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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 became an international movie star in 1958 after starring in “Hercules” and ended up starring in over a dozen ‘sword and sandal’ movies, with 1964’s “Pirates of Malaysia” being his last. In 1968, a few years after turning down the starring role in “Fistful of Dollars”, a movie which skyrocketed the popularity of the Spaghetti Western genre and made Clint Eastwood a box office star, Reeves made his first Western and last film, ” A Long Ride From Hell”.
Reeves’ dozen or so Epic Hero or “Peplum” movies were some of the most popular but Reeves was one of many bodybuilders starring in the genre. Fellow Mr. Universe, Reg Park, as well as Gordon Mitchell, and Gordon Scott were among the dozens of actors who starred in roughly 150 of these Italian productions.