Brian Trenchard-Smith on

The Colossus of Rhodes

Released 1961
Distributor MGM

Seven years before conducting a master class on the art of widescreen composition in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, Sergio Leone made his credited directorial debut (he had previously stepped in to finish most of THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII when the original director fell ill) with this equally epic sword and sandal film starring American cowboy actor Rory Calhoun. Leone’s dynamic framing of the towering statue at the center of the film combined with the frenetic action scenes set on top of it made sure the Saturday matinee crowd stayed glued to their seats for the film’s excessive 128 min. running time (an uncut German dvd is available with an extra 15 minutes of mayhem and political intrigue).

About Brian Trenchard-Smith

Brian Trenchard-Smith has been burning to make genre films ever since seeing Hitchcock’s Vertigo at age 13. So far he has directed 42 Crimes Against Cinema, and counting (He’s an enthusiastic recidivist.) The Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival recently gave him a career achievement award. His cult hits include The Man from Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits, Stunt Rock, Dead End Drive In, The Siege of Firebase Gloria. He has also made over 100 trailers ranging from Hammer horrors to Australian films of the 70′s and 80′s. His latest film is Drive Hard, a quirky action comedy with John Cusack and Thomas Jane. He hopes to shoot a Sci-Fi action picture in Tianjing, China later this year. Brian shares a passion for history with his wife Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith. His first novel The Headsman's Daughter is available this summer on Amazon and Kindle.