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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arnold Stang, Deborah Loomis, James Karen, Mark Tendler ... see more see more... , George Bartenieff , Taina Elg , Merwin Goldsmith , Ernest Graves , Dan Hamilton , Michael Lipton , Tanny Mc Donald

Every movie star has to start somewhere, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, then little-known outside of body building circles, made his screen debut in this comic variation on the "sword and sandal" epics po... read more read more...pular in the 1950's and '60's. Hercules (Schwarzenegger) has grown tired of his life on Mount Olympus, and wishes to visit Earth. His father Zeus (Ernest Graves) forbids such a voyage, but a misdirected thunderbolt sends Hercules tumbling down the mountain and into New York City, where he's befriended by Pretzie (Arnold Stang), who runs a pretzel cart in the park. As Hercules tries to make his way in the big city with Pretzie's help, he runs afoul of a crooked wresling promoter, gets mixed up with gangsters, rides his chariot through Times Square, descends into Hell, and dines at the Automat (which some contend is not unlike descending into Hell). Just as Hercules is getting used to life on Earth, his angry father decides it's time the boy came home, and Zeus sends Nemesis (Taina Elg) and a handful of other gods to retrieve him. For the original American release of Hercules In New York, Arnold Schwarzenegger was billed as Arnold Strong, and his voice was dubbed by another actor to remove his accent; when the film was re-released on video in 2000, Schwarzenegger's original vocal tracks were restored, though the dubbed version appears on several previous video releases. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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29% liked it

7,929 ratings


17% liked it

6 critics

G, 1 hr. 32 min.

Directed by: Arthur Allan Seidelman

Release Date: June 1, 1975

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DVD Release Date: October 24, 2000

Stats: 664 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (664)

  • August 12, 2011
    *Note: The Netflix Instant version dubs Arnold. Get the original in order to grasp the full hilarity of this film.

    The production meeting for this stagnant piece of horse manure must have been a hoot.
    "Yeah, he's a god but...but he's in New York City."
    "That'... read mores it."

    It stands to wonder why this film needed to be made. The budget must have been small, as Mount Olympus looks like the back garden of a fancy funeral home, and much of the lighting is natural, though average for that time period, still looks ungodly. The film, haphazard and nonsensical, follows Hercules descent from Olympus at the behest of Zeus, angry at him for his whining and bratty demeanor. Once Hercules is on Earth, making friends with a pretzel vendor named (deep exhale) Pretzie, he jumps ship, fights a bear, and becomes a strong man. (The bear is a guy in a suit, and not a good one. Sock puppets are more believable.) Zeus immediately wishes him back, and when he becomes defiant, Zeus banishes him to hell for a hundred years. Different gods pop up to bring him to heaven or hell, though all of them are pretty banal, none possessing any interesting qualities or trying to be in likeness with who they are portraying. Besides that, the film intercuts the Arnold footage with simple scenes of the gods plotting, which usually consists of long tracking shots from twenty feet away, with atrocious dialogue and blasť direction overall. Though Arnold is pretty interesting and his unintentional hilarity abundant, Pretzie is a thorn in the viewer's side, a character somewhere between stereotypical Brooklyn Jew and a generally uneven and annoying individual. None of this film makes much sense, but watch for the iconic scene where Arnold goes against another strong man to be crowned strongest man alive. It's trivial and plain, but one hell of a laugh fest.
  • February 23, 2010
    An early Schwarzenneger flick I caught on late night tv. Didn't care for it.
  • March 5, 2008
    So bad it's absolutely hilarious. Mount Olympus apparently has traffic going past. The man who played the bear deserves best supporting actor, and for some of the shots not even being colour corrected properly this deserves Oscars. It isn't these painfully hilarious moments that ... read morelet the film down really, they add to it's charm. What does let it down is the fact that Hercules is an absolute penis head. Beating up anybody he feels like, and refusing to pay for anything. Worth a waste of 90 minutes of your life.
  • July 10, 2007
    What a stinker of a film! Not supposed to be a comedy, but I laughed as hard at this as anything I've ever seen. An Arnie with his dialogue dubbed is still a bad Arnie. Although I have to say he looks fantastic -- this was made when he was just a pup winning all the awards. Not t... read moreo be missed.
  • January 30, 2012
    Now you're probably asking why in the world would I review Hercules in New York. Well my friend made a bet with me that I couldn't sit through the whole movie, I did, and I should have left sooner.

    Hercules (Schwarzenegger) is sent to Earth where he finds true love and starts ... read morea promising career in the bodybuilder business. Now to be truthful, the main selling point of this DVD is Arnold voice, it's says "Featuring Arnold real voice for the first time" on the DVD. So getting that out of the way, he's speak terrible English in his first role. Oh yeah the plot, well, it doesn't have one. Well it does, but it's so poorly written and over the top you'll be scratching your head on what in the world you're watching.

    So in order to get through this movie, me and my friend, Alex, decided to play a drinking game, we would take a shot of beer for every word Arnold said incorrectly, we almost got drunk in three minutes. If we played five minute longer, we would have our stomach pump, that's how bad Arnold English is. This movie is ridiculous on so many level. Like how Arnold fights a Bear, fight sailors who rescued him with some laughably bad music, and something about the Mafia being involve it's just nonsense. This movie is literally stupid, just read the title, Hercules in New York. If Tarzan adventure in New York wasn't interesting, what made these people think it would work with Hercules.

