Samson and His Mighty Challenge

Samson and His Mighty Challenge is a 1964 Italian sword-and-sandal film, released in 1965 at the very tail end of the peplum craze. Its original title was Ercole, Sansone, Maciste e Ursus gli invincibili (Hercules, Samson, Maciste, and Ursus: the Invincibles). It is also known as Samson and the Mighty Challenge, Combate dei Gigantes (Battle of the Giants), Triumph of the Giants or Le Grand Defi (The Great Battle).

Samson and His Mighty Challenge
Directed byGiorgio Capitani (co-plotter)
Produced byGiorgio Cristallini
Written bySandro Continenza
Roberto Gianviti
StarringAlan Steel
Howard Ross
Nadir Baltimore
Yann Larvor
Livio Lorenzon
Music byPiero Umiliani
Senior Cin. ca
Les Films Regent
Distributed bySenior Cin. ca; Regionale
Release date
Running time
100 minutes
CountryItaly / Spain / France


Hercules argues with his father Zeus who thinks that his son should follow the road of virtue. Instead, Hercules follows the road of pleasure which leads him to the city of Lydia. There he falls in love with the princess Omphale and he asks from her mother Nemea permission to marry her. Although Nemea is thrilled with the idea of having a demigod as a husband for her daughter, Omphale doesn't even want to hear about it because she is in love with Inor the barbarian prince. So the couple crafts a cunning plan.

They hide their dwarf friend under the statue of Zeus and he tells Hercules that in order to marry Omphale he must battle with the most powerful man in the world: Samson. Hercules agrees and the queen sends a messenger to tell Samson about the fight. Samson agrees, although his wife Delilah thinks that it is not a good idea because her husband has a taste for beautiful women. So Delilah cuts his hair and makes him weak. However, the messenger does not know this, and he thinks that his wife doesn't let him go. In order to return to Lydia with Samson, he hires the troublemaker Ursus who recently lost a fight to Maciste to kidnap him.



In 1993 this film was re-released as a comedy under the name Hercules Returns. The original dialogue was overdubbed by Australian actors and a number of extra scenes were filmed.[1]


  • Hughes, Howard (2011). Cinema Italiano - The Complete Guide From Classics To Cult. London - New York: I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-608-0.


  1. Hughes, p.25
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