Slave, The (1962): Sergio Corbucci’s Swaord and Sandals Epic, Starring Steve Reeves

One of one of Steve Reeves’ finest vehicle, and his last sword and sandal epic, this Italian film (Italian title, The Son of Spartacus), directed by Sergio Corbucci, was shot in Rome and Egypt.

Set in 48 BC., twenty-five years after the revolt of Spartacus, the slave leader’s son Randus has become a soldier in the Roman army.

Stationed in Alexandria, Egypt, Randus has been promoted to centurion by his commander, Gaius Julius Caesar, and is tasked to travel to the city of Zeugma in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. While there, he must the secret plots planned out by the Roman governor, Marcus Licinius Crassus. Randus leaves Egypt, with his friend Lumonius, his Germanic servant Beroz, a Gallic officer named Vetius, and Vetius’ sister Claudia.

Randus befriends a young Egyptian slave-girl named Saida, who is owned by Vetius’ sister Claudia.  On a foggy night, the galley collides with a hidden reef and Saida is thrown overboard. Randus dives in to save Saida, but both are unable to get back to the ship as it sails away.

Washed up onto a beach, they travel across the desert until they find a caravan with water and supplies. They are captured after meeting a caravan guarded by a detachment of Lycian mercenaries.

During the journey across the desert to the city of Zeugma, an ex-gladiator named Gulbar recognizes Randus as the son of Spartacus and Varinia after discovering an amulet around the Roman centurion’s neck.

Randus and the slaves free themselves from their captors and kill the Lycian soldiers. Vetius and Lumonius arrive with Crassus’ guards to rescue Randus. Gulbar tells Randus to find him and his slave army at the legendary “City of the Sun.”

 From left to right, Ivo Garrani, Steve Reeves, and Renato Baldini