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3.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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(Oct 19, 2004)
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(Jan 01, 1959)
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Editorial Reviews

The Carthaginian general crosses the Alps by elephant with his army, invading Italy by way of Spain.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Victor Mature, Gabriele Ferzetti, Rita Gam, Milly Vitale, Rik Battaglia
  • Directors: Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, Edgar G. Ulmer
  • Writers: Edgar G. Ulmer, Ottavio Poggi, Mortimer Braus, Sandro Continenza
  • Producers: Jack Dietz, Ottavio Poggi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Enhanced, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002VEU4O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,144 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hannibal" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Anyone expecting a really good view of the Punic Wars in Italy will certainly not find it here. That being said, there are a number of interesting and amusing scenes that make it half-way worthwhile. Victor Mature sleeps his way through the role of the great Carthegenian general. Mature seems never to have taken his own acting skills that seriously, and that is evident here with his lethargic style.

Probably one of the best parts of the film is the extended scene showing the crossing of the Alps. This was surely one of the great feats of ancient warfare and we get a decent look at how tortuous it must have been here. The Punic soldiers crying out in English somehow lacks something, but this was a 1960 Italian dubbed film! Some of the battle scenes with the elephants are not too bad, but the overall effect is on the poor side. The most vigorous battle shown, Cannae in 217 BC is a joke! There is some attempt to show how the Romans were destroyed here, but somehow it gets lost in the details.

I give the film some credit for staying somewhere near the history, but many details are wide off the mark, and almost purposely so. The romance with Mature and Rita Gam is required of course for this period of movie, but it seems half-hearted at best. Again, Mature's Hannibal seems to almost doze through the scenes! No doubt Hannibal did console himself with a few Roman women for the many years he was in Italy, but what we get here is standard hollywood filler for the time. This film might be fun to watch along with the Italian Propaganada epic, Scipio Africanus. Both have the same lame style, although the older facist film has the production value which this film really lacks. Still, both make for some light viewing in the classic sword and sandal style.
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Format: DVD
A very contrived rendition of the Second Punic War between Carthage and Rome in the 3rd century B.C. The fact that Victor Mature plays the lead role is enough to discourage anyone from buying this shallow film. This film is also outmatched in every respect except color by another production and so not really worth one's time or money unless you're a die-hard Mature fanor accept only the color medium for a film.

The screenplay is disjointed as it doesn't really convey the reasons why Hannibal hated Rome so much or why he led an army of almost 100,000 men to trample over the Italian countryside for 18 years. The battle reenactments are small, sparing, and second-rate. The acting stinks especially by Mature whose presence always appears as if he just came out of a cocktail lounge around 3:00 a.m. Victor Mature was barely competent as a back-up actor not to speak of a lead role in a historical epic. Even more shame on the Italians who contrived this silly film about their own history. The direction is purely conventional for the period and so unimaginative. The screenplay is terrible and focuses on a ridiculous love story instead of the historical events for dramatism. History here is simply the backdrop for the romance. The anachronisms of the film themselves would require modern anachronisms to interpret as this film is horribly out-of-date. Wayne's 'Genghis Kahn' is better than this film. At least you have The Duke instead of 'Manure' to watch in a bad film.

A vastly superior film on Hannibal is Carmine Gallone's 1939 'Scipio Africanus' that looks at the conflict from the character Scipio's point of view in which the climax comes with Hannibal's defeat at Zama. Unlike this film, 'Scipio' primarily emphasizes on the history for the drama as opposed to romance.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Hannibal" is a great movie for nine year-old boys, or at least it was back in 1960 when I sat through it twice at a Saturday matinée. I don't think it had much of a mainstream release, playing mostly to kiddie matinée and drive-in audiences. The film planted in me an interest in this historical period and was my first taste of cinema gore; my one memory being the blood pouring from a soldier's mouth after he was crushed by an elephant during the army's march over the alps.

In style "Hannibal" is like a really bad spaghetti western, only set it 200BC and produced by people generally clueless about just who was their target audience. On one hand the less your sophistication the less energy you will need to burn suspending disbelief. On the other hand the subject matter cries out for a more sophisticated audience interested in history. And finally the awkwardly inserted love story will go unappreciated by both sophisticated and unsophisticated viewers.

Hannibal was a brilliant military tactician from Carthage (now Tunisa) who gave imperial Rome a run for its money as the dominant world power two centuries before the birth of Christ. The film was promoted by Warner Brothers as "a fanciful adaptation of history" (make that an extremely condensed adaptation). Given all the omissions it is difficult to understand why they felt compelled to invent a love story. It might have made some sense if they had paid a box office draw actress to star as the title character's love interest; but Rita Gam was an aging bit player, pleasant in a wholesome Dorothy McGuire way but too detuned to add any sizzle to a production desperately in need of some sparks.
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