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Hercules Unchained (1959)

Ercole e la regina di Lidia (original title)
While negotiating peace between two brothers contesting the throne of Thebes, an amnesiac Hercules is seduced by the evil Queen Omphale.

Directors:

Pietro Francisci, Mario Bava (uncredited)

Writers:

Pietro Francisci (story), Sophocles (story based on: play "Oedipus at Colonus") | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Reeves ... Hercules
Sylva Koscina ... Iole
Gabriele Antonini Gabriele Antonini ... Ulysses - Son of Laertes
Patrizia Della Rovere Patrizia Della Rovere ... Penelope
Sergio Fantoni ... Eteocles
Fulvia Franco Fulvia Franco ... Anticlea - Mother of Ulysses
Carlo D'Angelo Carlo D'Angelo ... Creonte - High Priest of Thebes
Marisa Valenti Marisa Valenti ... Ulysses' Bride
Mimmo Palmara ... Polinices
Elda Tattoli ... Altmea - Mother of Ulisses' Girlfriend
Daniele Vargas ... Anfiarao (as Daniele Varga)
Andrea Fantasia Andrea Fantasia ... Laertes - King of Ithaca
Gino Mattera Gino Mattera ... Orpheo
Aldo Fiorelli Aldo Fiorelli ... Argos the Shipbuilder
Gianni Loti Gianni Loti ... Sandone - Captain of the Lidian Guard
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

See the mammoth war of the chariots! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Fantasy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | Spain

Language:

Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

13 July 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hercules Unchained See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,450,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer Enzo Masetti retired after completing the score for this film, in which he uses material from his previous work, Hercules (1958). These two scores became the most famous of his compositions, internationally. See more »

Goofs

At 23 minutes the tiger trainer is seen from the side and he's holding a whip in his right arm. Then there is a short shot of him from the front and he's holding it in his left. When the shot changes angle it is once again in his right hand. See more »

Quotes

Hercules: I'm so sleepy, I can't seem to keep awake!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Italian main title co-credits Iole's song to "Tito Manzese." This was not only a pseudonym, but an anagram of Enzo Masetti who wrote the score. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Operation Double 007 (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Con te per l'eternità
Written by Enzo Masetti (as Tito Manzese), Carlo Savina and Dario Bernazza
Sung by Sylva Koscina (dubbed by Marisa Del Frate in the Italian version)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
HERCULES UNCHAINED (Pietro Francisci and, uncredited, Mario Bava, 1959) **1/2
23 March 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

The sequel to HERCULES (1958) is even less enthusing but remains, nonetheless, an adequate example of the peplum genre.

Sylva Koscina's role of Iole, Hercules' love interest, is diminished here since the most prominent female figure on display emerges to be the femme fatale-ish Queen of Lidia Omphale (the film's original title, incidentally, translates to HERCULES AND THE QUEEN OF LIDIA) – the latter is played by another red-headed beauty Sylvia Lopez, who died of leukemia not long after the film's release! Needless to say, the muscle-bound hero (Steve Reeves) falls under her spell after having conveniently drunk from a spring that renders him an amnesiac (though not before he's been engaged in an irrelevant wrestling bout with ex-heavyweight champion Primo Carnera as an irascible giant!); his friend Ulysses, however, is on hand to watch over him (ostensibly in the function of Hercules' deaf-mute slave). Meanwhile, back home in Thebes, two brothers fight it out over the throne – with Iole at the mercy of a cackling maniac (an over-the-top Sergio Fantoni)...

By the way, both of these Hercules films featured atmospheric cinematography by Mario Bava - who would himself direct one of the better adventures revolving around this mythical figure, HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD (1961) starring Reg Park. As for Francisci, he worked most often in this genre: from ATTILA (1954; co-starring Anthony Quinn and Sophia Loren) – which is overdue for a reappraisal and has, incidentally, just been announced as an upcoming DVD release from Lionsgate! – to the low-brow HERCULES, SAMSON AND ULYSSES (1963; with Kirk Morris now as Hercules) and SINBAD AND THE CALIPH OF BAGHDAD (1973; his last film and which I recall watching eons ago on Italian TV).


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