The hybrid star: Steve Reeves, Hercules and the politics of transnational whiteness | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2047-7368
  • E-ISSN: 2047-7376



My article focuses on a particular cycle of the adventure films produced in Italy between 1957 and 1965 that has come to be known as the peplum. These Italian peplum films centred on heroes drawn from classical antiquity played by American bodybuilders, in particular Steve Reeves, who won the titles of Mr America and Mr Universe in the late 1940s. The purpose of the article is to investigate the use of Steve Reeves’ star persona in the peplum genre, focusing on the significance of his white muscularity as a cultural intertext between America and Italy during the Hollywood on the Tiber era.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Cold War; Italian cinema; peplum; Richard Dyer; stardom; Steve Reeves; whiteness
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