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Many of you who read my columns regularly know that as a misguided youth, I was a fan of monster movies and science fiction. But it might surprise you to learn that I also had an enduring interest in what have come to be called “sword and sandal” films that depicted the lives and adventures of ancient heroes.

The heroes included Hercules, Samson, Jason (with his backup band, The Argonauts), Ulysses, et al., as well as their offspring, relatives and casual acquaintances. For me, though, Hercules was the man, and among the big screen portrayers of the son of Zeus, the late Steve Reeves was the cream of the crop.

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