My Son, The Hero (1962)

aka Arrivano i titani
Article 3018 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-12-2009
Posting Date: 11-18-2009
Directed by Duccio Tessari
Featuring Pedro Armendariz, Giuliano Gemma, Antonella Lualdi
Country: Italy / France

The king of Crete is placed under a curse that says that he will die when his daughter falls in love with a man; he decides to isolate her so that she may meet no man. The gods decide to release a Titan named Krios from Hades so that he can try to meet the isolated princess and bring about the king’s fate; if he succeeds, his fellow Titans will also be released.

This is one of the more offbeat sword-and-sandal movies out there. It’s something of a comedy, but I prefer to think of it as a light-hearted take on the genre, and it finds a nice balance between action, adventure and humor. It takes a slightly different approach than the others; our hero isn’t extremely strong, but he’s very clever and uses his wits to accomplish his ends. There are some good highlights here; the scene where Krios takes part in the hunt of a slave in which he reasons out the actions the slave will take in making his escape is one, and the final battle in which Krios is joined by his fellow Titans is another. In the interim, Krios sneaks back into Hades to steal Pluto’s headpiece, faces a Gorgon, and borrows some weapons from a cyclops. The use of music is very different here as well; in particular, I like the music during the scene where the slave destroys a bridge. It takes a little while to get started, and it’s overlong, the dubbing is uneven (the acting is quite good, but the lip synch is very bad at times), but it may be one of the most creative variations on a genre that is too often overly predictable.

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