What It’s About: Zeus exiles Hercules (Arnold Scwarzenegger) to modern day New York City. Herc meets Pretzie (Arnold Stang), a local pretzel seller (yeah, really), who sees Hercules as a way to make some money. After Hercules shows up a college track and field team, he meets Professor Camden (James Karen) and his daughter Helen. After Hercules saves Helen from an escaped bear during a date (no, really), he ends up on the wrestling circuit, and the mob squeeze Pretzie out of his managing gig. When Zeus sends down Nemesis, Juno convinces her to change plans and temporarily make Hercules mortal, while Juno enlists Pluto (Michael Lipton) to set Hercules up for failure with his mobster buddies, who soon have Hercules on the run….
Why Watch it Today?: There’s only one real reason to see this cheap, far-too-late attempt to mock the 1960s Pepulum movie craze, and it’s because Hercules in New York was star Arnold Scwarzenegger’s first, embarrassing film role. Made in 1969, Arnold is dubbed in the original release. Arnold was born today in 1947 and, though it’s doubtful he will ever regain his status as the #1 action star in the world, I’m sure that he will be trying again really soon.
Other Choices: To celebrate the man’s accomplishments, rather than to mock him with a cheap shot, you could watch Conan the Barbarian (my vote for his best movie/best performance); The Terminator, Predator, Terminator 2, or Commando (though I’d actually put it in the “mock” column).