Hercules in New York is a film from 1970, known today principally (or only) for being the first film featuring actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film is on the IMDb bottom 100 listing, and is widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made. It was criticised for its terrible acting, laughably bad dialogue, unconvincing special effects, costumes and make-up.
Playing the film's title character Schwarzenegger, because of his long last name, is credited as "Arnold Strong", and because of his thick Austrian accent, had all his lines dubbed, although often modern showings of the film have his audio line restored.
Notably, fellow bodybuilders turned actors, and boyhood idols of Schwarzenegger's, Reg Park and Steve Reeves, also played Hercules during their careers.
The film has also been released as Hercules Goes Bananas (its original title, changed to Hercules in New York to give the movie a more serious tone) and simply Hercules.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
The film's story begins with Hercules on Olympus, berating his father Zeus for not allowing him to leave the gods' abode to adventure among mortal men. Eventually Zeus tires of Hercules's insolence and blasts him with a lightning bolt, casting him out of Olympus - thus giving Hercules what he wanted.
After a couple of strange encounters in the air and at sea, Hercules arrives in New York City, where much hilarity ensues from his interactions with various New Yorkers, who, not recognizing his divinity, regard him as a physically superior but socially awkward rustic. Hercules is taken to heart by the city, however, when he becomes a successful professional wrestler.
Hercules racing a chariot through Times SquareZeus, watching Hercules from the heights, becomes further irritated with Hercules making a mockery of the divine, calls upon Nemesis to bring Hercules to grief. After Mercury makes an unsuccessful attempt to bring Hercules back of his own will, Zeus orders Nemesis to see to it that Hercules is consigned to the infernal regions ruled over by Pluto. However, Juno, the hero's ever-jealous stepmother, has her own plans for Zeus's wayward offspring...
The mixing of the Greek and Roman names for the divine characters in the foregoing synopsis is taken from the film: another inconsistency in the story is that, in the final apocalyptic battle, Hercules is saved by the miraculous arrival of Atlas, a Titan, and Samson, a biblical hero.
Hercules racing a chariot through Times Square
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