Hercules (1983 film)

Hercules is a 1983 science fiction-fantasy adventure film written and directed by Luigi Cozzi and starring Lou Ferrigno. The film is based on Greek mythology and follows the exploits of Hercules.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byLuigi Cozzi
Produced by
Screenplay byLuigi Cozzi[1]
Music byPino Donaggio[2]
CinematographyAlberto Spagnoli[1]
Edited by
  • James Beshears
  • Sergio Montanari[3]
Release date
  • 26 June 1983 (1983-06-26) (United States)
Running time
98 minutes[4]
  • Italy
  • United States[2]
LanguageEnglish, Italian
Box office$11 million (USA)[5]


The film is a retelling of the story of Hercules (Lou Ferrigno) battling the wizard King Minos (William Berger), who uses "science" in an attempt to take over the world. Hercules must stop him and rescue his princess love in the process.



Variety announced in 1982 that actor Lou Ferrigno would play the title role in Hercules and budgeted the film at $6 million.[2] The film was originally announced to be directed by Bruno Mattei from a screenplay by Ricardo Ghione.[2] Principal photography was scheduled to begin May 1982 in Rome, Italy while The Hollywood Reporter named Claudio Fragasso as screenwriter, and Ennio Morricone as music composer and conductor.[2] Neither Mattei, Fragasso, or Morricone appear in onscreen credits.[2] The Hollywood Reporter later stated that principal photography began on August 1982 in Italy under the direction of Luigi Cozzi.[2]

Filmed back-to-back with The Seven Magnificent Gladiators in Italy in 1982.[6] The Seven Magnificent Gladiators was filmed first, followed by the shooting of Hercules, which began on 12 July 1982.[6]


Hercules was released in the United States on 26 August 1983 with a 98-minute running time.[3] The film ranked fourth in the United States box office in its opening weekend, earning $3,473,635.[7] The film ultimately grossed $11 million.[5]

Critical reception

The film received largely negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 25% rating based on 8 reviews, with an average rating of 2.2/10.[8]


Award Category Subject Result
Golden Raspberry Award Worst Actor Lou Ferrigno Nominated
Worst New Star Won
Worst Supporting Actress Sybil Danning Won
Worst Screenplay Luigi Cozzi Nominated
Worst Picture Yoram Globus Nominated

See also



  1. Kinnard & Crnkovich 2017, p. 201.
  2. "Hercules". American Film Institute. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  3. Kinnard & Crnkovich 2017, p. 202.
  4. Kinnard & Crnkovich 2017, p. 47.
  5. Yule, Andrew (1987). Hollywood a Go-Go: The True Story of the Cannon Film Empire. Sphere Books. p. 47. ISBN 9780722193891.
  6. "Variety Ultimate".
  7. "Weekend Box Office Results for August 26-28, 1983". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. 29 August 1983. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  8. "Hercules (1983)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 29 June 2018.


  • Kinnard, Roy; Crnkovich, Tony (2017). Italian Sword and Sandal Films, 1908-1990. McFarland. ISBN 1476662916.
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