Before the "Spaghetti Western" there was the "Italian Peplum" or "Sword & Sandal Spectacle". Peplum (a loincloth or short, kilt-like male garment of ancient origin) was the Italian nickname for these films. "Hercules" starring former "Mr America" (1947) & "Mr Universe" (1950) Steve Reeves, was the original Italian strongman film to feature the ultimate mythical hero. "Hercules" was a surprise box office hit worldwide & inspired countless imitations in the years that followed.
Today, this "Hercules" adaptation is still considered by many to be the definitive story of the Greek demi-god. In this film you will see the charismatic Steve Reeves in peak condition & at his physical best. You will see for yourself why he is without a doubt the ultimate & best "Hercules" to have ever graced the silver screen. During his short but memorable film career (approximately 10 years) Steve became one of the highest paid & biggest box-office stars in the world, all thanks to his signature role in this film.
This classic tale begins in grand fashion as we witness for the first time on our movie screens the superhuman strength of Steve "Hercules" Reeves as he rescues the lovely Sylvia Koscina from her runaway chariot. "Hercules" lifts a tree out of the ground (roots & all) & places it in front of the fast-moving chariot to prevent it from going over a cliff. Next we see the beautiful damsel in distress faint & fall into the arms of her future husband Hercules. This is just one of the many memorable scenes to feature the heroics of the Hercules character.
As the mythological story continues, we see Hercules perform his many labors including, the defeat of the infamous Cretan Bull & the Nemian Lion. Hercules also finds time to help "Jason & The Argonauts" search for the Golden Fleece. In the exciting finale, Hercules escapes from the dungeons by pulling his chains from the wall. He uses the chains as weapons to defeat the King's army & bring down the temple.
"Hercules" may look a little outdated today & may not feature any Academy Award winning performances (dialogue dubbed) but it is nevertheless a very entertaining & fun movie that can be enjoyed by everyone young or old. Steve Reeves' films have become cult-classics & "Hercules" is the one that started it all. Fans of the legendary Greek hero should not miss this one; it is the original & still the best. If you see & enjoy "Hercules" don't miss the sequel, "Hercules Unchained" (1960), it is equally as entertaining.