35 user 19 critic

Hercules and the Captive Women (1961)

Ercole alla conquista di Atlantide (original title)
Unrated | | Adventure, Fantasy | 15 April 1963 (USA)
Strong yet sleepy Hercules discovers that the Queen of Atlantis is plotting to take over the world with superhuman warriors.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ettore Manni ...
Androclo, Re di Tebe
Luciano Marin ...
Laura Efrikian ...
Ismene, Antinea's Daughter (as Laura Altan)
Mario Valdemarin ...
Mimmo Palmara ...
Astor, il Gran Visir
Salvatore Furnari ...
Timoteo, il nano
Raf Baldassarre ...
Capo delle guardie
Mino Doro ...
Luciana Angiolillo ...
Ignazio Dolce
Miss Glamor
Tullio Altamura
Alessandro Sperli ...
King with Mother


The ever intrepid world-trotting hunk of a man Herc (Hercules to those who are not his friends) saves a beautiful maiden from the hands of an evil creature. She takes him to her home, Atlantis. Herc kicks some butt and saves her from her mother who wants to kill her and from some scary looking blond guys but unfortunately the rest of the inhabitants are destroyed. Do not worry because Herc escapes along with his son, the maiden and an annoying midget. Written by Splinter <dasplint@nauticom.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Heroic Hercules battles the seductive powers of the wicked Queen of Atlantis! See more »


Adventure | Fantasy


Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

15 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hercules and the Captive Women  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


The soundtrack of the American release ("Hercules and the Captive Women") contains several short passages from the score of Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), in particular the easily recognizable three-note "Creature theme". See more »


When they drop the underling into the pit of liquid he is face down, but his skeleton is face up. See more »


Ismene: Today is dedicated to Uranus!
See more »


Featured in Cheezy Fantasy Trailers (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Big, colorful and fun
18 May 2007 | by (the rock) – See all my reviews

Before James Bond.

Before Indiana Jones.

There was the Hercules series.

Or at least the series starring Reg Park. These Hercules films were big, colorful, full of action and fun. They are also shockingly maligned, just by looking at the IMDb rating for HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN, which is a joke.

HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN wasn't your average low-budget Sword & Sandal flick. It was shot in Technirama (expensive 70mm) and the look of it, in the widescreen version, is remarkable to say the least: big colorful sets, big cast, big action. The details, in some scenes, is stunning.

The whole production reminds me of old serials where our hero encounters one pitfall after another. HATCW is like the missing link that bridges the gap between old serials of the 1930s/1940s and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. And like James Bond films (DR NO was made a year after this), this Hercules movie is replete with vast cavernous sets which dwarf the cast and are set on the side of spectacle.

CAPTIVE WOMEN has many highlights. My favorite part is when Hercules saves Iseme, daughter of Queen Antinea, from the clutches of Proteus. Psychedelia circa 1961, or psychedelia before psychedelia was in! The surreal look is great and precedes all other films made in the 1960s, including BARBARELLA or even Fellini films, like SATYRICON. In fact, HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN looks like an action film if it had been directed by Fellini. It doesn't shy away from combining odd imagery along with comic book action.

The cast is perfect. Steve Reeves was (and still is) the definitive Hercules but beefy Reg Park fits the bill here. Park is happy just to be an action hero as opposed to Reeves who wanted to be taken seriously as an actor. Fay Spain makes a memorable evil Queen. Laura Efrikian is beautiful as Iseme. Ettore Manni, a familiar face in Peplums and a pretty good actor, lends excellent support as Hercules' best friend, Androcles.

The film itself is not perfect. The story is a tad thin and the stock footage at the end is obviously just footage of an erupting volcano, and it definitely lacks a distinctive score to give the film that extra special character but even so, these things didn't diminish the fun I had while watching it.

HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN is the kind of movie I'll be watching again and again. It just rocks!

18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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