Polar Bear Return to Polar Blair's Den Menu Page

"Goliath" Films

Back to "Live-Action Superheroes" Main Page

About These Films

Alan Steel (Sergio Ciani)
Hercules & the Masked Rider (1964 Film)

About These Films:  "Goliath" was one of the names used when filmmakers and/or distributors couldn't use or didn't want to use the name of "Hercules" for its films in the 1950s and 60s.  Many of the times, Goliath was exactly like the established character of Hercules except in name.  There is rarely ever reference to Biblical times and, oddly enough, Goliath was never a villain!  Goliath was simply another recognizable name of a mighty-man character that could appeal to audiences.  Other popular names used for sword-and-sandal movies of the 60s include Colossus, Maciste, Samson, and Thor.

Hercules & the Masked Rider (1964):  It's the Masked Hercules movie!  This is about as much of a Hercules movie as "The Legend of Zorro".  The main character is Don Juan, who becomes the Masked Rider.  Hercules isn't even a character of second or third importance.  He is merely a thug in the gypsy band.  Alan Steel, as Hercules, maybe has a total of 5 minutes screen time and says about 10 words in the movie.  Besides the fact, the character was really called "Golia", meaning "Goliath", in the Italian version of the film.   Hercules was just a more recognizable name for American audiences.  This is a good enough movie, but they lied to audiences when they named it "Hercules and the Masked Rider".  Naming this anything but "The Masked Rider" or "Don Juan" is wrong.

    Set in 17th Century Spain, there's trouble a-brewing between good and evil.  Don Romero takes over the land of Don Francisco, killing the old man, and taking his beautiful daughter Donna Blanca as his bride-to-be.  Blanca happens to be Don Juan's woman, and he's ticked.  So what to do?  Join a gypsy band, of course, and become the Masked Rider!

    Masked Rider (Don Juan) and the gypsies become a royal pain to the evil Don Romero.  A hybrid between Zorro and Robin Hood, the Masked Rider vows revenge on Don Romero and to take back Blanca.  The beautiful redhead gypsy queen Estella sneaks into Romero's palace as a dancer, with her hot gypsy dancing girl troupe, to deliver a message to Blanca.  All goes well until Estella blows it.  Then she's put in lockdown.  But during her stay at the palace, she had fallen in love with Romero's second-in-command, the dashing Captain Blasco.  Blasco does NOT approve of Romero, and no longer wants to be in his army, but it's a do-it-or-be-killed kind of arrangement.  When he falls in love with Estella, he decides once and for all that he's getting out of Romero's army, but has to do it on the sly.  Estella is set to be executed in two days unless Blasco can bring back the Masked Rider.

    Blasco goes into the woods where he is caught by Masked Rider and the gypsies.  Don Juan finds out Blasco is the captain of Romero's army, which is weird, because the two are actually longtime friends.  So the two buddies conspire against Romero.  Juan (Rider) plays Blasco's prisoner and the gypsies sneak into the palace, disguised as officers, executioners, etc.  They barely arrive back in time to save Estella from execution.  Don Juan is about to be hung at the gallows when all h*** breaks loose.  Good guys win, bad guys lose, Romero gets killed, happy ending for everyone.  Don Juan and Donna Blanca get married and live at her father's palace.  The already, newly-married servant couple of Phillipe and Delores finally get to have, ahem, "maritals".  Blasco and Estella seem to be an item.  And Hercules and the rest of the gypsies go back to where they came from.

    I like the Masked Rider's outfit.  He has a long, flowing red cape with matching mask and gloves.  His black-and-white Spanish outfit is fanciful, complete with ruffles!  He's not a Zorro clone, but let's just say he was very "inspired".  The character concept of the Masked Rider is really more of a blend between Zorro and Robin Hood.

    I don't like it that Juan and Blanca are cousins.  That seems...wrong...for some reason, and vaguely important to mention.  First of all, incest is wrong in any country.  I know this film was made in Italy.  When it was dubbed into English for American audiences, I think they could have worked out the cousin connection from the dialogue.  It's mentioned a handful of times.  The "cousins" thing can be ignored, because it's not really intrinsic to the story.  They're as easily "long lost lovers" or "childhood friends" as they are cousins.  I think the "cousins" thing is a black mark against this film.  How can we admire the hero when we know he wants to "do" his cousin?  But if you ignore that, and just put into your mind that she's a girlfriend, and nothing more, it's a cool movie.

    The Hercules of this movie is not the super-strong Greek demigod.  He is merely a musclebound gypsy with an impressive name.  At least he does some impressive physical stuff.  But, as a strange twist, Hercules has absolutely NO woman companion in this film.  That's unusual for a Hercules film.  Then again, this is not a real Hercules film.

    The women of the film are absolutely gorgeous!  Dina De Santis as knockout redhead Blanca, Pilar Cansino as Estella the Gypsy Queen, and the actress who plays Delores, are all beautiful girls.  And that's WITH being fully-clothed.  Just think about how sexy they would have been if they showed cleavage.

    All in all, a good story, but the title is purposely misleading.


Sergio Ciani as Golia [credited as Alan Steel, playing Hercules]
Mimmo Palmara as Don Juan, The Masked Rider
Dina De Santis as Donna Blanca
Jose Greci as Don Romero Suarez de Medina
Pilar Cansino as Gypsy Queen Estella
Arturo Dominici as Captain Blasco
? as Phillipe, Juan's assistant
? as Delores, Blanca's assistant

CONTACT ME if you can help with the cast information above.

Alternate Titles For This Film:
Fun Facts: