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Hercules in New York, 1969, started out as a low budget movie starring a then largely unknown 22 year old bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first feature film. Arnold hadn’t even won his first Mr. Olympia contest when the movie was released and wouldn’t become a household name until at least the late 1970s. In its original release, Schwarzenegger was credited as Arnold Strong. “Arnold Strong” played opposite another actor called Arnold Stang. I have no idea how well the movie did in it’s original theatrical release but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that its subsequent re-releases on VHS, DVD, and Blueray, not to mention television and cable, have made whoever owns the rights to the film a lot of money.
The movie’s original posters related more to the feel of what the movie was actually about. However, in this example, one of many foreign Hercules in NY poster investigative reports Built Report will cover(do a search on Built Report for Hercules in New York), the Italian distributors decided to go with an explosive action movie feel. I saw the movie years ago and don’t remember a lot about it, and don’t feel like re-watching it, but I don’t recall explosions and car pile up, although there may have been. Furthermore, Arnold Schwarzenegger had a better physique than what is depicted in the poster(or DVD cover). They also illustrated Arnold’s face to as be action-hero-lean as he is in all his later films, but wasn’t in this movie. Lastly, Schwarzenegger never had 8 pack abs. This picture shows him having rows of abs that keep going below the belt line. If anything, Arnold had 4 pack abs. Not that 4, 6, 8 pack abs really matter if they’re chiseled, but 6 packs seem to be the norm. See our terrific article on the Arnold 4 pack debate in this article: builtreport.com/arnold-schwarzenegger/arnold-schwarzenegger-four-pack-abs/
The Italians put low budget Hercules movies on the map and came up with some cool posters over the years for the many genres they created including the “Sword and Sandal”/peplum movies, Spaghetti Westerns, Giallo suspense/horror, cannibal flicks, Poliziotteschi aka Italo-crime aka Euro-crime and more. They knew how to market films and make a little go a long way. Sword and Sandal movies came full circle with this very poster as the genre was invented and exploded in Italy in the late 1950s, died around 1965 when they were replaced by the Spaghetti Western, and now, decades later, the Italians have put their mark on an American Sword and Sandal-ish movie which was originally released several years after the genre had essentially died.
Don’t miss on Built Report’s special report on the scandalous Germany R-rated Hercules in New York DVD jacket: