Cast & Crew
In 568 A.D., Alboyna, the ruthless king of the Longobards, attacks Italy from nearby Pannonia, with barbarian hordes composed of many races. As they descend upon Verona, Count Daniele sends his daughter Sabina to seek help from her brother Emiliano. Daniele is then killed by Igor, second-in-command to Alboyna, who tears a medallion from Daniele's neck. After Sabina, Emiliano and his friend Marco, return to Verona, they bury Daniele, and Emiliano swears revenge. Meanwhile, the barbarians are celebrating their conquest and are entertained by dancer Londa, the daughter of Delfo, one of Alboyna's lieutenants. Igor lusts after Londa and when she rejects him, he threatens to assign her father to a dangerous outpost. Emiliano gathers a small band of men and, disguised by a grotesque, wild animal mask, leads them on attacks against Alboyna's patrols. When a messenger brings Igor news of the attacks, describing Emiliano as a Goliath who roars like a lion, Igor accuses his troops of cowardice and sends Delfo and Londa to the valley where "Goliath" is operating to investigate and supervise the construction of a fort. After Emiliano welcomes several new men to his band, he visits the fort on a market day when vendors are permitted to enter, in order to discern the number of sentinels there. As the market is closing, Londa rescues Sabina from rape by a barbarian. Later, Delfo orders the seizure of all local grain stores, and when a young man named Bruno sabotages his efforts and is taken prisoner, Goliath freers him, wielding a battle axe. When Londa then goes hunting on horseback, her horse falls into a wild animal trap prepared by Emiliano and has to be destroyed. Emiliano tells Londa that he is a woodsman, takes her back to a trail and advises her not to return to the area. Suspicion mounts that Emiliano is really Goliath and he is captured by troops commanded by Londa's man Svevo, taken to the fort and tortured. When Emiliano refuses to confess, Londa pleads with her father to stop the torture. Delfo then decides to subject Emiliano to their Test of Truth ritual. In the first test, several men try to pull Emiliano backward onto the points of lances, and fail miserably. For the second test, Emiliano is tied between two horses which are then whipped and threaten to pull him apart, but he pulls the horses toward him instead. Delfo then frees Emiliano despite Svevo's protests. After Emiliano and Londa become romantically involved, his men begin to doubt his devotion to their cause. Delfo grows convinced that Emiliano is really Goliath and plans to kill him along with Londa, whom he has disowned. Igor soon arrives at the fort and chastises Delfo for freeing Emiliano, then demands that Londa dance for him. She performs a fire dance, teases Igor then stabs him in the hand, whereupon Igor holds Delfo responsible for her behavior. Later, Emiliano and his men engage a column of Svevo's men in hand-to-hand combat and Bruno steals a sacred crown they are transporting. Igor retaliates by ordering the destruction of the nearby village and the brutal massacre of its inhabitants. Several of Emiliano's followers are captured. Audaciously, Emiliano rides alone into the fort to face Igor and offers to return the crown in exchange for the lives of the prisoners, reparations and freedom for all the inhabitants of the valley. Igor agrees and after the prisoners leave the fort, Emiliano fires a flaming arrow into the air as a signal for one of his men to ride in with the crown. As soon as Emiliano hands over the crown, however, Igor orders his arrest. Fights break out and Emiliano's men return to help. Delfo, now convinced of the worthiness of Emiliano's cause, assists him by killing Svevo. Igor and Emiliano are fighting on the battlements when Emiliano sees his father's medallion around Igor's neck. Enraged, he raises Igor up over his head and hurls him against the fort's wall, killing him. Delfo is mortally wounded and with his dying breath asks Emiliano to take care of Londa. Later, Emiliano, Sabina and Marco ride back in victory to their valley.
Samuel Z. Arkoff
Camillo Del Signore
James H. Nicholson
The production had to shut down when the money ran out. James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff were shown rushes from the film and agreed to buy the U.S. distribution rights which gave the producers the money to continue production. With their own Steve Reeves movie (retitled _Goliath and the Barbarians (1959)_ ) in theatres only five months after the box office sensation _Hercules (1959)_ , American International had one of their biggest hits up to that time.
The closing credits state: "This has been an American-Italian Co-production." After Les Baxter's name, the following credit appears: "Album available on American International Records."
Released in United States 1959
Released in United States 1959