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Helen of Troy (1956)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  26 January 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,414 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 9 critic

The Iliad's story of the Trojan war, told from the Trojan viewpoint.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rossana Podestà ...
Helen (as Rossana Podesta)
Jacques Sernas ...
Paris (as Jack Sernas)
Priam (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Niall MacGinnis ...
Nora Swinburne ...
Robert Douglas ...
Torin Thatcher ...
Janette Scott ...
Ronald Lewis ...
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
Maxwell Reed ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | queen | siege | slave | escape | See All (47) »


The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

26 January 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die schöne Helena  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Peter van Eyck was considered for a role in this film See more »


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 »


Paris: Oh Goddess come to Earth. Make me a mortal with your kiss and we'll live on nectar and ambrosia...
Paris: ... But I am not sure I like being so ethereal.
See more »


Version of Troy (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Warnercolor - NOT Technicolor
29 April 2003 | by (Portland, Oregon) – See all my reviews

Come on, IMDb'ers! Get your stuff right. Warner Brothers was the studio and they usually forced their producer/directors around this period to use their own proprietary single-strip color process, rather than Technicolor, which by 1956 had already abandoned its own more expensive to use and cumbersome to handle three-strip process. Somehow Robert Wise and his technicians managed to get more variety and warmer tones while using Warnercolor in this film than what was usually achieved stateside on W.B.'s Burbank sound stages and on various U.S. locations. Maybe it was, as Franco Zeffirelli is fond of calling it, "the golden-ah light" of Italy. Anyway this film is quite an eye-filling visual achievement. And Max Steiner's score is one of his better ones, pumping up the spectacle aspect quite effectively.

A couple of trivia notes: The Walls of Troy set accidentally caught fire before the company was finished with it, but Wise and his technicians were on the spot and managed to get some usable footage out of that disaster. (I don't know if they had to reconstruct it or rewrite some scenes that were originally supposed to have taken place on its ramparts.) And TIME magazine in its review complained that Signorina Podesta's vaccination scar (and I think that of Monsieur Sernas as well) is clearly visible in a love scene. Without computers to fix such gaffes back then, and probably not noticing that little "oops!" until examining footage in a U.S. screening room when the company returned home for editing, the studio probably figured they'd just let it pass. But forty-foot wide CinemaScope screens were quite merciless when it came to audiences' perceptions of the obvious.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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