The Italian Epic Hero film wave did not last long, 1958-1965. “The Trojan Horse” was released in 1961 midway through the cycle. There were three Steve Reeves films from this genre released that year including “The Thief of Baghdad” and “Duel of the Titans”. Reeves broke into the scene as a international movie star with “Hercules” in 1958 and made over a dozen ‘sword and sandal’ movies ending in 1964. In 1968, a few years after turning down the role in “Fistful of Dollars” which skyrocketed the popularity of the Spaghetti Western genre and made Clint Eastwood a movie star, Reeves made his first Western and last film, ” A Long Ride From Hell”.
Reeves’ dozen or so Epic Hero or Peplum movies were the tip of the iceberg as far as films of that genre which were made in Italy. Fellow Mr. Universe, Reg Park, as well as Gordon Mitchell, and Gordon Scott were among the dozens of actors who starred in hundreds of these movies.