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HERCULES! Starring Steve Reeves!!!!

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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...

Thank you and I agree, Steve Reeves is the only Hercules. I recently requested  TCM play The thief of Bagdad with Steve Reeves. I know they play the Sabu version more but his is fun too. 

He had the best body,

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  • 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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