Salammbo was based on the Gustave Flaubert novel of the same name. The title character is the daughter of the ruler of Carthage. Despite her high-born pedigree, she falls in love with a former slave, presently the leader of a rebel army. When Salammbo's sweetheart joins the Carthiginian army in their battle against the invading Romans, his fellow rebels, sensing that they've been sold out, lay waste to Carthage. Hoping to avoid total destruction, Salammbo's father offers his daughter in marriage to the leader of the insurrectionists, a hothead named Maltho. But Salammbo's true love returns to Carthage, makes short work of Maltho, and reclaims the heroine. The acting in Salammbo was incredibly uneven, with the leading lady far outdistancing the handsome but clumsy leading man.
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