    So Hercules in New York is a bad movie with allot of filler and useless characters that make you wonder how Arnold acting career ever took off. Now this is better than some of the movie I usually pick up, it's no Vampiro, it's no Gingerdead Man, it's no Ninja Squad, and that's why it gets a 10% from me. So what did I win from the bet your probably wondering, a free copy of Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, which is why it also gets a 10%.
  • August 29, 2011
    So Bad.
  • August 31, 2008
    Bad bad BAD bad bad f%$#ing movie. Just very, very bad, this is. Not bad as in good, even, but bad as in HORRIBLE. If you were to watch this without knowing who Arnold Schwarzenegger is... well, you wouldn't, because you'd have better sense than to watch a piece of crap like this... read more without the added incentive of seeing a world-famous action star engage in a wrestling match with a stunt man in a bear costume. And you know what? Even THAT'S not enough reason to watch this. The "plot" concerns the demigod Hercules, who is sick of hanging around Olympus and wants to go to Earth again... for some reason. He gets down there and meets a weasley friend who sells pretzels named Pretzi (of course) and a cute girl who finds his psychotic babbling about Greek gods charming and oh my GOD I can't even get through the damn plot recap. Arnold's accent in this film was so bad that the producers opted to do a voice-over track (which sounds about as believable as Jackie Chan being dubbed by Greg Kinnear), and having seen the version with the original, Arnold audio track, I gotta say... I can pride myself in being able to understand most any accent, but Arnold is absolutely unintelligible sometimes. He says "deity", I hear "diet". He says "insolence", I hear a string of vowels and consonants that I have never heard work in concert before. I always suspected that Arnold only really worked well when he was working with James Cameron, but DAMN- this performance gives bad acting a bad name. And it's not just him (of course)- EVERYONE in this film is crap. The characters are all cartoony cut-outs, and they're played by some of the worst actors I've ever had the chance to see in action. The film reeks of a lack of money (if they used sets, they surely didn't pay more than $20 to put them together, but I'm convinced they shot the whole thing in their apartments when they aren't spending all their time in Central Park)- I can't believe they let these guys shoot in Times Square, even in the middle of a Sunday morning (as I imagine it would have had to have been, since there are hardly any cars on the road...). It's shot on poor film stock, with cheesy lighting, using flat, uninteresting angles- it looks like a seventies T.V. movie, or a G-rated porn film. The action is laughable, the plot is non-existent (I haven't even mentioned the racketeers or the whole pro-wrestling thing); the best set pieces- Hercules going through Times Square and the fight with a brown bear- were done better on the Incredible Hulk television show, for God's sake. The music is repetitive and annoying- the same lute theme is played over and over and OVER AGAIN. It's just... so... AAAARRGGH! I... I can't keep talking about this travesty of a movie. I like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but not nearly enough to make me EVER want to see this film again. It was a waste of ninety minutes of my life, ninety minutes that I will never, ever get back. I should have stopped watching this after the first five, but dammit, the only movie I've ever taken out before finishing was Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and I wasn't certain that it was that bad... until now. It's too late for me, but it's not too late for you. Heed my words! Save your ninety minutes! DON'T WATCH THIS FILM!
  • June 24, 2013
    It's terrible...and yet it has a childish innocence that you can't help but warm to.
  • July 14, 2010
    Not exactly Arnold's best and not even his mediocre works to be honest, but still nevertheless a marginally OK movie. It's strictly for Arnold Schwarzenegger fans I'd say.

    The movie is about Hercules (Arnold) leaving Olympus and coming to New York to participate in the lives o... read moref mortals. Sounds like fun, right? Well it was OK, but any kind of fighting scenes looked very staged and fake, and the sound effects of punches even I can do better.

    The acting was rather OK. Arnold always plays similar roles and so this role was no different. The other actors did a pretty impressive job. The actors who played Zeus, Juno, Pluto and Mercury especially. On a side note though, if the director was going with the Roman equivalents of Greek Gods then why didn't he do so for Zeus as well? We have Hera -> Juno, Aphrodite -> Venus, Hades -> Pluto, Hermes -> Mercury. So Zeus was actually supposed to be called Jupiter.
  • February 24, 2009
    This movie is so bad, it's good. Accent of Arnold "Strong" (Schwarzenegger) Woody Allen looking sidekick, New Yorkers of the 70's, bear suit man.... It's all there. This is Arnold's first lead role ever! A MUST WATCH!

Critic Reviews

Tim Brayton
August 2, 2014
Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Sheer fever dream madness. Full Review

Steve Crum
June 1, 2005
Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan

Early (dubbed) Arnold is a low budget oddity.

Emanuel Levy
August 28, 2005
Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com

No review available.

Robin Clifford
February 25, 2005
Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews

No review available.

Randy Shulman
June 17, 2004
Randy Shulman, Metro Weekly (Washington, DC)

No review available.

Rebecca Murray
June 26, 2003
Rebecca Murray,

No review available.

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Hercules in New York Trivia

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  • what was the first movie that arnold scwarzenegger in?  Answer »
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