408 - HERCULES UNCHAINED
(USA release; July 1960; 1958; Italy; NR; 101m)
a.k.a. ERCOLE E LA REGINA DI LIDIA (original/Italy)
a.k.a. HERCULES AND THE QUEEN OF LYDIA
a.k.a. HERCULES AND THE QUEEN OF SHEBA
a.k.a. HERCULE ET LA REINE DE LYDIE (Belgium)
a.k.a. HERKULES EN DE KONINGIN VAN LYDIA (Belgium)
sequel to 502-HERCULES (1957)
Ad: "Spectacles of Massive Might Beyond Any Ever Known Before!"
Ad: "SEE the War of the Chariots!
SEE Lydia, the Temptress!
SEE the Contest of Giants!
SEE the Combat of Kings!
SEE the Arena of Tigers!
SEE the Court of Lovers!"
Ad: "The Heroic Legend of Hercules Continues!"
Ad: "Stronger Than Ever Before!"
Plot: Travelling with his young companion Ulysses, Herc's mission
to stop a war is sidetracked by hypnotic Queen Umphala, while his wife Iole
pines for him.
Exec/USA: Joseph E. Levine
321-Santa Claus Conquers the Martians; The Lion in Winter)
Prod: Bruno Vailati (The Giant of Marathon; The Thief of Baghdad)
Dir/Scr/Sto: Pietro Francisci*
Asst Dir/Cin: Mario Bava (cin/sfx/502*; dir/1013-Danger: Diabolik)
Scr: Ennio De Concini (502; won Oscar for Divorce--Italian Style)
Scr: Gaio Frattini (502; The Tartars)
Ed: Mario Serandrei (502; Hercules in the Center of the Earth)
Cos: Casa D'Arte Peruzzi d'Florence
Score: Enzo Masetti (502; Attila; Volcano)
Music/Lyrics: Parrish Mitchell
Song by June Valli: Evening Star
Hercules / Steve Reeves* (502)
Iole / Sylva Koscina (502; Deadly Sanctuary; The Slasher)
giant Antaeus / Primo Carnera*
Queen Omphale / Sylvia Lopez (Herod the Great)
Ulysses / Gabriele Antonini (502; The Tailor's Maid)
Penelope / Patrizia Della Rovere (Bravissimo)
Eteocles / Sergio Fantoni (Atom Age Vampire; The Prize)
Creon / Carlo D'Angelo (504-Secret Agent Super Dragon)
Polinices / Mimmo Palmara*
blonde slave girl / Marisa Valenti (Bestialita)
King Laertes / Andrea Fantasia (502; Son of Samson)
Argos / Aldo Fiorelli (502; Escape into Dreams; Anthony of Padua)
King Oedipus / Cesare Fantoni (The Loves of Don Juan)
Jason? / Fabrizio Mioni (502; The Blue Angel; The Venetian Affair)
Orpheus / Gino Mattera (502; The Lost One; Faust and the Devil)
Sandone / Gianni Loti (The Giant of Marathon)
Tifi / Aldo Pini (502; Hercules, Samson and Ulysses; Attila)
Castor / Fulvio Carrara (502; Hercules, Samson and Ulysses)
Pollux / Willy Colombini (502; Hercules, Samson and Ulysses)
Aesculapius / Walter Grant (Hercules, Samson and Ulysses)
with Elda Tattoli (The Warrior Empress)
Fulvia Franco (Hercules, Samson and Ulysses; The Lady Doctor)
Daniela Vargas (The Pirate and the Slave Girl; Thief of Baghdad)
Ugo Sasso (Hercules, Samson and Ulysses; David and Goliath)
Angelo Zanolli (Morgan the Pirate; Son of Samson)
Fernando Cicero (The Steppe; Salvatore Giuliano)
and Sergio Ciani a.k.a. Alan Steel
(410-Hercules Against The Moon Men)
Trivia: In 1997, 502-HERCULES and 408-HERCULES
UNCHAINED were compiled, re-edited, and re-dubbed into a new video entitled
Hercules Recycled. The satirical plot goes like this: after World
War III, Herc must find a secret formula to restore the Earth to the more
pleasant pre-WWIII condition, while battling a dinosaur, fast-food mutants,
and an insurance man! You can get this $9.95 video by calling (800) 367-8437
or via website http://www.clearstream.com.
Italian director PIETRO FRANCISCI did several other fun films:
1964's Hercules, Samson, and Ulysses; a 1966 sci-fi flick called
Star Pilot; 1960's Warrior Empress (with Tina Louise); 1958's
Attila; 1953's The Queen of Sheba; and 1962's The Siege
Here's a mini-bio of STEVE REEVES, whose muscleman Italian movies
spawned over 100 imitations: Born in 1926 to a rancher in Montana, Reeves
entered the army during WWII after graduating high school. In 1947, he won
the Mr. America bodybuilding contest and several others, and by the 1950's
he was on Broadway in The Vamp starring Carol Channing. His first movie
role was in 1954's Jailbait (directed by Ed Wood); his second film
that year was much better--the big-budget movie musical Athena (with
Debbie Reynolds). Also in the 1950's, Reeves had a few TV appearances including
Kimba (pilot), Love That Bob, and Burns And Allen.
Reeves' physique landed him the title role in 1957's 502-HERCULES
made in Italy, a huge success throughout Europe. The next year he made the
sequel, 408-HERCULES UNCHAINED. Hollywood producer Joseph E. Levine
bought the distribution rights to both movies which had great box office
receipts, and Reeves became an international star. He began making films
back-to-back (or pec-to-pec): 1959's Goliath and the Barbarians;
The White Warrior; 1960's The Giant of Marathon; Morgan
The Pirate; Thief of Baghdad; 1961's Last Days of Pompeii;
Duel of the Titans; The Trojan War; 1962's The Avenger;
Son of Spartacus a.k.a. The Slave; 1963's Sandokan The
Great a.k.a. Pirates of the Seven Seas; The Shortest Day.
Reeves reportedly turned down the $100,000 salary offered for the role of
James Bond in Dr. No, which was released in 1962 and made Sean Connery
an international star. In 1964, Steve Reeves produced and starred in his
last movie--a Western called A Long Ride from Hell. Long retired
from film, Reeves still enjoys bodybuilding, healthy living, and raising
horses. Interested in joining Reeves' official fan club? Write to Steve
Reeves International Society, P.O. Box 2625, Malibu, CA 90265.
Born in Venice in 1907, 6'5" tall PRIMO CARNERA first worked
as a strong man in an Italian circus. He was the boxing's Heavyweight Champion
of the World in 1933, the same year he made his first movie, The Prizefighter
and the Lady, co-starring fighters Max Baer and Jack Dempsey, as well
as actors Walter Huston and Myrna Loy. Carnera lost the boxing title to
Baer in 1934. During WWII, he was captured after working in the Italian
underground, but was freed by Allied forces in 1944. He then returned to
the USA, making an income first as a wrestler, then as an actor, appearing
in 1956's The Harder They Fall (Humphrey Bogart's last film); Prince
Valiant; Casanova's Big Night; and The Iron Crown. Carnera
died of liver disease in 1967.
MIMMO PALMARA, who plays Polinices here, was a regular in Italian
muscle epics. You can also catch him as Iphitus in 502-HERCULES
and in a small part in 412-HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN. He starred
with Reeves again in 1961's The Last Days of Pompeii.
Last Updated: 6/23/1999
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