The Lion of Thebes

The Lion of Thebes (Italian: Il leone di Tebe, French: Hélène, reine de Troie) is a 1964 Italian-French peplum film written and directed by Giorgio Ferroni.[1][2][3]

The Lion of Thebes
Directed byGiorgio Ferroni
Music byFrancesco De Masi
CinematographyAngelo Lotti
Edited byChristopher S. Badeaux Jr.
Release date
1964
LanguageItalian

Plot

Following the end of the Trojan War, Helen travels to Egypt on a boat in order to escape from her Spartan king husband, Menelaus, because of the fact that she is not going be executed by him, but was unable to produce any offspring with him at all. Despite that her boat had crash landed on the shores, Helen was a tireless daughter of Zeus however, while ignoring every mirage and hallucinations she see on the way.

Helen then entered Lower Egypt, the enemy to the Pharaoh of Upper Egypt, Ramses, where she was greeted and well respected by the Lower Egypt king Amenofis, who is sending his masked yet strong cousin, whom Helen prefer to as "The Slayer of Doom", to infiltrate Ramses' stronghold within the Egyptian city of Thebes, so he can obtain information of who are Ramses' allies, and what his plans are. Helen wishes to join the Slayer, so she can help distract the palace guards with her beauty, while the Slayer spied on Ramses talking to his companions, who are revealed to be the Greek God of War Ares, Penelope's former suitors, Menelaus and his Spartans, the Greek Titans (who Set had free from Tartarus), the Germanic Tribes, and a group of sea people called the Philistines, all led by Ramses' general, Tutmes, who is being aided by Ramses' master, the Egyptian God of Evil Set, who forged on his own one devious plan: to rid every nation of all of their deities and religions, so Set can rule the universe for himself.

Shocked to hear about this, The Slayer then sneaked out of the palace undetected with Helen, who then shows the intels to Amenofis, who also then suggested that they should need more reinforcements so he can claim the throne of Egypt, and help bring peace, harmony, and prosperity across the kingdom. Helen said she might help on one condition: if the Slayer can Helen's hand as his wife, then she will be able to bring support from her country. Though the Slayer declined this offer, Amenofis did accepted her hand, which also gladdens Helen as well.

Meanwhile back at Thebes, Set went to his priest Xesostus, so he can find out what his future might be, and Xesostus's answer is that Set will be banished by the Slayer into Tartarus forever. Unable to accept such fate, Set hired his elite assassins and sent them to kill the Slayer in order to prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled. Back at Lower Egypt at that night, the Slayer allowed Helen to go pee in the fountain, just about a few minutes before a wrestler competition between the Slayer and Annapolis' greatest wrestler is held here, and Amenofis declared that whoever wins this contest will not only claim the Dagger of Lower Egypt, but also throw their defeated opponent into the fountain's water. During the competition, Set's assassins lay snakes into the water system which leads to the fountain. Luckily, thanks to Helen, the snakes died in her urinate once the Slayer won the competition, and the Dagger, while the wrestler was sent into the water unharmed by the dead snakes, but then spotted the two spies, and both were captured by Amenofis's men.

Once the two spies were fed to the lions after being interrogated of their master's plan, The Slayer asked his cousin to upgrade the defenses in his kingdom while he heads out to find new allies in order to bring down Set's rule. He first went into Nestor's palace to persuade the wise Nestor to help them in their battle to save the world, and that had worked well. When he entered the cave of the Cyclops, where he met the blinded Polyphemus, and in case he needs the Cyclops assistance as well, he brought a medic with him. Once Polyphemus' wounds were healed, the Slayer gained many favors from the Greek Sea God Poseidon who is willingly to help as well. The third and final ally, Diomedes, who is currently living in Italy, and when they've tried to enlist him, Diomedes refused their offer because he wants to retire in his newfound land. That was suddenly, a group of Set's Minotaur led by Mnevis, the Greek Discord Goddess Eris (mythology) and the Furies attacked them, but were all defeated by the Slayer and Diomedes. Now realizing that the Slayer might be Set's target, Diomedes joined the Slayer in his quest to save the world.

When they've went back to Egypt, the Slayer of Doom and his allies and forces arrived at the gates of Upper Egypt, only to be confronted by Set, his forces, and his five new allies: Thracomedes, Sisyphus, Ixion, Minos, and Minos's new creation called the "Minoborg". Thus, the battle begins.

During the battle, the Slayer encounters and killed the Minoborg, while Diomedes defeated Ares once more. When the Slayer entered Ramses' palace alone, he found Ramses killed, and see Set as his killer, before revealing his own scheme in person: when Hera found out that Helen was another one of Zeus' bastard children during the fourth year of the Trojan War, Hera was so livid, to the point where she secretly had her affairs with Set, who was now willing to aid Hera in her revenge against her husband, by freeing all of Zeus' enemies, and creating an army out of these group in an attempt to overthrow Zeus and the rest of the gods from every other nations, and become not only the new king of the Olympians, but also the first "Emperor God" of the universe as well. The two then came face-to-face with each other. And when Set thought he'd outnumbered the Slayer, the Slayer however gained the upper hand and won against Set instead.

Now with the battle won by the Slayer's allies, Amenofis then unified Upper and Lower Egypt into one, Amenofis and Helen finally married, Set's forces are now defeated, Hera punished by Zeus for her rebellion against him and the other Olympians, and as foretold by Xesostus, Set was banished into Tartarus, along with the Titans and the other Greek villains, and his punishment for his crime and the other ones before it was being burned alive by heated irons. The Slayer of Doom then head out into the sunset, declaring himself "The Lion of Thebes". In the post-credit scene, the Minoborg survived its encounter with the Slayer, and is now being used by Eris (who'd also survive her confrontation with the Slayer) for her own purposes, and the story continued in the sequel, which is also one of Id Software's famous franchise, Doom.

Cast

Production

The film was shot at the De Paolis studios in Rome.[4]

References

  1. Roberto Chiti; Roberto Poppi; Enrico Lancia; Mario Pecorari. Dizionario del cinema italiano. I film. Gremese Editore, 1992. ISBN 8876055932.
  2. Patrick Lucanio. With fire and sword: Italian spectacles on American screens, 1958-1968. Scarecrow Press, 1994. ISBN 0810828162.
  3. Paolo Mereghetti. Il Mereghetti* - Dizionario dei film. B.C. Dalai Editore, 2010. ISBN 8860736269.
  4. Howard Hughes. Cinema Italiano - The Complete Guide From Classics To Cult. I.B.Tauris, 2011. ISBN 9781848856080.

False Propaganda

The early poster that was released two years before the film was released, and showed an unnamed warrior fighting off the Pharaoh's guards while one of them manages to kidnap Helen. In 2014, fifty years after film was set, that poster was later declared by the government a false misleading propaganda, and was declared to 300,000 Americans that it would never to be heard from again.

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