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"Hercules" (1958) "Fatiche di Ercole, Le"

This is a 1958 Italian import of the Hercules film that was a popular U.S. hit and became the protoype of all following Hercules movies.

Hercules is about the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece.

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"Hercules" 1958 Cast overview, first billed only:

Steve Reeves: Ercole (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
Gabriele Antonini: Ulysses
Aldo Fiorelli: Argos
Andrea Fantasia: Laertes
Luciana Paluzzi: Iole's Maid (as Luciana Paoluzzi)
Afro Poli: Chironi
Gian Paolo Rosmino: Aesculapius, father of Jason (as G.P. Rosmino)
Willi Colombini: Pollux

Trivia for Fatiche di Ercole, Le ("Hercules") (1958)

from imbd.com

• This was the first film shot in Italy in the French Dyaliscope anamorphic widescreen system.

• The roar of the dragon guarding the Golden Fleece is actually Godzilla'a roar from Gojira (1954) (U.S. title: "Godzilla, King of the Monsters"). Joseph E. Levine had acquired and released that film three years earlier.

• Joseph E. Levine acquired the U.S. distribution rights to this film, which he retitled "Hercules", for $120,000.

• To take maximum advantage of the extensive (and expensive) television and radio campaign launched to promote the film in the USA, Joseph E. Levine pioneered the technique of "saturation booking" by using over 600 prints of this film. This was an unheard-number of prints for a U.S. release in the days of full-size movie theatres (not the small multiplexes we know today).

• This film was passed over by the major U.S. distributors. An employee of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer told former exhibitor Joseph E. Levine about the film. Levine flew to Italy to view the film for the first time and later acquired the U.S. rights. It bacame a smash hit and started the craze for Italian-made musclemen spectacles.

• 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)

In the days before home video, this film and its sequel, Ercole e la regina di Lidia (1959) (U.S. title: "Herucles Unchained"), continued to have successful re-releases to theatres through the mid-1970s, even after they had appeared on network television and in television syndication.

Among the merchandise tie-ins for this film was a comic book published by Dell. It had an initial order of 500,000 copies.

This is the film that started the craze for films about muscle-bound mythological heroes. By the time the genre had run its course in 1964, 170 such films had been produced in Italy. This represented approximately ten percent of Italian film production during this period.

Director: Pietro Francisci
Production Company: Galatea Film
Audio/Visual: sound, color

Also Known As:
Hércules (Spain)
Hercules (USA)
Labors of Hercules (International: English title) (literal title)
Viajes de Heracles, Los (Spain)
Runtime: 98 min / USA:107 min
Country: Italy / Spain
Language: Italian

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Hundreds of Hercules DVDs
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Disney Gold Classic
Collection DVD 1997

Actors: Tate Donovan, Josh Keaton, Roger Bart, Danny DeVito, James Woods. Directors: John Musker, Ron Clements. DVD Release Date: August 1, 2000


The Legendary Journey
Video Game

Based on the syndicated TV series, Hercules: The Legendary Journey is an action game with puzzle and role-playing game inflections (which means that Herc kicks butt but also solves puzzles and interrogates nonplaying characters). You'll take Hercules, pal Iolaus, and the she-horse Serena through plains, mountain villages, and towns of classical Greece, looking to return the power stolen by god-of-war Ares from god-of-them-all Zeus.


Legendary Journey
Season 5 DVD

• Directors: Mark Beesley, James Whitmore Jr., Alan J. Levi, Rodney Charters, Gary Jones
• Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
• Language: English
• Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
• Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
• Number of discs: 9
• Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
• DVD Release Date: January 11, 2005
• Run Time: 1080 minutes