Ben-Hur's frame. 1.959
Ben-Hur's frame. 1.959

The peplum establish a cinematographic genre set at the antiquity, specially at the history and legends of Rome and Grecce. They resurfaced at the XXI century although without their golden age production between the 50’s and the 60’s, when that kind of movies invaded the cinemas year by year.

The genre’s name comes from a woman’s clothing at the ancient Greece, it didn’t have sleeves and it fell from the shoulders to the waist.

The resurgence based on the classic era it’s because of the oscarized blockbuster «Gladiator», directed by Ridley Scott (exceeded the 457 milions of dolars raised), which opened the doors to new projects for delighting us with new movies and with some Hollywood’s stars in it.

After «Gladiator» «Troy» highlighted, that with a first level cast, a high budget and, in general, a good work on historical timing (with some failures on the ambience, the dressing and the weapons) got the public inside it’s pocket, and the underrated «King Arthur», that finally settles the accounts with the history giving him the true personality of Roman leader in the dark ages that followed the fall of the Empire, facing the invading Anglo-Saxon hordes. Later, «Alexander» came, that sparked some controversy by focusing on the homosexuality of the protagonist, but no one can say that the war scenes aren’t spectacular.

It also took the big screen the successful novel of Valerio Massimo: «The last legion», where the last roman emperor became Pendragon, king’s Arthur father, and the mithic sword of Excalibur is the one that Julius Caesar possesed. It could have overcomed all of the “peplum” but it got stuck on being an adventure tape to watch with family.

More recent titles have honored the genre, like «300», «Centurion», «Agora» or «the Eagle».

Even though we can’t obviate some movies set at the Ancient Egypt, if we focus on Rome and Greece, here we have a complete list with the 68 more relevant movies of the genre, and the six more famous series:


Reverse chronological order 


Dir. André Calmettes.


Author: Eduardo Ortiz Pardina