Movie of the Day – Hercules in New York

It’s Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first movie ever!  Yes the multi-award winning Mr. Olympia finally gets to have his day on film with one of the dumbest and amazing, best worst movie ever.  Yes, Hercules in New York or as it is also known as, Hercules goes Bananas, has the giant muscled Austrian being typecast as a muscle bound Hercules who is cast out of Mount Olympus and runs amok in New York with some of the cheesiest fight scenes and atrocious dialogue ever.  Every actor has to start somewhere and for Arnold, this is where it all began.

Hercules 1a

Hercules (Schwarzenegger) has grown tired of his life on Mount Olympus, and wishes to visit Earth. His father Zeus (Ernest Graves) forbids such a voyage, but a misdirected thunderbolt sends Hercules tumbling down the mountain and into New York City, where he’s befriended by Pretzie (Arnold Stang), who runs a pretzel cart in the park. As Hercules tries to make his way in the big city with Pretzie’s help, he runs afoul of a crooked wresling promoter, gets mixed up with gangsters, rides his chariot through Times Square, descends into Hell, and dines at the Automat (which some contend is not unlike descending into Hell). Just as Hercules is getting used to life on Earth, his angry father decides it’s time the boy came home, and Zeus sends Nemesis (Taina Elg) and a handful of other gods to retrieve him. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Just so you know, there are two versions of this movie swimming around there on the internet.  The original release, the American release anyways, has the young Arnold’s voice being dubbed over by another actor because his accent was the biggest detriment to the film.  Let me put this into perspective, a movie in which the entire premise is about as low budget as a movie can get in 1970 with horrible acting, crappy dialogue and shoddy costume work and their biggest problem is Arnold’s accent…whatever.  I mean what did they expect an Austrian body builder, with no acting experience and a limited English?  Hell this was probably the most English he ever spoke with that thick accent that didn’t relate to pumping iron.  There in lies the beauty of the movie, after he became uber famous, they released the movie with his original dialogue track and even gave him his original name billing instead of being called Arnold Strong.  Got to love these success stories.

Hercules 1b

Where was I, oh yeah, this is an amazingly bad good movie.  Hercules in New York is plagued with terrible dialogue and equally bad, funny moments of action.  The best part is when Hercules battles a bear, which is a guy in a horrible looking bear costume.  Watching the movie with the original voice work of Arnold is astounding.  He clearly beginning to come to grips with the English language and you have his really thick accent mucking it all up.  The settings for the scenes are eveing horrible withMount Olympus looking like the steps of a library.  Just about as low budget as everything can get.

I think the biggest appeal of this movie, aside from the obviou bad qualities, is that it is Arnold’s first movie and glimpse at what he will soon become, which is a typecasted muscle bound action actor.  I mean they at least knew what he was good at and got him for his imposing physique and not much else.  But everyone has to start somewhere and why not entertain yourselves with this gem from the very beginning of Arnold’s career.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

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