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 2016, 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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1972
  53. Amico, stammi lontano almeno un palmo .... Casino bouncer (uncredited)
  54. Bada alla tua pelle Spirito Santo! .... 'Il Garibaldino' (credited as "Ken Wood")
  55. E poi lo chiamarono il magnifico .... Barroom brawler (uncredited)
  56. Ettore lo fusto .... Cherubino (credited)
  57. Il grande duello (credited but not found)
  58. La mala ordina .... Peppiniello (uncredited)
  59. La vita, a volte, è molto dura, vero Provvidenza? .... The challenger (credited as "Ken Wood")
  60. Sei iellato, amico hai incontrato Sacramento .... Murdock henchman (credited)
  61. Seminò morte... lo chiamavano il Castigo di Dio! .... Spirito Santo henchman (uncredited - re-used footage)
  62. Spirito Santo e le 5 magnifiche canaglie .... Il Garibaldino (credited)
  63. Tutti fratelli nel west... per parte di padre .... Barn brawler (uncredited)
  64. Una cavalla tutta nuda .... Leader of the fighting monks (uncredited)

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

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

    1975
  72. Antonio e Placido...attenti ragazzi chi rompe...paga! .... Brusio (credited)
  73. L'ambizioso .... Gianni (credited)
  74. La polizia ha le mani legate .... Assassin (credited)
  75. Peur sur la ville (Il poliziotto della brigata criminale) .... Marcucci (credited)
  76. Piedone a Hong Kong .... Man in market fight (uncredited)
  77. Roma violenta .... Thug (uncredited)

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

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

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

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

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

    1981
  102. Chi trova un amico trova un tesoro .... Hood (uncredited)
  103. Occhio alla penna .... Jack (uncredited)

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

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

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

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

    1986
  119. Caccia al ladro d'autore (TV series) - ep. 7: "Cartografia sacra" .... Member of the criminal gang (uncredited)

    1987
  120. Cobra nero .... Guardsman at hospital (credited for Stunts)
  121. I picari .... Rebel galley slave (uncredited)
  122. Rent-a-Cop .... Alexander's bodyguard (uncredited)
  123. The Barbarians and Co. .... Ghedo (credited)
  124. Urban Warriors .... Mutant gang member (uncredited - re-used footage)

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

    1989
  127. Il giustiziere del Bronx .... Look-out guard (uncredited - re-used footage)
  128. Il ricatto (TV mini-series) - ep. 4 .... Security guard (credited for Stunts)
  129. La piovra 4 (TV series) - ep. 2 .... Guard (uncredited)

    1991
  130. Detective Malone .... Guardsman at hospital (uncredited - re-used footage)
  131. Year of the Gun .... Alley thug (credited for Stunts)

    1994
  132. Il burattinaio .... Carmelo (credited)

    1996
  133. Occhio di falco (TV series) - ep.: "Fuori squadra" .... role? (credited?)

    1998
  134. Il fantasma dell'opera .... (credited for Stunts - not found)
  135. Sabrina Goes to Rome (TV movie) .... Old guardsman (uncredited)

    1999
  136. Operazione Odissea (TV mini-series) - ep. 1 .... Hitman (uncredited)

    2000
  137. Alex l'ariete .... Thug (credited as Stunt-man)

    2002
  138. Gangs of New York .... Member of Bill the Butcher's gang (uncredited)

    2006
  139. La freccia nera (TV mini-series) - ep. 3 .... Convoy leader (uncredited)

    2016
  140. Zoolander 2 (credited for Stunts - not found)

Additional credits
  • Mark il poliziotto spara per primo (1975) Appears in a clip from La polizia ha le mani legate (1975) shown in a cinema.
  • L'America a Roma (Documentary, 1998) .... Himself (credited)

Titles to check
  • Le fatiche di Ercole (1958) IMDb as "Stunt double". This was still some time before Giovanni became body double for Steve Reeves, Alan Steel doubled for Reeves in this film. It could be possible he doubled for someone else or it could be a mistake.
  • La rivincita di Ivanhoe (1965) IMDb as One of Lockey's men
  • Ballata per un pistolero (1967) IMDb as Gambler
  • La feldmarescialla (1967) IMDb as German soldier
  • I senza Dio (1972) IMDb
  • La polizia incrimina la legge assolve (1973) IMDb as Hitman
  • Dieci bianchi uccisi da un piccolo indiano (1974) IMDb as Village Indian
  • I promessi sposi (1989 TV mini-series) IMDb, Eps. 1-3 for "Stunts"
  • Roger Corman's Frankenstein Unbound (1990) IMDb as "Stunt performer"
  • Una vita scellerata (1990) ANICA as Captain
  • Briganti - Amore e libertà (1994) ANICA as Zi Peppe
  • Palla di neve (1995) IMDb for "Stunts"
  • Blindati (2003 TV movie) IMDb
  • Rome (2005) IMDb, unknown episodes, for "Stunts"
  • Milano Palermo - Il ritorno (2007) IMDb as Anziano Ferito and for "Stunts"
  • Cacao (2010) IMDb as Sportivo

No Giovanni!
Films where Giovanni is credited as appearing somewhere online, but cannot be found for whatever reason. There always has to be one!
  • Annibale (1959) ANICA as Wrestler. There's a big wrestling scene with 8 wrestlers, but they're all identified and none are Giovanni and I didn't find him anywhere else in the film either.
  • Squadra antiscippo (1976) IMDb as Er Cinese. Brother Domenico appears and is credited, but Giovanni is nowhere to be seen.
Last edited by Johan Melle on 27/07/2021, 14:45, edited 32 times in total.

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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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