Giants of Rome

January 23, 2015 at 4:06 am (5 Heads, Giants of Rome) (, , , , , )

Giants of Rome – 1964 – Italy/France

In 52 B.C., Julius Caesar sends four elite commandos on a mission behind enemy lines. They must infiltrate the Druids’ stronghold and destroy a secret weapon, all while battling hordes of barbaric Gauls. Along the way, the commandos’ leader sparks a romance with a female prisoner of war. This love subplot seems out of place during a dangerous clandestine operation.

Giants of Rome often discusses the value of human life. It turns out, in the Roman Empire, human life was pretty much worthless. The commandos sacrifice themselves and anyone else to accomplish their mission. In one scene, a teenage boy is killed. The commandos watch from hiding, unwilling to intervene and reveal their position. In another, the commandos send a squad of soldiers on a suicide mission merely to provide a distraction. By the film’s end, almost all of the commandos are dead. Considering that the Druid’s secret weapon is just a catapult that launches flaming pitch, their sacrifice seems pointless.

Disregarding its moral implications, Giants of Rome is pretty exciting. There is a savage battle during the opening credits and the action continues nonstop from there. Giants of Rome borrows its premise from The Guns of Navarone (1961), but does it justice with plenty of violence and tension.

Rating: 5/10 Shrunken Heads. War: What is it good for?


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