Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon

Hercules fights to free the people of Babylon from an evil sorceress.

Original Title: Ercole contro i tiranni di Babilonia

Release Date: 25 December 1964 (Italy)

Director: Domenico Paolella

Writer: Luciano Martino (screenplay), Domenico Paolella (screenplay)

Cast: Anna Maria Polani,Peter Lupus,Helga Liné,Mario Petri,Livio Lorenzon,Tullio Altamura

Country: Italy

Language: Italian

On Christmas Day, 1964 fans of the sword and sandal genre were treated with the release with another Hercules movie. The title of this movie is Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon.

The genre of film known as sword and sandal was created in the late 1950’s with the release of Hercules by Pietro Francisci. In order to be considered a sword and sandal movie, the movie has to have been made in Italy. It has to have a legendary or biblical main character. The movie has to have some fantasy elements. The typical sword and sandal movie also usually has two beautiful women who are unable to see eye to eye. The average sword and sandal movie was produced on a very small budget.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that so many sword and sandal movies feature Hercules. It is impossible to imagine a character that would be better suited to the genre. As the son of Zeus, Hercules is the strongest mythological character. What makes him even more interesting is that he is mortal, every time he accepts a challenge or faces down a dangerous animal there is a real chance that he might not live through the experience. The other thing that makes Hercules such a wonderful protagonist is that he is inherently good. When you watch a Hercules movie, you know that Hercules is good and whomever he is battling is evil.

Peter Lupus  and Anna Maria Polani in Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon

Peter Lupus and Anna Maria Polani in Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon

This time Hercules is in Babylon. The main reason for Hercules to be in Babylon is so he can free the incredibly lovely Asparia (played by Anna Maria Polani), who is being held captive by the Babylonians. When the three rulers of Babylon learn of Hercules imminent arrival, they start conspiring against one another. The brothers wish to use the Babylonian slaves and create an empire. Their sister, Taneal, simply wants the cities riches for her own.

Hercules’s rescue attempt hits a snag when Taneal takes Asparia hostage. Things are even further complicated by the addition of Pheleg, King of Assyria, arrives in Babylon. It was Pheleg who originally sent Hercules to rescue Asparia, but it turns out he only wanted her rescued so he could force her to marry him, a marriage that would allow him to combine Hellas and Assyria into one large empire.

Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon is an Italian film and the dialog is in Italian. The film is 86 minutes long. It is unrated in the United States. The movie was filmed in color by the Romana Film Company. The movie was directed by Domenico Paolella who also co-wrote the screenplay with Luciano Martino. In order to play Hercules, Peter Lupis (AKA Rock Stevens) shaved his chest. Peter Lupis maintained the tradition of casting the role of Hercules to men who’d successfully competed in body building competitions. The role of evil sorceress, Taneal/Tanit, was wisely given to Helga Line. Additional cast members included Mario Petri, Tullio Altamura, Livio Lorenzon, Diego Pozzetto, Mirko Valentin, and Franco Balducci.

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