Friday, May 15, 2020

By the Gods!

Sylvia Lopez as Queen Omphale in HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959)

One confusing aspect of HERCULES UNCHAINED happens at the very beginning of the movie. We see a young man (uncredited actor) who tells Omphale that her guards are bringing a new man who's lying on a wooden gurney. Omphale leaves the worried young man to inspect the new man brought to her. The new man is played by Fabrizio Mioni, who played Jason in HERCULES (1958), in a cameo of sorts.

Anyway, this how Omphale operates. Her soldiers bring handsome men to her care, she has fun with them and then she dispatches them after a new man is brought to her attention. 35 minutes into the movie, Hercules (Steve Reeves) is brought to her (after he drank from the well of forgetfulness), and Fabrizio Mioni is killed, replaced by Hercules.

The whole thing is sorta confusing, more so as Omphale wears the same (anachronistic) clothes during the two scenes new men are brought to her. The only way to tell the difference is at the beginning Omphale is writing something on a tablet and during the second instance when Hercules in carried into her palace, and Fabrizio is killed, she's petting a baby lion.

First instance:

The young man informs Omphale of the new arrival. The young actor is uncredited. In this scene, Omphale is writing on a tablet. Below: the new man is played by Fabrizio Mioni, who was Jason in HERCULES (1958). This is a cameo of sorts.

Second instance:

The second man (Fabrizio, he's wearing the same costume as when he was brought in) tells Omphale her soldiers are bringing a man, who happens to be Hercules (last image). In this scene, Omphale is petting a baby lion.

She eventually leaves Fabrizio to inspect her 'new' lover (below): Steve Reeves as Hercules.

I believe this confusion was done intentionally, to show how everything operates like clockwork, but it's still confusing. Had she worn a different costume during the second instance, it would have appeared new but while watching the movie, when the second instance happens, you think the film is repeating itself since both scenes are so identical. It doesn't help that the first actor is uncredited. Great film regardless.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I understand your confusion. It seems to stem from her wearing the same costume. I've always thought the two scenes were pretty clear in execution and intent.

PEPLUM TV said...

It's not just that Lopez is wearing the same clothes, even though that is a major part, but the fact that it's filmed almost the same way: someone is brought to the palace, the soon-to-be dispatched suitor sees this, then informs Omphale, etc. I never had any difficulty figuring this out it's just the way it's filmed appears confusing. I guess director Francisci decided to do this way because it was meant to be seen as routine, something that happens on a regular basis.