Swarthy, muscular heroes, femme fatales, queens and slaves, dramatic violins, thousands of extras and breath-taking movie sets ranging from the kitsch to the strangely anachronistic (though in no way detracting from the entertainment value!) are just some of the ingredients for a spectacular moviemaking genre often referred to as sword and sandal films'!
Whether we take them seriously or not, the fact is we never tire of watching these films, which over the last hundred years have drawn upon the fertile field of ancient history to produce a delicious cocktail of adventure, violence, splendour and melodrama.
Hollywoodbrought us some of the greatest masterpieces, from Cleopatra, Spartacus or Ben Hur to the more recent box office sensations such as Gladiator andTroy. Whether classics or more recent productions, we've all enjoyed watching them!
So here's a chance to learn more about the background to these unique films through collections, film extracts, film sets, costumes, posters or photos comparing historical reality to its portrayal in the cinema.
Two complementary exhibitions are proposed by the two Gallo-Roman museums: Les dessous du Péplum (Sword and sandal movies
the facts behind the fantasy) at Saint-Romain and Antiquité Spectacle (The Ancient Era in Entertainment) at Fourvière, with both sites offering a wealth of high quality attractions and activities including conferences, shows, workshops and tours to suit all tastes and ages.
Both are definitely well worth a visit!
Admission to the Gallo-Roman museums and their exhibitions is free of charge with the Lyon City Card