I came across an HD print of HERCULES THE AVENGER (1965) starring Reg Park as Hercules and Giovanni Cianfriglia as Antaeus. Now the clip is short but the quality of the print is jaw dropping. This movie has never been available in a clear print ever…even the Retromedia DVD is in poor quality. In widescreen but a terrible print. Seeing it in HD is amazing. I’ll have more in future posts, either here or at the main blog, once I get more information on it.
Amazon Prime Canada movie selection is terrible, certainly in regards to PEPLUM movies. Here’s what’s available when searching ‘HERCULES’
Not much. Well, there is the French version of THE MIGHTY URSUS, called LA FUREUR D’HERCULE (1961) starring Ed Fury. So I watched it and it says at the bottom of the movie it’s in HD.
Taking screenshots of Amazon Prime from my computer is impossible. The screen is black or blank. So. I took a photo of the images with my iPhone.
The photo is fuzzy because the motion of the movie but I have to say that the quality of the image itself is pretty good. Not perfect but better than anything out there. It resembles the German DVD but at a higher resolution and less cropping on the sides. The opening credits are in German but the movie itself is in French. Anyway, it’s a nice surprise. Runtime: 1 hour 31 minutes.
Regular reader Joe mentioned that HERCULES (1958) and HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959) are available on Youtube in 4K. He provided the links to two separate channels. The prints there are pretty good. Are they truly 4K though?
The versions available at the Youtube channel are:
HERCULES is the International English version, available on the French DVD. It’s not the Avco Embassy English dub.
As for HERCULES UNCHAINED, it’s from the German DVD. Many scenes are cut, including Ulysses telling Hercules he’s fighting Antaeus, which are identical to the cuts found on this German DVD.
Both movies were uploaded to their respective channels yesterday!
Thanks to Joe for the quick updates on these uploads.
I successfully transferred the *uncut* copy of ANTONY & CLEOPATRA (1972), starring and directed by Charlton Heston, from VHS to DVD+R to digital. It wasn’t a difficult process since I had an old DVD / VCR recorder that still works. It was just a question of setting it up correctly, including buying a small monitor to connect to DVD recorder in order to view the making of the DVD+R. So, new monitor and new blank DVD+Rs and that was it. I watched the movie has it was being recorded. The uncut version is the only version worth watching. I have different versions of this and it’s amazing how the uncut version, though a bit long at time, flows so much more smoothly than the cut versions out there.
The 1985 release on VHS of ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (1972) is the only uncut copy available in English. There’s a VHS dupe of the movie going around but it’s from Norway with intrusive Norwegian subtitles. There has to be a copy of the US VHS tape available somewhere but alas it’s not. The solution then is to buy a copy of the VHS tape and try to transfer it in digital format. I have a combo VHS / DVD recorder somewhere. I have to find it if it still works. The problem: finding a TV that can connect to it. So, I purchased the tape and once I’ll get it I’ll try to think of the ways I could get it on a DVD disc.
The never-ending saga of the GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES (1961) Kino Lorber Blu-ray release has been shelved indefinitely. KL announced the tentative release back in November 2019 and has been delayed repeatedly up until they couldn’t pretend anymore. I’m not surprise about this announcement. I’ve chronicled the entire saga since day one here at BTG so this announcement is not a shock. Disappointment, yes, but shock, no. It seems those who have the rights to the movie didn’t want KL to get their hands on it. So, it boiled down to a rights issue. I hope Kino Lorber, which is a great distributor, learns a lesson here. Don’t announce a release if the legalities haven’t been fully finalized.
Cecil B. DeMille’s THE SIGN OF THE CROSS (1932) was a rare PEPLUM movie of the 1930s. It was a success and 11 years later, the movie was re-released for the second time (it was also re-issued in 1938). New footage was added to the 1944, which can be seen in the trailer posted below. For decades, this version was the only version available. The original pre-code 1932 cut, with all the naughty stuff, was too racy once the Hayes code was set in place. All the cuts scenes were eventually restored in the 1990s and the 1944 version disappeared even if for many people it was, with the WW 2 angle, the one they saw on television.
The question is: will this 1944 version ever be available again?
I’ve purchased the German Blu-ray of ROMULUS & REMUS (1961). It’s traveling halfway across the world right now. In the meantime, a great friend of mine sent me a digital copy of it while I wait impatiently for it to arrive.
The German BR has audio in Italian, German and *English*. Since I just received this HD print, I haven’t watched it from beginning to end but needless today it’s a thing of beauty. Here are some screengrabs.
Gordon Scott and Steve Reeves with cast. Very sharp image.
Crowd scene. Everything is so clear. It’s beautiful.
Another crowd scene, with Jose Greci, Virna Lisi and Jacques Sernas, and Franco Volpi (seated)
This is not a review of the Blu-ray or of the movie. I just wanted to share some screngrabs of the French Blu-ray release of MESSALINA (1960). The BR was available from back in 2018 and had I known this I would have bought because it’s really beautiful. If you’re capable of playing region B Blu-rays, from a stand alone player or from your computer, this edition is really worth it, certainly since it includes the English track. Here are some scenes from the movie.
Belinda Lee as Messalina
Spiros Focas and Belinda
Belinda looks amazing!
Is the movie historically accurate? Does it matter? Enjoy it for what it is, one heck of a PEPLUM directed by Vittorio Cottafavi.
Today, I received a massive poster of the original Italian version of GOLIATH & THE DRAGON (1960), or know as THE REVENGE OF HERCULES, starring Mark Forest. But from looking at the excellent artwork it’s Steve Reeves, not Mark.
The best Steve Reeves poster that’s not a Steve Reeves movie?