Cianfriglia, Giovanni

the greatest acrobats of Italian cinema
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PeplumParadise
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Cianfriglia, Giovanni

Post by PeplumParadise » 28/12/2020, 21:05

Giovanni Cianfriglia in La vita, a volte, è molto dura, vero Provvidenza? (1972).
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Giovanni Cianfriglia was a stuntman and actor active in Italian films from the late 1950's and still working up until as recently as 2016.

He was born in Anzio, Italy on April 5th 1935 and at the time of writing is still living. He was the older brother of stuntman/actor Domenico Cianfriglia.

Before becoming a stuntman Giovanni was a professional boxer. His earliest known appearances in films come from 1958.

In 1959, while filming Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei in Spain, peplum superstar Steve Reeves sustained serious injuries to his left shoulder which would continue to plague him for the rest of his acting career. Beginning with Il terrore dei barbari and La battaglia di Maratona (both 1959), Giovanni replaced Alan Steel as Reeves' regular body-double, a role he would maintain for the next 5 years, often appearing in small roles in addition to his stunt work. He would also double on occasion for other peplum leading men such as Gordon Scott and Mark Forest.

Giovanni's career picked up in the latter half of the 60's when he played the lead in 2 films as super-hero character "Superargo" and scored a number of featured roles in westerns, often under the pseudonym "Ken Wood". For some reason he failed to maintain the momentum (being hidden under a mask in some of his biggest roles probably didn't help) and by the start of the 70's he was back to playing stunt roles, many uncredited.

Giovanni continued working fairly steadily in films up until 4 years ago, his last known stunt credit at the age of 81, and he turns up occasionally as an interviewee in stunt-related documentaries found as extra features on DVD releases.

I have begun his topic only with roles found by myself, so there are still quite a few to be added, particularly westerns and films from later in his career.

Filmography
1958
  1. Capitan Fuoco (uncredited) .... Guard
  2. Il pirata dello sparviero nero (uncredited) .... Pirate

    1959
  3. Il terrore dei barbari (uncredited) .... One of Emiliano's men / Emiliano (as Steve Reeves' stunt double)
  4. La battaglia di Maratona (uncredited) .... Soldier / Phillipides (as Steve Reeves' stunt double)

    1960
  5. Morgan il pirata (uncredited) .... Slave trader's assistant / Henry Morgan (as Steve Reeves' stunt double)

    1961
  6. I tartari (uncredited) .... Wrestler
  7. Il ladro di Bagdad (uncredited) .... Karim (as Steve Reeves' stunt double)
  8. La guerra di Troia (credited as Giovanni Cianfrilla) .... Aeneas (as Steve Reeves' stunt double)
  9. Maciste contro il vampiro (uncredited) .... Maciste/Goliath (as Gordon Scott's stunt double)
  10. Romolo e Remo (uncredited) .... Guard at the pagan ceremony

    1962
  11. Il figlio di Spartacus (uncredited) .... Officer at the docks
  12. Una regina per Cesare (uncredited) .... Soldier / Bandit

    1963
  13. Finché dura la tempesta (uncredited) .... Italian marine
  14. Rocambole (uncredited) .... role?
  15. Sandokan, la tigre di Mompracem (credited) .... Kalamba / Sandokan (as Steve Reeves' stunt double)

    1964
  16. Danza macabra (credited as Phil Karson) .... Herbert
  17. I pirati della Malesia (uncredited) .... Sandokan (as Steve Reeves' stunt double) (uncertain identification)
  18. Il Leone di Tebe (uncredited) .... Arian (as Mark Forest's stunt double)
  19. La vendetta dei gladiatori (credited) .... Fulvio
  20. Sandok, il Maciste della giungla (uncredited) .... Krishna
  21. Sansone contro il corsaro nero (uncredited) .... Wrestler

    1965
  22. Agente Z 55 missione disperata (uncredited) .... Barrow henchman
  23. Gli uomini dal passo pesante (credited as Alfred Raichlin) .... Temple henchman
  24. I 4 inesorabili (uncredited) .... Gunman with deputy
  25. La montagna di luce (uncredited) .... Sergeant
  26. La sfida dei giganti (credited) .... Anteo

    1966
  27. I 5 della vendetta (credited as Giovanni Gianfriglia) .... Indios
  28. Johnny Oro (credited) .... Sebastian
  29. Superargo contro Diabolikus (credited as Ken Wood) .... Superargo
  30. Tecnica di un omicidio (uncredited) .... Hitman at the airport

    1967
  31. Colpo doppio del camaleonte d'oro (credited) .... One of Guglielmo's gang
  32. Devilman Story (uncredited) .... The professor
  33. Hipnos follia di massacro (credited as Ken Wood) .... Inspector Griffith
  34. Killer Kid (credited as Ken Wood) .... Ramirez

