With the box office success of Producer Joseph E. Levine's Italian import of Director Pietro Francisci's 'HERCULES' aka 'LE FATICHE DI ERCOLE'- 1959 and the Oscar blowout (11 to be exact and still the champ) of Director William Wyler's 'BEN-HUR'- 1959, the sword and sandal genre utilizing myths and legends started to merge with the biblical epic such as Director Richard Fleischer's 'BARABBAS'- 1962 and Director Robert Aldrich's 'SODOM AND GOMORRAH' -1963 to name but a few. Here we have an Italian American co-production, Director Curtis Bernhardt's 'DAMON AND PYTHIAS' aka 'IL TIRANNO DI SYRACUSA'-1962 which falls into this category successfully bringing the legend to film but suffering from lacklustre performances and bad casting. The film stars two American actors from heavy television work: Guy Williams riding high from his 'ZORRO' series and yet to make a splash as head of the Robinson family in the 60's series 'LOST IN SPACE' and Don Burnett who graced the series 'HAWAIIAN EYE' and 'BONANZA' as the Greek dynamic duo. The great Arnoldo Foa supplies the villainy as Dionysius who hopes to destroy any beliefs that may threaten his rule. Enter the friendship and honor of our titled characters which helps destroy that idea. With an above average script by Bridget Boland and Samuel Marx , inspired cinematography from the great Aldo Tonti and a beautiful score by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, the film never becomes more than an above average ride due to the lame performances of its leads and actress Ilaria Occhini. Fans will recognize the beautiful Marina Berti and Liana Orfei who raise the level just a bit but not much. Its surprising because Director Bernhardt was a director of many successful woman's picture in the forties. Warner Archive has been giving action fans many rare titles this month and releases it in a beautiful DVD-R in its correct aspect ratio of 1.85 with no extras so you can throw away your inferior budget DVD's or use them as coasters. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon, it's just one of those films that you wish would get better as you watch but it never quite gets there.