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When they were babies, Romulus (Steve Reeves) and Remus (Gordon Scott)
wehre abandoned by their mother Silvia (Laura Solari) when on the run from
Amulio (Franco Volpi), who had just killed her hubby, the king of Alba
Longa, to usurp his throne, and now wants to kill his sons too ... but no
Later Romulus and Remus are reared by a wolf, and yet later, a shepherd
who shoots the wolf brings them up.
When the boys are all grown, herding sheeps is no longer a way to make
a living, and they, along with many other shepherds, turn to stealing
horses. One day, Romulus, Remus and their gang decide to raid Alba Longa
for horses, but once there, Romulus falls for Julia (Virna Lisi), the
fiancée of Curzio (Jacques Sernas), son of Amulio, and daughter of Tazio
(Massimo Girotti), King of the Sabines. ... and while Romulus' friends
duly steal the horses, he steals Julia ... and she soon learns to like
But of course, Romulus, slowed down by the girl, is soon caught by the
Sabines and brought back to Alba Longa, where he is to be executed ...
when Remus, who has declared himself leader of his wolfpack of
horsethieves, and his men attack and lay ruins to Alba Longa to free his
brother, and there the boys also meet their (by now dieing) mother for the
first time and learn who they really are ...
In the end, Remus has not only succeeded in freeing Romulus and kill
Amulio, Romulus has also brought Julia with him, who joins the gang out of
her own free will ... but Romulus and Remus and their gang soon find
theimselves on the run from Curtio, Tazio and the Sabines, and out of
desperation they decide the impossible ... to go to the doomed land beyond
the swamps and fire mountains, where there's supposed to be a valley to
build a new city in ...
However, as if the threat of the Sabines wasn't enough, friction starts
to show between the brothers when Remus - despite the fact that he has
super-sexy fighting girl Tarpeja (Ornella Vanoni) on his side - makes his
moves on Julia ... and eventually, the two brothers part ways, each with
half of their gang, and while Romulus chooses to take the safe but long
way through the forests, hot-head Remus decides to lead his part of the
gang over the volcano ... which of coure erupts and kills everybody but
Tarpeja and Remus ... and while Remus is still unconscious, the Sabines
catch up with them, and Tarpeja gives away the whereabouts of the other
part of the gang for a horse and her and Remus' life. When Remus comes to
and learns about this, he kills her, then goes after both Romulus and the
In the meantime, Romulus and company have found their place in the
valley, and they are quick top build massive defenses (mostly death-traps)
to stop the Sabines, who outnumber them 10 to one ... and against all
odds, Romulus gang defeats the Sabines in the final battle, and Romulus
defeats their king Tazio - who has since killed his daughter's no good
fiancée Curzio with his own hands - personally ... but refrains to kill
him at the request of Julia, Tazio' daughter. Tazio, a man of honour
despite everything, admits defeat and promises Romulus peace (and support)
between their two tribes from now on ... and everything seems to be
heading for a happy ending when Remus appears just when Romulus is crowned
king of Rome (the name of the city he's planning to build, I'm sure you've
heard of it), mocks Romulus and his tribe and pronounces himself king ...
and eventually he gets peace-loving Romulus so much over the edge that the
two brothers engage in mortal combat ... and guess what, goodie Romulus
One of the best peplums (specifically Italian version of
sword-and-sandal-movies, usually focussing on muscleman-heroes) of its
time: The story is truly epic and avoids sillyness at least most of the
time, it's driven by action without just dumbing down the plot, the action
is competently crafted, the pace is reasonably quick, the cheese factor is
very low, and the acting of most actors (even bodybuilders Steve Reeves
and Gordon Scott) is at least adequate ... I can't but repeat, one of the
best peplums of its time !!!