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STEVE REEVES' HERCULES (1959)/HERCULES UNCHAINED (1960)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by JeffT., Jun 21, 2013.

  1. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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  2. Jobla

    Jobla Supporting Actor

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    Correct. The first English dub was in 1959, when the already successful Italian film HERCULES was exhibited by Joseph E. Levine in the US.In the mid-1970's, Levine reissued a double-bill of HERCULES and HERCULES UNCHAINED, primarily to drive-in theaters. For those engagements, he did commission a more "literate" voice track that changed some of the dialog.Today, almost all homevideo transfers feature the later dialog track. It's actually difficult to find the original 1959 dub, unless you have a VHS release of the film.
     
  3. AlanP

    AlanP Supporting Actor

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    We should all LIVE so long this is RIDICULOUS !!!!!
     
  4. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Screenwriter

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    And, this Cretan bull awaits (but is getting tired of waiting, as well)! I mean, if Italy can put out a blu-ray of a minor peplum film like THOR AND THE AMAZON WOMEN (LE GLADIATRICI), complete with English subs, then why can't they or someone else give us the grandaddies of them all?
     
  5. AlanP

    AlanP Supporting Actor

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    Criterion !!!!
     
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  6. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Anyone know which dub the laserdisc had, and is there an alternate dub for HERCULES UNCHAINED?
     
  7. Jobla

    Jobla Supporting Actor

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    I think that the US laserdisc had the later, more "literate" dub. The laser may have also "served" as the master for Retromedia's DVD release of HERCULES, but I'm not certain.I haven't heard of any other Steve Reeves film having more than one English language dub.
     
  8. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Any updates on the possibility of Hercules and Hercules Unchained being re mastered and restored for DVD?
     
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  9. Jobla

    Jobla Supporting Actor

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    By the Gods, nothing is happening at this time, to my knowledge.
     
  10. AlanP

    AlanP Supporting Actor

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    Who has the rights to them for a legit release??
     
  11. Konstantinos

    Konstantinos Screenwriter

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    I'd love dozens of italian 50s-60s peplum films to be released on bluray editions a la Arrow style, but alas it seems there's no interest.
    Difficult times to not be a horror fan (of course i'm saying that because every little horror b movie gets an outstanding release)
     
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  12. Jobla

    Jobla Supporting Actor

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    So would I. There are a lot of peplum fans around.
     
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  13. Message #33 of 53 May 29, 2016
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
    JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    This (specific) discussion thread (rightly) belongs in the blu-ray section as I'm really not interested in perpetuating "standard" DVD any more.

    Here we are still (anxiously) waiting for the two initial Steve Reeves Hercules films (fully restored and digitally remastered) to be released in the (coveted) blu-ray medium. In Region 1 I might add!

    As an auxiliary I also wish that the so-called SONS OF HERCULES films could all be made available in quality editions as well (as has been suggested by others in this discussion thread).

    But this film series was only released (pan-and-scan cropped) on syndicated U.S. television in North America. As they are a (literal) foreign import what would they be like in their original widescreen theatrical format?

    I (seriously) doubt that they would have that catchy (and inspiring) "Sons of Hercules" theme song appended to the opening and closing titles and (likely) being sound recorded in Italian dialogue they would probably require subtitling.

    Something to ponder. One of the problems here is that there's a generation that is enamoured with the likes of Lou Ferrigno and Kevin Sorbo as the mighty Olympian hero and what is wanted here specifically is Steve Reeves' classic delineation. I'm genuinely sorry but these two guys just don't cut it with me.

    Anyway the (relentless) lobbying continues!

    Thanks everyone for your valued (and needed) support and interest.



    [​IMG]

    Jeff T.

    ;)
     
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  14. Jobla

    Jobla Supporting Actor

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    A few of the films that were distributed in the Sons of Hercules package have been released in widescreen DVD in Europe, such as VENUS MEETS THE SON OF HERCULES (original title translates as something like MARS, GOD OF WAR). However, those PAL DVDs often don't have English dubbing or subtitles. US mail order company Sinister Cinema has burned some of those as DVD-R releases, due to Sinister's interpretation of copyright law.

