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Goliath and the Dragon (1960)

La vendetta di Ercole (original title)
A warrior returning home to his country must battle giant bats, three-headed dogs and a vicious dragon to save his wife, and his people, from the machinations of an evil ruler.



(story) (as Marco Piccolo), (story) (as Archibald Zounds Jr.) | 6 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ercole / Emilius the Goliath
Renato Terra ...
Antoneos (as Renato Terra Caizzi)
Federica Ranchi ...
Ugo Sasso ...
Timocleo di Medar
Sandro Moretti ...
Salvatore Furnari ...
Little Peasant
Giancarlo Sbragia ...
Michele Gentilini
Wandisa Guida ...
Nino Milano ...
Spartaco Nale
Carla Calò ...
La Sibilla


A warrior returning home to his country must battle giant bats, three-headed dogs and a vicious dragon to save his wife, and his people, from the machinations of an evil ruler.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

November 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Goliath and the Dragon  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film is listed among the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE® MOVIE GUIDE. See more »


In the beginning of the film, when Goliath climbs down into the cave, a thin rope can be seen tied to him. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: Emelius the Mighty, the Goliath of Thebes, lived in the days when men worshiped strange pagan gods; believing in their magical powers with unshakable faith. Legend has it that Goliath served the god of vengeance and the goddess of the four winds. In return for his devotion, he was said to be favored with immortality. He would never know death at the hands of any mortal. Goliath was held in awe by his friends and enemies alike. Only one man, Eurytheus, the tyrant of Italia, did not ...
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Edited into Tela Class: Moranguinho Mallando (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

The names change, the muscles remain the same
4 May 2016 | by (Portland, OR) – See all my reviews

"Goliath and the Dragon" was one of two peplum films featuring Hercules (the other being "The Loves of Hercules') released in 1960, following the success of "Hercules" and its sequel both starring Steve Reeves. The original Italian title for this film is "La vendetta di Ercole" ("The Revenge of Hercules"), but U.S. distributor AIP changed the hero to Goliath for the American release, and added a stop-motion animation dragon not included in the Italian cut. Italian-American (Brooklyn-born) bodybuilder Lou Degni, billed as Mark Forest, takes over the role from Reeves. Forest starred in a dozen or so peplum films including "Maciste in the Valley of the Kings" released this same year and played Hercules again in 1964's "Hercules Against the Sons of the Sun." He is a more than passable stand-in for Reeves, impressively built if not quite as classically handsome or well-proportioned and able to pull off the macho arrogance of the character. The oddest thing about this film is the casting of American actor Broderick Crawford, with an enormous and distracting scar across his face, as Hercules's (or Goliath's ... whatever) nemesis. Crawford growls his way through the movie and generally seems like a grumpy old man. At least he gets to use his name, which neither the film nor the writers nor the lead actor nor the hero do -- co-writer Nicolo Ferrari is credited with the bizarre pseudonym Archibald Zounds Jr.! (Apologies to anyone actually named Archibald Zounds, Jr. or Sr.)

The story is particularly baroque, involving forbidden romance, double-crossing courtiers, an over-large cast of characters that becomes cumbersome to keep straight, and some vague plans to defeat Hercules and conquer Thebes, but the overall motif (in keeping with the Italian title) is revenge, with Hercules at one point destroying the statue of the God of Vengeance after it falls on him -- twice! The real attraction here, though, is not the complicated plot but the dizzying array of cheesy monsters Hercules gets to fight, beginning with a sequence in the "cave of horrors" where the big man defeats a three-headed beast that is probably supposed to be Cerebus, though not identified as such (another pseudonymous indignity) and a very strange man-sized bat-like creature that at first I thought was a unique take on the dragon, but as it turns out a more conventional (though, frankly, pretty hilarious) dragon turns up later. Along the way, Hercules also defeats a giant bear-like monster and spears a centaur, who is the most convincing and strangely affecting of all the creatures that populate the film. The bat-thing and the bear-thing are clearly stuntmen in silly costumes, but the dragon (aside from the brief stop-motion sequence) is a giant puppet that Forest does a great job trying to battle convincingly. Other peplum tropes include the obligatory dancing girls and Hercules practically tearing down a city with his bare hands. Though much cheaper looking and cheesier than the two Reeves films that preceded it, this is actually pretty fun and peppy peplum entry helmed by director Vittorio Cottafavi.

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