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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Hercules Unchained (1959)

(aka: Hercules and the Queen of Sheba)



Reviews and Comments

Steve Reeves' second outing as Hercules isn't any more or less impressive than his first. I suspect the budget was higher, because there are some nice action scenes, considering. But there's as much, possibly more awkwardness that induces nervous laughter. A shot during the opening credits sets the stage -- it's a closeup of the oars on a ship, dipping in and out of the water as the men row. But the way they dip into the water, it's a wonder they get anywhere. Poor sound editing is also distracting; the sound effects that accompany a lightly trotting horse are way too loud. And the villain's evil laugh is more embarrassing than menacing.

The story has Hercules trying to resolve a dispute between two brothers who had agreed to rule in alternating years. One brother wants to keep the throne and exile his brother; the other one wants to take the throne back by force. During his quest, Hercules drinks from a fountain of forgetfulness and becomes sidetracked by an evil enchantress whose motives are confusing.

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