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Film / Hercules in New York

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"You have strucked Hercules!"

An American fantasy-comedy film from 1969 (also known as Hercules Goes Bananas) directed by Arthur A. Seidelman, most notable as the film debut of Arnold Schwarzenegger (credited as Arnold Strong), who was still transitioning from bodybuilding to acting.

After Hercules complains to his father Zeus about not being allowed to adventure in the lands of men, Zeus sends him to Earth, where Hilarity Ensues as he comes across various situations which he solves using his Super-Strength, eventually getting mixed up in the world of professional boxing and the mob. This makes the gods angry, and Juno, Nemesis, and Pluto begin to plot against Hercules coming home. In the meantime, Hercules brefriends Preztie (Arnold Stang), a nebbishy pretzel vendor.

This film has examples of:

  • Ancient Grome: While Zeus and Nemesis keep their Greek names, Juno, Pluto, Mercury, Venus, and Hercules himself have their Roman pantheon names.
  • Bears Are Bad News: At one point Hercules' date comes to a halt when he has to fight a bear that has escaped from a zoo.
  • The Bet: Pluto bets $20,000 against Hercules winning a strongman contest.
  • Big Applesauce
  • Brought Down to Normal: On Juno's advice, Nemesis poisons Hercules with a potion that robs him of his immortality and strength.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Hercules pisses off Rod Nelson, who punches him in the stomach, to no effect whatsoever. Somehow this doesn't deter Rod, who mocks Hercules (thinking he's faking it) and asks him to step outside. Hercules responds by chucking the guy across the room.
  • Casting a Shadow: Pluto's very presence casts shadows in rooms and the outdoors, and his Underworld is dimly lit.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Pretzie and the cabbie try to get Hercules to pay for the ride, using twentieth-century slang terms for money like "bucks" and "dough", he wonders, "What is all this zoological talk about male and female animals?" (He misinterpreted the second word as "doe.")
  • Deus ex Machina / Summon Bigger Fish: Mercury and Venus get Atlas and Samson to go to Hercules' aid against the gangsters.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Professor Camden is smoking a pipe during his first scene.
  • Dumb Muscle: Hercules is not the brightest of the bunch, and Mercury describes him as childlike.
  • Evil Stepmother: Juno hates Hercules and schemes to rid herself of him by any means necessary.
  • Fish out of Water: Hercules has no idea how life outside of Olympus functions, and gets himself into trouble repeatedly through his cluelessness.
  • Here We Go Again!: The movie ends with Zeus making his own way to Earth, causing mayhem along the way just like his son.
  • Ironic Hell: Juno decides that if Hercules likes the mortals so much, she'll take away his divinity temporarily so he can be one.
  • Mathematician's Answer: This is the only kind of answer Hercules, being somewhat Literal-Minded, can give to the captain of the ship that picks him up.
    Captain: What were you doing out there in the water?
    Hercules: Swimming.
  • Mr. Fanservice: You don't cast a bodybuilder without having him take off his shirt at least once!
  • Naked on Arrival: For some reason, Hercules is sent to Earth naked, though we don't see that.
  • Napoleon Delusion: Rod name-checks the trope in a conversation with the Camdens after Hercules reveals himself.
  • Odd Couple: The proud, muscular, and belligerent Hercules with the weedy, nasal-voiced street vendor Pretzie.
  • Pec Flex: Herc gratuitously flexes his pectoral muscles before throwing a javelin.
  • Recurring Riff: A Greek-sounding riff plays a lot.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: The film liberally mixes up Greek and Roman lore with Christianity. For instance, Hercules' allies Mercury and Venus (of whom the latter claims all responsibility when interrogated) sending both Atlas and Samson to aid him in the climax.
  • Same Language Dub: Arnold's voice was originally dubbed due to his thick accent, but the DVD releases of the film give the viewer an option to watch the movie either with the dub or with his real voice. Streaming releases and the Blu-Ray release (as part of a six-film collection) use Arnold’s real voice.
  • Shown Their Work: Pluto's role as God of Wealth is included with the huge sum of money he bets against Hercules and his lavish quarters in general. He also mentions to Nemesis that he doesn't kill, only punishes; Thanatos is Death Incarnate while Pluto has administrative duties.
  • Super-Strength: Hercules' schtick.
  • Third-Person Person: Hercules often talks this way.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Hercules' Love Interest Helen disappears after the climax, leaving Pretzie the only one to receive a farewell message from the big lug.
  • Who Dares?:
    • When Hercules refuses to pay the taxi bills, Pretzie wrestles him to force him to pay, but Hercules retorts with this line:
      Hercules: How dare you touch Hercules!
    • And when he sees a poster for a movie about himself while on a date with Helen, he gets extremely offended...
      Hercules: What is the name of that imitator? Who gave him permission to pretend to be Hercules?
  • Wicked Cultured: Pluto is king of lecherous pleasures in Hell and has a stock of wine, women, and other pleasures at his disposal. He also has a British accent and blends in aboveground with a classy top hat and cane.