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
if you can help with the cast information above. Hercules & the Masked Rider (1964):
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
For This Film:
Golia e il cavaliere mascherato [Italy; actual title]
Pilar Cansino, the beautiful actress who played Estella the Gypsy
Queen, is in real-life the cousin of screen legend Rita Hayworth.
The character called Hercules in this film was really called "Golia"
(meaning "Goliath") in the true, Italian version of the film.
Although given top billing in this film, Alan Steel (aka Sergio Ciani)
played a character who really had just a bit part in this film.