Friday, April 30, 2021

Different Versions: THE LOVES OF HERCULES (1960)

PEPLUM movies made in Europe, mainly Italy, often had different versions of the same movie for different markets: one for Europe and another for North America. Though this practice was not widespread, it happened enough to be an issue. It's one of the reasons why Fan Dubs for some titles are impossible to make: the English audio doesn't match the European print. Here's one clear example.

THE LOVES OF HERCULES (1960) has three versions. I only show two versions here. The version on the left is the original Italian version while the screenshot on the right was taken from the US print. The third version is the one with Mickey Hargitay's real voice (I've never seen that one). The movie was made in 1960 but released in the US in 1966 (direct to TV?). 

Not only is the action of the same scenes different but the one for US market seems to have been made specifically for television. Side by side comparisons show how the framing between the two versions is completely different. In the above example, the US one shows Hercules (Mickey Hargitay) from the waist up while the Italian print shows him from the chest.

The problem is that the US version of the movie has never been released in widescreen (does it exist?) therefore it's impossible to fully know how much more different it it. Needeless to say, this is one of the best examples out there.

I can't imagine what a nightmare it must have been to keep track of all these scenes.

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