My Son, the Hero (1963)

Genres - Action, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Satire  |   Run Time - 111 min.  |   Countries - France, Italy  |  
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My Son the Hero started out in 1961 as a straightforward Italian sword and sandal affair titled Arrivano i Titani, all about the quest for a magic helmet in ancient Thebes. Well cast (Pedro Armendariz is the star) and extremely well photographed, the original film was still not sufficient different from all the other Italian strongman films glutting the American market in 1963. Thus the American distributors hit upon the notion of transforming the film into a satire, by redubbing all the actors and hoking up the sound effects. What resulted was a heady mixture of Yiddish accents, Borscht-belt one-liners and rippling pecs. The single joke wears out pretty quickly in My Son, the Hero, but the concept is a workable one, as Woody Allen proved two years later with What's Up, Tiger Lily?