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HERCULES! Starring Steve Reeves!!!!


RichardE55
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For me, there is only ONE 'Hercules' and that is the great Steve Reeves! Made in 1957 and released in the U.S. in 1959, Pietro Francisci's film hasn't lost any of its shine when it was released in the United States by Joseph E. Levine. With photography by the great Mario Bava and its heroic film score by Enzo Massatti, this film, the film captures the myth of the son of Zeus and his adventures with Jason, as they and the crew of the Argo search for the Golden Fleece. The beautiful Sylva Koscina heads a great cast of familiar Italian actors that include Gianna Maria Canale, Fabrizio Mione, Ivo Garrani  and Arturo Dominici. A beautiful region WS dvd was released in France (in English).  Hopefully a beautiful Bluray, with both English language tracks (one was prepared in Europe the other was supervised by Joseph Levine in NY).

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You're absolutely right that this is a film deserving of a quality reissue. It's been poorly represented for so long by underwhelming prints. I love the description on the DVD cover: "Un Film Gigantesque". It sure is. It stands head-and-extremely-broad-shoulders above most of the wanna-be imitators released for years afterward.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Steve was a true movie phenomenon. He made his astonishing torso his ticket to stardom and it paid off handsomely. Although "Hercules" is a true classic, I think his ultimate movie was the fabulous GIANT OF MARATHON. This was no cheap b-movie. You can see the luxurious production values on the screen. Outstanding interiors, locales, wardrobe, a rousing musical score and an astonishing underground battle directed by famed Italian director, Mario Bava. Outstanding cast, script, dubbing and Steve has never looked more like a movie god. His costumes were deigned to show off that jaw-dropping torso. In some ways, Reeves and his fellow movie muscle clones who followed, especially another American bodybuilder, Mark Forest, were the male  equivalant of the female movie sirens of that era like Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, etc. So, the so-called "straight" moviegoers got those glamorous movie queens--and the gay and women movie-goers got these muscular male beauties wearing very little. This movie and several other Reeves movies definitely deserve a blu-ray edition and a restored box set. 

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  • 9 months later...

As far as I'm concerned, restorations should be done on all peplum/Sword & Sandal movies.  Probably will never happen, which is a shame because I think that restorations would possibly heighten interest in, and cause a critical reevaluation of, the genre -- as has happened with "Spaghetti Westerns," Gialli, and Poliziotteschi.

Alas, the Hercules movies (and cinematic adventures of Goliath, Maciste, Samson, Ursus, et al.) were made to be seen on The Big Screen, to really appreciate and enjoy their epic grandeur and spectacle. Watching faded, raggedly prints on TV screens does not do pepla justice -- for that matter, neither does watching high (or higher) quality DVDs and BDs on widescreen TVs.

I recently acquired a German Blu-ray Disc of Romulus and Remus (Romolo e Remo, released in the U.S.A. as Duel of the Titans), starring Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott. For Reeves fans and Sword & Sandal aficionados, the German BD -- which is region-free, package labeling, promotional specs, and reviews to the contrary! -- is a Must Have! All pepla should get the Wunderbar treatment given to Romulus and Remus by Explosive Media and Koch Films!

Supplemental Reading

Giovanni Cianfriglia: Steve Reeves Body Double

 

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  • 6 months later...

don't know how many of you actually saw hercules when it was released.  i did.  i was nine when my father took me to see it.  not long after that it went to television and a NY show called MILLION DOLLAR MOVIE got hold of it.  at that time, this show would play the same film 16 times a week - mon thru fri at 730pm and 10pm and 3 times each on sat and sun.  i would watch the films i liked close to 10 times a week.  this is one of those films.  there were many others-abbott and costello, godzilla, etc.

needless to say i memorized almost all the dialog of hercules.  imagine my delight when in the late 80's or early 90's they released a widescreen version.  got it at blockbuster.  a very clear copy.  within minutes i was ready to throw up.  they re-dubbed the dialog with new voice actors and completely changed the dialog.    an example i will give of the change happens early in the film when he saves her life.  she did say "you must be hercules the theban".  now it's "hercules from thebes".  literally every line of the film is different yet it is the same story only dumbed down for illiterates.   remember his line "the cretan bull awaits" and the Gods reply "the cretan bull awaits".  the reply makes no sense anymore, as does much of the other new dialog.

lucky for me i did find an original copy on youtube back then and recorded the dialog but the print was cropped and very inferior.  worse, i cannot find that copy anymore on youtube.  what exists is a copy with the original credit pictures followed by the new widescreen version.  strange.  there is also a complete widescreen new version on youtube.

does anyone have the original original version and how do i get it.

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