The Arena (1974 film)

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The Arena
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steve Carver
Joe D'Amato
Produced by Roger Corman
Mark Damon
Written by John William Corrington
Joyce Hooper Corrington
Starring Margaret Markov
Pam Grier
Music by Francesco De Masi
Cinematography Joe D'Amato
Edited by Jann Carver
Joe Dante
Distributed by Filmes Lusomundo
New World Pictures
Release date
  • January 15, 1974 (1974-01-15)
Running time
83 min.
Country United States
Language English

The Arena (also known as the Naked Warriors) is a 1974 gladiator exploitation film, starring Margaret Markov and Pam Grier, and directed by Steve Carver and an uncredited Joe D'Amato. Grier and Markov portray female gladiators in ancient Rome, who have been enslaved and must fight for their freedom. This marks the second teaming of Grier and Markov; in 1972 they starred together in the women in prison film Black Mama, White Mama.


The Arena, set in the ancient Roman town of Brundusium, is about a group of slave girls who are sold to a man named Timarchus (Daniele Vargas), the organizer of the events that take place in the town’s colosseum. After a fight breaks out amongst the girls, Timarchus gets the idea of putting the women in the ring to fight to the death. The recently captured Mamawi (Pam Grier) and Bodicia (Margaret Markov) realize they must stick together if they are to survive.



The film was co produced by Mark Damon, who had appeared in a number of films for Roger Corman as an actor and wanted to move into production. During filming he started dating Margaret Markov, the female lead. The two of them eventually married and are still together in 2012.

Martin Scorsese said that Roger Corman offered him the film to direct following Boxcar Bertha. However he elected to make Mean Streets instead.[1]

The film was shot in Italy at Rome's Cincecitta studios in 1973. It was the first feature directed by Steve Carver.


Main article: The Arena (2001 film)

A remake of this film was released directly to video in 2001. It was filmed in Russia by Russian director Timur Bekmambetov with a Russian crew, and it featured Playboy Playmates Karen McDougal and Lisa Dergan in their feature film debut.

The film was initially titled Gladiatrix but was deemed to be a knockoff of Gladiator. Although the film was not well received, it has turned into a lesser known cult film.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scorsese on Scorsese Ed Ian Christie, David Thomson, 2003 p 39

External links[edit]