Of all the films from the extraordinary period of the Italian peplum (sword-and-sandal epics), which kept audiences entertained for over a decade, La battaglia di Maratona occupies a special place. It is one of the most spectacular and exciting examples of the genre, offering a rich and imaginative reconstruction of ancient times, a steady pace, a high coefficient of action and set pieces, and the right dose of eroticism. The muscle is provided by Steve Reeves, the “strongman” who carried much of the peplum world on his shoulders. Shooting started with Hollywood adventure director Jacques Tourneur at the reins, and was completed by Mario Bava (at that time, still only a respected cinematographer) and producer and co-screenwriter Bruno Vailati.
490 BC. Pheidippides wins the games at Olympia and the Persians are at the gates of Athens, aided by traitors hiding within the city walls. The Olympic champion sets off on a dangerous voyage to Sparta to gather an army. Pheidippides not only wins the war, he also manages to win the heart of the beautiful Andromeda.