Mill Creek Sci-Fi Invasion: The Giant of Marathon (1959)

Directed by Jacques Tourneur (Cat PeopleI Walked With a Zombie, Night of the Demon), this film also has a credit for Mario Bava as directing it. That’s because a few days before it was due to play theaters, major scenes had to be reshot when the editor discovered that several extras were smoking cigarettes on camera*.

Our hero is Phillipides, who if you want something visual and it’s not too abysmal…just kidding. He’s played by Steve Reeves.

In between battles between our hero and the Persians, there’s an attempt to marry him off to Charis (Daniela Rocca, who became famous from the movie Divorce Italian Style, which was written by the same writer as this film, Ennio De Concini; she also fell hard for that movie’s director Pietro Germi and attempted suicide after he turned her down), but his heart is set on Andromeda (Mylène Demongeot).

While this has little of his style, the fact that Bava got the film done in time won him some major favor from Galatea Film, who rewarded him by giving him the chance to make his own project and direct it. That ended up being Black Sunday.

*Bruno Vailati also directed some scenes. He’s listed as the AD, but in Demongeot’s biography, she claimed that Tourneur left most of the directing to his assistant.

You can watch this Metro-Goldwyn Mayer release on Amazon Prime and YouTube. There’s also a Film Crew riff version on Tubi.

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