    1968
  35. All'ultimo sangue (credited as Ken Wood) .... Billy Gun
  36. Ammazzali tutti e torna solo (credited as Ken Wood) .... Blade
  37. Il pistolero segnato da Dio (credited as Ken Wood) .... Ron Elroy
  38. L'invincibile Superman (credited as Ken Wood) .... Superargo
  39. Se vuoi vivere... spara! (credited as Ken Wood) .... Stark
  40. Tre croci per non morire (credited as Ken Wood) .... Reno

    1970
  41. Ciakmull L'uomo Della Vendetta (uncredited) .... Saloon brawler
  42. Indio black sai che ti dico...sei un gran figlio di... (uncredited) .... Austrian agent
  43. La sfida dei MacKenna (uncredited) .... Gray henchman
  44. Le tigri di Mompracem (uncredited) .... One of Sandokan's men (re-used footage)
  45. Wanted Sabata (uncredited) .... Mexican

    1971
  46. Arriva Durango...paga o muori (uncredited) .... Mexican bandit
  47. E tornato Sabata...hai chiuso un'altra volta! (uncredited) .... McIntock henchman
  48. Il giorno del giudizio (credited as Ken Wood) .... Blackie
  49. Il ritorno del gladiatore più forte del mondo (uncredited) .... Soldier
  50. L'arciere di fuoco (uncredited) .... Archer in the tournament
  51. Scipione detto anche l'africano (uncredited) .... Messenger
  52. W Django! (credited as Giovanni Gianfriglia) .... Jeff henchman

    1972
  53. Amico, stammi lontano almeno un palmo (uncredited) .... Casino bouncer
  54. Bada alla tua pelle Spirito Santo! (credited as Ken Wood) .... 'Il Garibaldino'
  55. E poi lo chiamarono il magnifico (uncredited) .... Barroom brawler
  56. Ettore lo fusto (credited) .... Cherubino
  57. La mala ordina (uncredited) .... Peppiniello
  58. La vita, a volte, è molto dura, vero Provvidenza? (credited as Ken Wood) .... The challenger
  59. Sei iellato, amico hai incontrato Sacramento (credited) .... Murdock henchman
  60. Seminò morte... lo chiamavano il Castigo di Dio! (uncredited) .... Spirito Santo henchman (re-used footage)
  61. Spirito Santo e le 5 magnifiche canaglie (credited) .... Il Garibaldino

    1973
  62. Anche gli angeli mangiano fagioli (uncredited) .... Angelo henchman
  63. Dio, sei proprio un padreterno! (uncredited) .... Annunziata henchman
  64. Ming, ragazzi! (uncredited) .... Football player
  65. Piedone lo sbirro (uncredited) .... Attacker on the ship
  66. Troppo rischio per un uomo solo (credited) .... Mitridades henchman

    1974
  67. ...altrimenti ci arrabbiamo! (uncredited) .... Boxer in the gym
  68. Superuomini, superdonne, superbotte (credited) .... Wood Tiger

    1975
  69. Antonio e Placido...attenti ragazzi chi rompe...paga! (credited) .... Brusio
  70. L'ambizioso (credited) .... Gianni
  71. La polizia ha le mani legate (credited) .... Assassin
  72. Mark il poliziotto spara per primo (uncredited) .... Killer in the film-within-the-film (re-used footage)
  73. Peur sur la ville (Il poliziotto della brigata criminale) (credited) .... Marcucci
  74. Piedone a Hong Kong (uncredited) .... Man in market fight
  75. Roma violenta (uncredited) .... Thug

    1976
  76. Bluff - storia di truffe e di imbroglioni (uncredited) .... Belle Duke henchman
  77. Il conto è chiuso (credited as Giovanni Gianfriglia) .... Rico henchman
  78. Il grande racket (credited) .... Ox
  79. Il soldato di ventura (uncredited) .... D'Anjou
  80. Il trucido e lo sbirro (uncredited) .... Camini
  81. Keoma (uncredited) .... Caldwell henchman
  82. Napoli violenta (credited) .... Maffei

    1977
  83. Cara sposa (uncredited) .... Carlina's henchman
  84. I due superpiedi quasi piatti (uncredited) .... Fred henchman in the bowling hall
  85. In nome del papa re (uncredited) .... Spanish officer
  86. La malavita attacca. La polizia risponde (uncredited) .... Police officer at the funeral
  87. Messalina, Messalina! (uncredited) .... Messalina's first lover

    1978
  88. Il grande attacco (credited) .... British commando
  89. Lo chiamavano Bulldozer (credited as acrobat) .... Soldier in bar
  90. Occhi dalle stelle (uncredited) .... Silencers guard
  91. Pari e dispari (uncredited) .... Henchman
  92. Piedone l'africano (credited) .... Bus hooligan
  93. Return of the Saint (TV series, episode 5: The Village That Sold It's Soul) (credited) .... Henchman
  94. Sono stato un agente C.I.A. (uncredited) .... Maxwell henchman

    1979
  95. Da Corleone a Brooklyn (uncredited) .... Assassin disguised as ambulance medic
  96. Uno sceriffo extraterrestre... poco extra e molto terrestre (credited as acrobat) .... Airman

