5.4/10
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Hercules (1958)

Le fatiche di Ercole (original title)
The muscular Hercules performs his Labors, sails with the Argonauts, and romances the fair Iole.

Director:

Pietro Francisci

Writers:

Apollonios Rhodios (poem) (as Appollonius of Rhodes), Pietro Francisci (adaptation) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Reeves ... Hercules
Sylva Koscina ... Iole, Daugher of Pelias
Fabrizio Mioni ... Jason
Ivo Garrani ... Pelias, King of Iolcus
Gianna Maria Canale ... Antea, Queen of the Amazons
Arturo Dominici ... Eurysteus
Mimmo Palmara ... Iphitus, Son of Pelias
Lidia Alfonsi ... The Sybil (as Lydia Alfonsi)
Gabriele Antonini Gabriele Antonini ... Ulysses
Aldo Fiorelli Aldo Fiorelli ... Argos
Andrea Fantasia Andrea Fantasia ... Laertes
Luciana Paluzzi ... Iole's Maid (as Luciana Paoluzzi)
Afro Poli Afro Poli ... Chironi
Gian Paolo Rosmino Gian Paolo Rosmino ... Aesculapius (as G.P. Rosmino)
Willi Colombini Willi Colombini ... Pollux (as Willy Colombini)
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Storyline

In this melange of characters and events from separate mythological stories, Hercules, demigod and superman, arrives in the ancient Greek kingdom of Iolcus to tutor Iphitus, son of king Pelias; immediately on arrival, he falls in love with the king's delectable, briefly clad daughter Iole. Before he can win her, he must succeed in a series of quests, in the course of which he teams up with Jason, true heir of Iolcus, whom he accompanies on the famous voyage of the Argonauts. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Cast of 1,000's See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Fantasy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer-director Pietro Francisci was having trouble finding just the right person to portray Hercules. The problem was solved when his daughter suggested American bodybuilder-turned-actor 'Steve Reeves' whom she had seen in the MGM musical Athena (1954). See more »

Goofs

After Hercules kills the lion and drops it to the ground, the dead lion blinks. See more »

Quotes

Eurysteus: I'll be going now, to my hiding place. As you promised, it was the only reward I got.
Pelias, King of Iolcus: And the gold?
Eurysteus: The gold? But you need light to see it well. It's like blood on my hands. Bloody, like your brother was.
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Alternate Versions

Has been available in the U.S. in three different versions.
  • (98 minutes) This has the poorest dubbing job. The Italian "fine" appears at the end.
  • (103 minutes) This version restores some footage and contains a superior dubbing job. The Italian "fine" as replaced with "The End."
  • (104 minutes) This version contains yet a third dubbing job. The main title was replaced with an animated title showing a starfield and the constellation Hercules. The bulk of the original credit sequence was moved to the end of the film. During this movie's first release in the United States in 1959, the material issued by Embassy and Warner Brothers (who handled the physical distribution) listed the running time as 107 minutes. This is still listed as the running time by most sources. The 107 minute version is believed to be the original uncut and uncensored Italian version which probably showed more flesh than was permitted on U.S. screens at the time.
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User Reviews

Hercules
11 December 2006 | by mhrabovsky1-1See all my reviews

The movie that launched the career of muscle man Steve Reeves.... In the late 1950s Italian director Pietro Franicisi wanted to do a film about the exploits of the famous muscleman, "Hercules"...he had scoured actors all over Europe looking for a handsome, musclebound actor who could complement the role...soon his daughter who had seen Reeves in a couple of B films recommended Reeves to her father....the rest was history. Reeves was an out of work muscleman actor who reportedly took the role for about $40,000 US cash - quite a sum at the time for an unemployed actor. The rest as they say is history. When first released it was panned by the major US studios until a film producer named Joseph E. Levine took a big chance and bought all the rights to the film's USA release. After a major US advertising campaign on television and in the newspapers the film confounded the experts and for some strange reason became an international hit. The timing was right for some unknown reason for this cheaply made muscle man movie to become a hit. At the time fantasy films, such as the Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and others were big at the box office. Reeves incredible physique and handsome face were big attractions to the young boys and ladies who went to see the film. Levine hit the jackpot again when Francisi made "Hercules Unchained" a few months later after the release of "Hercules". "Hercules Unchained " made even more money, in fact an astounding amount in 1960 and became one of the year's biggest grossing films. Soon, Italian directors jumped on the bandwagon and starting churning out these muscleman epics by the dozens.....Gordon Scott, Mark Forrest,Reg Lewis, and Kirk Morris all tried to duplicate Reeves in these "epics".....and the public loved them. Reeves went on to make several more muscleman epics in the late 50s and early 60s playing Morgan the Pirate, The Thief of Bagdad, Goliath, The White Warrior, The Son of Spartacus and other muscleman epics. An odd twist to Reeves career was the fact that he reportedly turned down two roles that became international sensations: He was offered the role of James Bond by producer Cubby Broccoli and "The Man with No name" made popular by Clint Eastwood and made by Sergio Leone....for whatever reason Reeves turned the roles down....hard to understand. Reeves retired to ranching, his first love in the late 60s and raised cattle and horses until his death in 2001. The greatest physique ever seen on a man....probably the most admired bodybuilder of all time.


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Details

Country:

Italy | Spain

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

22 July 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hercules See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Retromedia DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Fono Lux-Westrex System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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