by Pietro Francisci


Italy - December 27, 1954 - Attila - 81'
West Germany - April 1, 1955 - Attila, die Geissel Gottes - 80'
France (Paris) - December 30, 1955 - Attila, fléau de Dieu -
Belgium - 1956- L'invasion barbare / De barbaarse vloedgolf -
Spain - 1956 - Hombre o demonio - 88'
USA (New York City) - May 17, 1958 - Attila - 87'
Argentina - La amante del bárbaro -
Mexico - Atila, el azote de Dios -

German poster Italian poster American poster French poster


As the Huns, led by Attila, menacingly approach the borders of Italy, the Emperor Valentiniano amuses himself with feasts and banquets: he is a weak, incompetent man, dominated by his mother, Galla Placidia. The only one who is aware of the danger the country is in is Ezio, a brave, honest soldier, who in vain tries to stipulate a peace treaty with the Huns. Honoria, Valentiniano’s sister, offers to marry the commander of the Huns, but Attila is determined to capture fertile Italy. Ezio leads the army against the invaders, but is unable to abate their fury. It is Pope Leone I who saves the country, going out to meet Attila and convincing him to abandon his undertaking. (Enrico Lancia)
Story and screenplay by Ennio De Concini and Primo Zeglio


Ponti-Laurentiis Studios, Rome (Italy)

Filming dates: September-December 1953
Pick-up shots: January 1954


Anthony Quinn (Attila)

Sophia Loren (Onoria)

Henri Vidal (Ezio)

Irene Papas (Grune)

Ettore Manni (Bleda)


Photography (Technicolor):
Aldo Tonti,
Costume design:
Veniero Colasanti
Enzo Masetti
Makeup Artist::
Euclide Santoli
Hair Stylist:
Ditta Maggio
Sophia's voice is dubbed by:

Lidia Simonieschi (Italian) 
Carlo Ponti and Dino De Laurentiis for Lux Films
Compagnie Cinématographique de France


With Attila, Sophia plays for the first time a role in which she dies. Other movies will follow: The Pride and the Passion, Operation Crossbow, and The Voyage.

It's the first time Sophia plays with a true international star. Anthony Quinn will play opposite Sophia two more times in The Black Orchid and Heller in Pink Tights during Sophia’s Hollywood years. Quinn, a rising star, has a three-picture deal with Ponti-De Laurentiis that also includes Ulysses and Federico Fellini's La Strada, which is filmed at the same time as Attila.

"Ironically, the only film of Sophia's enjoying box-office success in the United States was the four-year-old Attila, which Joseph E. Levine had acquired for $75,000 and was distributing himself through a company called Attila Associates. Levine, who made a fortune in 1956 with the Japanese-made Godzilla, had staked $500,000 of it on launching Attila the Hun with the largest saturation advertising campaign on radio and television in the film industry's history. As a result, the movie had grossed a huge $2 million in its first ten days of release (the average price of a movie ticket in 1958 was 51 cents!)."
Warren G. Harris, Sophia Loren: A Biography.


“Anthony Quinn in the role of the savage, bloodthirsty Attila, is an actor who plays the part too effectively, overshadowing all the others, except for Sophia Loren, whom he is wrong to over look.”
Gino Visentini, Il Giornale d’Italia, 27 mar 195 

"This guy who was one of the English-Italian interpreters on the set comes up to me and says, 'Please, take it easy with Sophia in this scene.' I said, 'Why do you want me to take it easy?' And he repeats, 'Just take it easy, that's all.' I said, 'Come on-what kind of shit is this? What do you mean? I play a love scene, so I play a love scene! Okay?' But I notice nobody is saying anything. As it was, it was going to be a terrible scene because I'm eating lamb chops at the time. I'm this barbarian Hun and suddenly, when I see Sophia, I have to grab her, kiss her, and start making love to her with a half-eaten lamb chop in my mouth."
Anthony Quinn (Harris)

“…Attila the Hun, in 1953, a pointless, tasteless, trite affair that had in it my most unpleasant experience as an actress: a scene in which Tony passionately kissed me while eating a greasy lamb chop.”
Sophia Loren (Hotchner)

"Sophia Loren as the covetous Honoria was a stroke of casting genius."
Ames Daily Tribune, 4 oct 1958

"The curvaceous, sensual beauty of Miss Loren is the perfect foil for the brute power and lust embodied in the world's most famous Hun as portrayed by the wonderful performer, Quinn."
The Morning Herald, 31 may 1958

Copyrights for all photos belong to their respective owners.
© Excelsior Communication - 2007

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Updated 05/22/2016