    Very few of the peplum films have been released by US majors. MGM Limited Editions recently released REVOLT OF THE SLAVES in widescreen, but that is also a MOD (DVD-R) release.
     
  15. moviefanatic1979

    moviefanatic1979 Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's proof of two english versions:
    The DVDBEAVER discovered 2 different dubs for the first Hercules movie:
    http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare3/hercules.htm

    The best dvd version I know of Hercules (1958) (as "Les Travaux d'Hercule"). Duration: 97 min.
    It's the french release (EDV 701) which won the Beaver comparison. Mine is a digipack in the "Peplum Collection". It contains french, english & italian soundtracks.
    You can see it here:
    https://www.amazon.fr/Les-travaux-dhercule/dp/B000VTHUA8/ref=sr_1_2?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1466940250&sr=1-2&keywords=les+travaux+d'hercule

    I've got an Italian DVD, from the company Passworld, of Hercules Unchained (1959): Ercole e la regina di Lidia. Duration: 93 min.
    It contains Italian & English soundtracks. Iole's song is much better in Italian :)
    The film format should've been 2.35:1 but it's in cropped on the sides 1.85:1.

    I've ordered this German, remastered release with english soundtrack only:
    https://www.amazon.de/Hercules-Unchained-Steve-Reeves/dp/B00JQRNZ6E

    Let's hope for better PQ.
     
  16. TheSteig

    TheSteig Screenwriter

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    I would LOVE Goliath and the Dragon on DVD (or blu ray) in its original language, 16 x 9 and in its original title. He's actually Hercules ! All of those Herc/son of Herc films have been royally mistreated on home video in the USA
     
  17. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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  18. Message #38 of 53 Jun 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
    Konstantinos

    Konstantinos Screenwriter

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    Here's screenshots from the German DVD:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I think that DVDY (french) DVD in the DVDbeaver review looks best. More eye popping colors and better grain.
    Also it seems to be longer than the German one by 7 minutes.
     
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  19. Jobla

    Jobla Supporting Actor

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    The original release of HERCULES had a blue opening credit crawl with astrological symbols. When Joseph E. Levine reissued it in the early-mid 1970's, he changed the opening credits to a "red carpet" look, and also recorded a "more literate" English dialog track which replaced the older audio track. That explains the two variant English audio tracks.

    RCA Bluebird released a narrated (by actor Conrad Nagel) LP of HERCULES circa 1962 or so, which had dialog highlights from the first US release of the film.

    Now, onto HERCULES UNCHAINED: The German PAL DVD was the first home video presentation of HERCULES UNCHAINED in its original aspect ratio of 2:35-1. However, I do find the image quality to be overly dark. The scenes in Queen Omphale's lair should be awash with eye-popping colors (lit by Mario Bava, I think). I have seen full-frame US DVDs that had better color than the German PAL.
     
  20. moviefanatic1979

    moviefanatic1979 Stunt Coordinator

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    Konstantinos: The DVDbeaver review is for another movie, Hercules (1958). Thank you for the screenshots :)

    I've just watched the French DVD of Hercules (1958) and the colors are quite strong for most of the duration but they fade a bit towards the ending. The Italian audio is the strongest. The english is quite low and there's a constant hum underneath the music / dialogue.

    Afterwards I put on Hercules Unchained (Ercole e la regina di Lidia) (1959).
    I watched Iole's song and a bit further.
    The Image is, unfortunately, in letterbox, not anamorphic.
    The english track sounds very good, the italian likewise. Though I suspect the Italian has the best sound design, as is often the case.

    It's a pity about the drained colors of the German release. Detail could also be much better (no grain). Anyway, I'm looking forward to it. It's the best we've got at this time.
    A reviewer at amazon.de writes (using Babelfish translation):

    "From my point of view it's a good movie. He is over 50 years old and is in good quality. Back side of the cover is given the film length with 105 minutes. Indeed, it is 95 minutes. Please keep in mind that the DVD contains no German language, but only English."
     

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