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A particular kind of Period Piece set in ancient biblical or mythological times, running the gamut from Heroic Fantasy to Historical Fiction; movies set in the Roman empire usually included. Alternatively, it may be used to describe Fantasy Counterpart Culture equivalents in a secondary world. The subgenre of low-budget Sword and Sandal Italian films of the 50s and 60s is the Peplum.
Contrast Sword and Sorcery, on which the name is based (or vice versa). There is often some overlap, especially when mythology gets involved.
Sword and Sandal flicks in the Golden Age of Myth were especially popular in the Golden Age of Hollywood; compare Epic Movie. Expect the landscape to resemble sand dunes and/or rural Spain throughout, making those sandals look more attractive.
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