Goliath and the Dragon (1960)
"La vendetta di Ercole" (original title)

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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.) , 9 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Forest ...
Ercole / Emilius the Goliath
Renato Terra ...
(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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa #32650 issued August 11, 1960. 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 »


Ercole: Collapse like my shattered dreams!
[as he pulls down columns supporting a building]
See more »


Edited into The Mighty Gorga (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1960) **
5 April 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I had previously watched this in Italian during a pretty disastrous screening at the B-movie retrospective at the 2004 Venice Film Festival where the whole audience howled with laughter; in hindsight, I have to say that watching it on the big screen certainly magnifies its inherent faults tenfold. Actually, now that I've given it another look, it's not worse than most other peplums - though certainly not up to Cottafavi's best work, THE 100 HORSEMEN (1964) but his offbeat framing and vivid sense of color enlivens several sequences to be sure. For the record, Cottafavi also made that which is arguably the best Hercules film of all, HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961), whose shortened US version (alas) has just been released on R1 DVD.

Anyway, the plot kicks into action immediately as Mark Forest (playing the titular he-man, named Hercules in the original Italian-language version) goes to recover a diamond from a monster-infested cave which includes a hilarious large cat creature with bat wings which I clearly recall sending the Venice Film Festival audience in hysterics! The villain of the piece is Broderick Crawford who naturally chews up the scenery and approaches the role as if he were playing a gangster; at one point he even puts down his equally crooked, if actually brighter, henchman by calling him a "moron"...after which Crawford is apparently revitalized and inspired into devising newer and more ingenious traps to spring for Hercules...er...Goliath! The busy plot line, of course, involves several action set-pieces, court intrigues, much invoking of the Greek gods, women threatened with torture...and more laughable monsters (the dragon of the English title is so cheap that only its head ever makes any significant appearance). There is the usual coterie of maidens in these mythological epics who, thankfully, are very easy on the eyes here especially Leonora Ruffo (as Goliath's wife; she went on to repeat the role in Mario Bava's HERCLUES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD [1961]) and Gaby Andre' (as a duplicitous slave who also falls for Goliath).

The version I watched this time around, via Alpha's DVD, was the AIP English-dubbed and rescored one (by the ubiquitous Les Baxter); surprisingly, it was a widescreen print - but the colors were way too much on the red side so that I had to tone down the colors on my TV set to make the whole thing viewable!

P.S. Amusingly, my father and I attended a multi-part course on film appreciation some 10 years ago and when the lecturer mentioned such peplums in a positive light, my father, knowing the man to be a University professor, exclaimed loudly: "Don't tell me you appreciate that stuff?"

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