along with other ... See full summary »

Director: Umberto Lenzi | Stars: Richard Harrison, Marilù Tolo, Philippe Hersent, Livio Lorenzon

Votes: 90

31. Ursus in the Land of Fire (1963)

87 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Hamilan, a cruel and ambitious general, murders his king and places himself on the throne with the former king's evil niece as his queen. He then wages war against his peaceful neighbors, ... See full summary »

Director: Giorgio Simonelli | Stars: Ed Fury, Luciana Gilli, Adriano Micantoni, Claudia Mori

Votes: 126

32. Hercules Conquers Atlantis (1961)

Unrated | 94 min | Adventure, Fantasy

Strong yet sleepy Hercules discovers that the Queen of Atlantis is plotting to take over the world with superhuman warriors.

Director: Vittorio Cottafavi | Stars: Reg Park, Fay Spain, Ettore Manni, Luciano Marin

Votes: 1,176

33. Hercules, Samson & Ulysses (1963)

Approved | 93 min | Adventure, Fantasy

Two strongmen set out to hunt down a murderous sea monster. Their ship is wrecked and they end up in the Holy Land where Hercules is assumed to be Samson who is a wanted man. The two team up to survive.

Director: Pietro Francisci | Stars: Kirk Morris, Iloosh Khoshabe, Liana Orfei, Diletta D'Andrea

Votes: 453

34. Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World (1961)

80 min | Adventure, Drama

Sam must rescue a beautiful Chinese princess from a marauding horde of warriors.

Director: Riccardo Freda | Stars: Gordon Scott, Yôko Tani, Hélène Chanel, Dante DiPaolo

Votes: 190

35. Damon and Pythias (1962)

99 min | Adventure

Pythias, a liberal Athenian who believes all men are brothers, is condemned to death by Dionysus, the tyrant of Syracuse, who finds this view dangerous. However, Dionysus allows Pythias to ... See full summary »

Director: Curtis Bernhardt | Stars: Guy Williams, Don Burnett, Ilaria Occhini, Liana Orfei

Votes: 200

36. Desert Warrior (1957)

87 min | Adventure

Prince Saïd escapes his father's murderers, sent by traitor Ibrahim who quickly takes over the throne. Becoming a desert bandit he fights to get back his rights, meeting in the meantime beautiful Amina, Ibrahim's daughter.

Directors: Goffredo Alessandrini, Fernando Cerchio, León Klimovsky, Gianni Vernuccio | Stars: Carmen Sevilla, Ricardo Montalban, Gino Cervi, José Guardiola

Votes: 37

37. Duel of Champions (1961)

105 min | Action, Drama, History

In the 5th century BC, rival kingdoms Rome and Alba entrust their fate to a duel to death between their respective chosen champions, the 3 Orazi brothers for Rome and the 3 Curiazi brothers for Alba.

Directors: Ferdinando Baldi, Terence Young | Stars: Alan Ladd, Franca Bettoia, Franco Fabrizi, Robert Keith

Votes: 273

38. Hero of Rome (1964)

Not Rated | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A story of justice and tyranny with the fate of Rome in the balance.

Director: Giorgio Ferroni | Stars: Gordon Scott, Gabriella Pallotta, Massimo Serato, Gabriele Antonini

Votes: 159

39. Gladiator of Rome (1962)

100 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A warrior protecting a slave girl, who is really a princess, winds up as a gladiator in the Roman arenas.

Director: Mario Costa | Stars: Gordon Scott, Wandisa Guida, Roberto Risso, Ombretta Colli

Votes: 102

40. The Witch's Curse (1962)

91 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Horror

Maciste travels to Hell to find a witch and make her undo a curse she put on the surface world.

Director: Riccardo Freda | Stars: Kirk Morris, Hélène Chanel, Vira Silenti, Angelo Zanolli

Votes: 367

41. The Fury of Hercules (1962)

97 min | Adventure

In a tyrannical kingdom there is an evil ruler and a queen who lusts after Hercules who is attracted to a handmaiden. A rebellion overthrows the ruler.

Director: Gianfranco Parolini | Stars: Brad Harris, Luisella Boni, Mara Berni, Elke Arendt

Votes: 158

42. Spartacus and the Ten Gladiators (1964)

99 min | Adventure, Comedy, History

The story of Spartacus and 10 other gladiators who rebelled against the bloody coliseum sports. They escape and are faced at every turn by Roman soldiers bent on taking them back to the ... See full summary »

Director: Nick Nostro | Stars: Dan Vadis, Helga Liné, Giovanni Di Benedetto, Giovanni Vari

Votes: 186

43. Samson in King Solomon's Mines (1964)

92 min | Action

Maciste is captured and forced to work as a slave in an African mine.

Director: Piero Regnoli | Stars: Reg Park, Wandisa Guida, Bruno Piergentili, Eleonora Bianchi

Votes: 133

44. Hercules the Invincible (1964)

Unrated | 85 min | Adventure, Fantasy

Hercules battles to save the population from a giant dragon.

Director: Alvaro Mancori | Stars: Dan Vadis, Spela Rozin, Carla Calò, Ken Clark

Votes: 328

45. Valley of the Lions (1961)

94 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The evil dictator Ajak sends his armies to attack a neighboring kingdom, and during the battle, the besieged King Annurius orders one of his subjects to take his son Ursus to a place of ... See full summary »

Director: Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia | Stars: Ed Fury, Moira Orfei, Alberto Lupo, Giacomo Furia

Votes: 132

46. Atlas Against the Cyclops (1961)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy