Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 25th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: February 20th, 1958, Italy
Director: Pietro Francisci
Writers: Pietro Francisci, Ennio De Concini, Gaio Frattini
Cast: Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina, Fabrizio Mioni, Ivo Garrani, Gianna Maria Canale
|Approximate running time:||97m51s||87m24s|
|Aspect Ratio:||2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen||1.77:1 Letterboxed|
|Sound:||Dolby Digital Mono Italian, English and French with English subtitles||
English and German
|DVD Release:||DVDY Films||Concorde Home Entertainment|
|Region Coding:||Region 2 PAL||Region 0 PAL|
DVDY Films Region 2 DVD
Hercules of Thebes (Steve Reeves) saves Princess Iole’s life (Sylva Koscina) when she loses control of her chariot. He was traveling to Iolcus to tutor the heir to the thrown in military strategy. When Princess Iole reveals to Hercules her family’s secrets this leads to Hercules investigating further into the matter. The closer Hercules gets to the truth the more he infuriates Pelias who publicly blames Hercules for Iphitus’ death. Pelias tells Hercules that the only way he can redeem himself for killing Iphitus that he would have to kill the Cretan Bull. After Princess Iole and the other mortal’s turn their back on Hercules he visits Sybil with his wish to be a mortal. Will Hercules find the Golden Fleece and help Princess Iole find the truth behind her father deaths before he is silenced forever?
Concorde Home Entertainment release crops the image to a ratio of about 1.77:1 and colors look faded and details are too soft at times. The DVDY Films release is the better of the two as it presented the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. It also sports stronger color saturation and details look sharper.
The DVDY Films release comes with three audio options Italian, English and French. The Concorde Home Entertainment release comes with two audio options English and German. Outside of some minor hiss and distortion all the audio sources included for these two releases are equal in quality and they all are more then adequate. The slight edge goes to the DVDY Films release for including English subtitles with all the audio options.
The Concorde Home Entertainment release besides cropping the image the film is also cut by about ten minutes in length. The DVDY Films release is still the best audio/video presentation of Hercules currently on the market.
Note: Concorde Home Entertainment’s Hercules is only available as part of their Hercules double feature which also comes with Hercules Unchained.