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Hercules: The Men in the Loin Cloth

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Hercules is back!

Dwayne Johnson has taken on the role of the legendary strongman, which was based off 0f the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Largely neglected for a long time, it was only recently the legendary son of Zeus was told to suit up again he was needed on the set. The Legend of Hercules was the first Hercules film out of the box. It starred the pretty Kellen Lutz, who knows how to work out but doesn’t know how to act at all. For the new film, the filmmakers became smarter and actually hired a body and an actor. There is no doubt Dwayne Johnson can provide the look for Hercules, seeing as though he has more muscles than he probably knows what to do with, but he can act as well, which is something that hasn’t always been much of a requirement for the role. In the beginning, it was the Italians who first saw the potential of Hercules. In the 1950 and 1960s, there were nineteen films made about Herc. Here now is a look at some of the men who have played Hercules –

1. Steve Reeves –

At the peak of his career, Steve Reeves was the highest paid actor in Europe (When you’re done laughing, I shall continue).  Born in Montana, Reeves went to Italy and played the lead character in Pietro Francisci’s Hercules, a low-budget film loosely based on the Jason and the Argonauts tale, just inserting Hercules in the lead role. It was a success and a sequel Hercules Unchained followed. By 1960, Reeves was the number one box office draw in 25 countries. He would appear in a string of other Hercules-esque roles but would only play the strong man twice. Proving that brains were not Reeves’ strong suit, he reportedly turned down the role of James Bond  and the lead in A Fistful of Dollars.

2. Alan Steel –

What a perfect strong name. Who better suited to play Hercules, right? Only problem is his real name was Sergio Ciani. Steel followed in the footsteps of Steve Reeves, made sure his chest was nice and shiny and took full advantage of the Hercules craze of the late 50s and early 60s. Steel started off as Reeves’ body double in Hercules Unchained and The Giant of Marathon until finally taking hold of the loin cloth and appearing as Hercules in the movie Samson.  Steel starred as Hercules in Hercules Against Rome, Hercules Against the Moon Men, Hercules and the Black Pirates, Hercules and the Treasure of the Incas and Hercules and the Masked Rider.

3. Kevin Sorbo –

Sorbo played Hercules in the series that would produce the more popular spin-off Xena: Warrior Princess. Still, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys was well made and Sorbo was good as Hercules. The series was filmed in New Zealand and touched off the popularity of all things Ancient Greek, not to mention filming in New Zealand, that would result in Spartacus.



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