Bored with life on Mount Olympus, Hercules (Arnold Schwarzenegger in his debut film) decides to visit Earth against the wishes of his father, Zeus. Zeus explodes with anger and hurls a thunder-bolt at Hercules who plummets into the sea and is rescued by a freighter bound for New York. There he is befriended by Pretzie (Arnold Stang) who whisks him away from a brawling free-for-all with his shipmates. The plot thickens when Zeus' wife Juno sends the dreaded Nemesis to take away Hercules' god-like strength. Some local hoodlums have just bet a small fortune on Hercules in a weight-lifting competition and when he fails to win, a chase all over New York is on.