    1980
  97. Chissà perché... capitano tutte a me (credited) .... Alien robot
  98. L'uomo puma (uncredited) .... Kobras henchman
  99. Piedone d'Egitto (uncredited) .... Don Carmine's bodyguard

    1981
  100. Chi trova un amico trova un tesoro (uncredited) .... Hood
  101. Occhio alla penna (uncredited) .... Jack

    1982
  102. Banana Joe (credited) .... Torcillo's henchman
  103. Bomber (uncredited) .... Bar bouncer
  104. Delitto sull'autostrada (uncredited) .... Truck thief gang member
  105. Gunan il guerriero (credited as John Richmond?) .... Gunan's brother
  106. Monsignor (uncredited) .... Mafia guard

    1983
  107. 2019 - Dopo la caduta di New York (uncredited) .... Panther
  108. Fuga dal Bronx (uncredited) .... Rebel / Disinfestor
  109. I sette magnifici gladiatori (credited as Jody Wanger) .... Festo
  110. La guerra del ferro: Ironmaster (credited) .... One of Vood's men
  111. Thor il conquistatore (uncredited) .... Cannibal chief

    1984
  112. L'ultimo guerriero (credited) .... Walker
  113. Tuareg, il guerriero del deserto (credited) .... Mubarak

    1985
  114. Ladyhawke (uncredited) .... Soldier
  115. The Jewel of the Nile (credited for Stunts as Giovanni Gianfriglia) .... Not found
  116. Joan Lui - Ma un giorno nel paese arrivo io di lunedì (uncredited) .... Thug

    1987
  117. Cobra nero (credited for Stunts) .... Guardsman at hospital
  118. The Barbarians and Co. (credited) .... Ghedo

    1988
  119. Big man: polizia droga (TV movie) (uncredited) .... Carmelo's henchman
  120. The Last Temptation of Christ (credited as Stuntman) .... Roman soldier

    1989
  121. La piovra 4 (TV series, episode 2) (uncredited) .... Guard

    1991
  122. Year of the Gun (credited for Stunts) .... Alley thug

    1998
  123. Il fantasma dell'opera (credited for Stunts) .... Not found

    2000
  124. Alex l'ariete .... Thug

    2016
  125. Zoolander 2 (credited for Stunts) .... Not found

No Giovanni!
Films where Giovanni is credited as appearing somewhere online, but cannot be found for whatever reason. There always has to be one!
  • Squadra antiscippo (1976) IMDb as Er Cinese. Brother Domenico appears and is credited, but Giovanni is nowhere to be seen.

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Re: Giovanni Cianfriglia

Post by PeplumParadise » 28/12/2020, 21:07

Capitan Fuoco (1958) as Guard
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Re: Giovanni Cianfriglia

Post by PeplumParadise » 28/12/2020, 21:10

Il pirata dello sparviero nero (1958) as Pirate
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Re: Giovanni Cianfriglia

Post by PeplumParadise » 28/12/2020, 21:17

Il terrore dei barbari (1959) as One of Emiliano's men, and, as Steve Reeves body double, as Emiliano.

This was the first film where Giovanni body-doubled for Steve Reeves. He can be identified in a few shots seen from a distance and it is quite probable he also doubles for Reeves in the scenes where he is wearing a furry mask.
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Re: Giovanni Cianfriglia

Post by PeplumParadise » 28/12/2020, 21:22

La battaglia di Maratona (1959) as Soldier and, as Steve Reeves body double, as Phillipides
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Re: Giovanni Cianfriglia

Post by PeplumParadise » 28/12/2020, 21:25

Morgan il pirata (1960) as Slave trader's assistant and, as Steve Reeves body double, as Henry Morgan
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Re: Giovanni Cianfriglia

Post by PeplumParadise » 28/12/2020, 21:27

I tartari (1961) as Wrestler
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Re: Giovanni Cianfriglia

Post by PeplumParadise » 28/12/2020, 21:31

Il ladro di Bagdad (1961) as Karim, as Steve Reeves body double.

Giovanni only appears as Reeves double here, with no small role of his own.
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Re: Giovanni Cianfriglia

Post by PeplumParadise » 28/12/2020, 21:36

La guerra di Troia (1961) credited as Giovanni Cianfrilla, as Aeneas, as Steve Reeves body double.

Strange that Giovanni should get his first credit here when he only appears in the film as Reeves' body double (despite IMDb mis-informing us that he should play a character called Diomedes). It was Giovanni's image, doubling for Reeves, which was used in much of the international artwork advertising the film.
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This image is taken from the documentary "Herkules, Maciste & Co.", where it is identified as being Giovanni doubling for Reeves.
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Re: Giovanni Cianfriglia

Post by PeplumParadise » 28/12/2020, 21:41

Maciste contro il vampiro (1961) as Maciste/Goliath, as Gordon Scott's body double (for a change).

The film features a scene where Maciste has to fight with his own identical double (played by Cianfriglia). He isn't really recognisable here, which is, of course, the way it should be when doubling for someone.
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