By the time Leone was thirty, he'd worked on well over 50 muscle-and-sweat sagas, including Helen of Troy, Quo Vadis? and the chariot scene in Ben Hur. The Colossus of Rhodes was his first attempt at direction, and it was a film remarkable enough, at a time when the peplums had just about reached the end of their particular line, to warrant good notices for its crowd and spectacle scenes. (The Colossus itself is a sophisticated torture chamber hidden behind a persuasively artsy exterior.) After the film's success, Leone turned down attempts to channel him into the manufacture of superman heroics in the Maciste mode, and went back to 2nd Unit work on Aldrich's Sodom and Gomorrah.