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Helen of Troy (1956)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 26 January 1956 (USA)
The Iliad's story of the Trojan war, told from the Trojan viewpoint.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Helen (as Rossana Podesta)
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Paris (as Jack Sernas)
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Priam (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
...
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Nora Swinburne ...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Andraste
...
Andros
...
Maxwell Reed ...
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Storyline

Prince Paris of Troy, shipwrecked on a mission to the king of Sparta, meets and falls for Queen Helen before he knows who she is. Rudely received by the royal Greeks, he must flee...but fate and their mutual passions lead him to take Helen along. This gives the Greeks just the excuse they need for much-desired war. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | queen | siege | slave | escape | See All (48) »

Taglines:

Its towering wonders span the age of titans! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

26 January 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die schöne Helena  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(theatrical) | (with overture and exit music) | (uncut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)| (RCA Sound Recording) (optical prints)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Homer's "The Odyssey", after the siege of Troy, Ulysses would then embark on a perilous journey home. Among those dangers was encountering a Cyclops. In this movie, Ulysses is played by Torin Thatcher, who would later co-star in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) and he would encounter a Cyclops in that film. See more »

Goofs

When examining the wooden horse, Ulysses tells his friend that the Trojans will give thanks to Athena for their victory. The friend replies, "And to Bacchus, the god of grapes." Bacchus was the Roman god of wine, not Greek. The correct Greek equivalent was Dionysus. Throughout the rest of the film, the characters call the gods by their correct Greek names (Athena, Zeus etc.) See more »

Quotes

Agamemnon: I'd like your friend Achilles with us. In case they prove to be troublesome.
Patroclus: He still refuses to fight. So long as you're in command and your lovesick jackass of a brother breathes upon this beach.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the United States, the credits on the film, and the promotional material, list Jacques Sernas as "Jack Sernas." See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema: Alguns Cortes - Censura III (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

Why don't they read the Illiad?
9 March 2004 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

HELEN OF TROY is a very respectable Hollywood sword and sandal effort from the 1950s, with a strong international cast and very good production values. Except ...

Why does every popular culture effort at retelling the Trojan War myth have to make Paris the hero? In the Illiad, by far the most significant and authoritative source of the story, at best shows Paris to be an ambiguous figure--the best looking man of his generation, but often a coward in battle. Helen expresses extraordinary contempt for him in one extended passage. In one or two brief sequences, Paris fights valiantly, but in his major appearance, his winner-take-all-and-Helen duel with Menaleus, after bragging and crowing about his prowess, he completely wimps out in the battle, and, once defeated, is transported by Aphrodite back to Troy to hide in his bedroom.

HELEN OF TROY is not the only effort to mis-read the Illiad into a Paris-and-Helen "runaway" love story. Perhaps in writing a commercial screenplay, that's what any writer would be forced to do. But that doesn't speak well for our popular culture, one that can't sustain the ambiguity and complexity of another culture--of 2700 years ago!

Still, the movie has its strong parts, particularly Stanley Baker as Achilles. Watch for Brigitte Bardot in an early, pre-star role as Helen's handmaiden.


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