OF TROY (director: Robert Wise;
Twist/Hugh Gray/N. Richard Nash/based on the Homer epic
poem "The Iliad"; cinematographer: Harry Stradling;
Reilly; music: Max Steiner; cast: Rossana Podest (Helen), Jack
Sernas (Paris), Sir Cedric Hardwicke (Priam), Stanley
Baker (Achilles), Niall MacGinnis (Menelaus), Nora
Swinburne (Hecuba), Robert Douglas (Agamemnon), Torin
Thatcher (Ulysses), Harry Andrews (Hector), Janette
Scott (Cassandra), Brigitte Bardot (Andraste),
Maxwell Reed (Ajax),
Marc Lawrence (Diomedes), (Adelphous), Eduardo Ciannelli (Andros), Robert Brown (Polydorus);
Runtime: 118; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: ; Warner
"Tedious historical costume drama."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
epic film shot in Italy with an international cast did
a poor box office, and received mixed reviews. Robert
Wise ("The Haunting"/"West Side Story"/"The Set-Up")
shoots this tedious
historical costume drama as his first film in
CinemaScope, and even though the film tanked his
career skyrocketed afterwards. It's loosely based on
the Homer epic poem "The Iliad." Though entertaining in a pedestrian way and
that the battle scenes were excellently shot, the
spectacle never recovers from appearing awkward due to
the stiff acting, the stilted script and the flat
Bardot has a small part as a slave girl; a year later
she became a star in the French film God Created
It's set in 1100 B.C., some three
thousand years ago in ancient Greece.
The idealistic Prince Paris
of Troy (Jacques Sernas) sails to the warrior nation
of Sparta to secure a peace treaty between the two
powerful Greek city-states. Paris gets permission for
this risky mission from his pacifist father King Priam
doomed prophecies of his seer sister Cassandra (Janette Scott)-- hysterically haunted by
visions of misfortune.
On his journey to Sparta, Paris is washed ashore alone in Sparta during a violent sea storm and is rescued by 'the face that would launch a thousand ships,' Helen (Rossana Podest), the queen of Sparta, who is married to the ruthless King Menelaus (Niall MacGinnis). When Paris' peace efforts fail before a meeting of Greek kings that include Menelaus, Achilles (Stanley Baker), the scheming brother of Menelaus, Agamemnon (Robert Douglas), and Ulysses (Torin Thatcher), these Greek kings are now set to put into action their plan to launch an attack on the wealthy Troy's treasures even if the walls surrounding the city, which were built after Sparta's previous invasion, are impregnable. When Paris is jailed by King Menelaus, Helen helps him escape and is willingly "abducted" by Paris and taken to Troy. This abduction gives the Greek kings the excuse that sparks a long and bitter war, that leads to use of the legendary Trojan Horse to enter Troy.
REVIEWED ON 3/19/2012 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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