Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


HERCULES, SAMSON AND ULYSSES (aka Ercole sfida Sansone/1963). Writer/director: Pietro Francisci. 

Handsome Hunk Hercules (Kirk Morris) and his comparatively scrawny pal Ulysses (Enzo Cerusico), set sail from Ithaca with buddies to track down a sea monster [nothing more than a big walrus!], but the real story begins when they arrive at a new land, and the King of the Philistines (Aldo Giuffre) mistakes Hercules for his hated enemy Samson (Richard Lloyd aka Iloosh Khoshabe). Capturing Ulysses and the other sailors, the king makes a deal with Hercules that he'll free the men and build them a ship [the original being destroyed by the "monster"] if he hunts down Samson for him, leading the two muscled strong men into a major conflict. In the meantime the king's pal, the dancer Delilah (Liana Orfei), plays both ends against the middle. This surprisingly entertaining Italian sword-and-sandal movie has beautiful settings, an excellent dubbing job, and splendid props which especially come into play in the lengthy battle scene between Herc and Samson as they throw giant blocks of stone at one another. Another good scene has the Philistine army pillaging and burning a small village because nobody knows where Samson is. The climax has the two men taking on the whole Philistine Army and toppling a castle with their backs! Available from the Warner Archives Collection in a beautifully remastered, widescreen edition.

Verdict: Lively and colorful muscle man action. ***.

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