Canadian Cinephile

The subtext is strong in HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN, a 1961 film from director Vittorio Cottafavi. Also known as HERCULES AND THE CONQUEST OF ATLANTIS, this outing puts Reg Park in the title role and features a more forthright plot than many of the other Hercules pictures. Cottafavi, who helmed GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON, manages a unique approach, while cinematographer Carlo Carlini pulls off some wide shots that exemplify a necessary sense of scale.

The film opens in Thebes, home of the strangely sluggish Hercules (Park). Herc wants nothing more than to retire and live with his wife Deianira (Luciana Angiolillo), but peace isn’t in the cards. He’s drugged and snatched by King Androcles (Ettore Manni) and winds up on a ship with a dwarf named Timoteo (Salvatore Furnari). Androcles wants to check out the source of some weird events, but mutiny changes the course and Hercules rescues…

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