Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Different titles: HERCULES (1958)

Here are titles of opening credits from a couple of different sources of HERCULES (1958) .  I've updated the list with two new additions.

Original Italian version!

German title of HERCULES

International English title, taken from the French DVD. Unfortunately the French title wasn't included.

This is the French home video version. Still no 'official' French title though

The US Avco Embassy opening title with the animated constellation of stars

This is the Russian version, which translates as THE EXPLOITS OF HERCULES


Anonymous said...

Was the AVCO Embassy title screen ever shown in a theatrical release of was it solely used for the VHS release?

PEPLUM TV said...

This is a very good question. The Avco Embassy version is the English version that was done for TV broadcast. The original theatrical release of HERCULES in the US and Canada was most likely the International English version (it starts with Joseph E. Levine) but Avco Embassy decided to re-dub it (with a much better dub) and it was the one shown on TV (in perpetuity) and when the film was re-released in the early 1970s by Avco Embassy (there are posters and lobby cards of this release) and then the home video market.

I have yet to see a widescreen version of the Avco Embassy dub but there are plenty of widescreen versions of the International English dub. I even did a Fan Dub of HERCULES, adding the superior Avco Embassy dub to the widescreen image of the International English. I've talked to many people who saw the film when it was originally released and no one has said which version they saw.

John Black said...

I saw the film in 1959, and it definitely had the blue astrological credits at the beginning. The dub track was the "less literate" audio track, which I assume is the Avco Embassy track.

That same audio track appeared on the old RCA Bluebird LP from around 1960. The record album contained many dialog portions and soundtrack music from the film, narrated by old time actor Conrad Nagel.

The first time I ever heard the "more literate" audio track was when the film was reissued to drive-in theaters in the early-mid 1970's, along with HERCULES UNCHAINED.

PEPLUM TV said...

Jo Black - Thank you for your input. Very important information you've provided. I always wondered which opening credits audiences saw when it was originally released.

I didn't know about the HERCULES LP. I need to find a copy (audio) of that LP, to compare it.

Oddly enough, AVCO Embassy was the company to re-release the Hercules films back in the 1970s. The original release, Warner Bros was the distributor.