Hercules Unchained (1959)
"Ercole e la regina di Lidia" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Adventure, Fantasy  |  13 July 1960 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.3/10 from 1,507 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 36 critic

While negotiating peace between two brothers contesting the throne of Thebes, an amnesiac Hercules is seduced by the evil Queen Omphale.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvia Lopez ...
Queen Onfale, of Lidia
Patrizia Della Rovere ...
Primo Carnera ...
Carlo D'Angelo ...
Creonte, High Priest of Thebes
Gabriele Antonini ...
Ulisses, son of Laertes
Cesare Fantoni ...
Mimmo Palmara ...
Andrea Fantasia ...
Aldo Fiorelli ...
Gino Mattera ...
Aldo Pini ...
Tifi, Pilot of the Argos
Nino Marchetti ...
Daniele Vargas ...


En route to Thebes for an important diplomatic mission, Hercules drinks from a magic spring and loses his memory. He spends most of the movie in the pleasure gardens of Queen Omphale of Lydia. While young Ulysses tries to help him regain his memory, political tensions escalate in Thebes, and Hercules' new wife Iole finds herself in mortal danger. Written by Molly Malloy <mailcall@bluemarble.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SEE the War of the Chariots! SEE Lydia, the Temptress! SEE the Contest of Giants! SEE the Combat of Kings! SEE the Arena of Tigers! SEE the Court of Lovers! See more »


Adventure | Fantasy


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

13 July 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hercules Unchained  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(2005 DVD release) | (re-release)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Antaeus, who dwarfs even Steve Reeves, was the final character played by former world heavyweight boxing champion Primo Carnera. See more »


Watch closely the second time Hercules takes up Ulysses' challenge to bend the iron torch stand in an attempt to remember who he is. He successfully does so, and then unbends it just as easily, leaving a slight curve in the stem. However when he returns the stand to its original location, the stand is perfectly straight. See more »


Referenced in Night Court: Ladies Night (1987) See more »


Evening Star
Music by Enzo Masetti
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish
Sung by Sylva Koscina (dubbed by June Valli in the English version)
See more »

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User Reviews

Tedious but still enjoyable
13 February 2002 | by (Jacksonville, FL) – See all my reviews

Hercules Unchained is a nice little tale that drags in the middle but is still fun to watch. Steve Reeves once again plays the demigod of myth. Even though his acting is a little rough, his look, charisma and physique make him one of the most natural and dignified presentations of Hercules to date. His commanding presence is very deserving of the character. The plot centers around a feud between two brothers, Eteocles and Polinices. Hercules agrees to mediate between the two but gets waylaid and loses his memory after drinking the waters of forgetfulness. He ends up in the exotic hands of Omphale, played by Sylvia Lopez, and the brothers move closer to a war in Hercules' hometown of Thebes. The movie drags big time while Herc is with Omphale but is spliced with many scenes of Sergio Fantoni, who gives a fun performance as the crazed Eteocles, and the gorgeous Sylvia Koscina, who reprises her role as Hercules' wife Iole. Gabriele Antonini plays a young Ulysses and goes a nice job of conveying maturity while also displaying youthful exuberance. Sylvia Lopez does a decent job as Omphale and her off beat look is fitting for the character. The two biggest problems of the film are it's tediousness (which often occurs in sweeping epics) and it's convoluted plot which seems to take too much for granted without clearly presenting plot points. There's also something about Egyptians which is never really gone over with any detail. Otherwise, I thought the movie was a pretty enjoyable experience.


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