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Damon and Pythias (1962)

Il tiranno di Siracusa (original title)
Pythias, a liberal Athenian who believes all men are brothers, is condemned to death by Dionysus, the tyrant of Syracuse, who finds this view dangerous. However, Dionysus allows Pythias to ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Damon
Don Burnett ...
Ilaria Occhini ...
Nerissa
Liana Orfei ...
Adriana
Marina Berti ...
Mereka - Nerissa's Friend
...
Carlo Giustini ...
Cariso
Aldo Silvani ...
Patriarch
Andrea Bosic ...
Arcanos
Maurizio Baldoni ...
Dionysius the Younger
Franco Fantasia ...
Rumius the Fencing Master
Osvaldo Ruggieri ...
Demetrius - Nerissa's Brother
...
Flute Player
Enrico Glori ...
Nikos
Gianni Bonagura ...
Phylemon
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Storyline

Pythias, a liberal Athenian who believes all men are brothers, is condemned to death by Dionysus, the tyrant of Syracuse, who finds this view dangerous. However, Dionysus allows Pythias to return to Athens to visit his ailing wife with the understanding he will then come back to face his punishment. Damon, a friend of Pythias, volunteers to be a hostage to guarantee Pythias's return. Dionysius doesn't expect Pythias to keep his end of the bargain, thus exposing the falsity of his beliefs. Written by Anonymous

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World-famed story of friendship and fury!

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Adventure

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Release Date:

June 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Damon and Pythias  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound Recording)

Color:

(Metrocolor)| (Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tyrant featured in the film is a historical figure: Dionysius I of Syracuse (reigned c. 405-367 BC). He was a military commander who seized power in a coup. He was one of the most famous tyrants in Antiquity, known for his conquests in Sicily and Southern Italy, his inconclusive wars against Carthage, and his foundation of new cities (such as Ancona). See more »

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User Reviews

 
What A Guy Won't Do For A Friend
4 December 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Damon And Pythias the retelling of the legendary friendship from Greek mythology is a cut above the usual peplum product from Italy at the time. It benefits a bit from Hollywood director Curtis Bernhardt although the film is way too slow. A lot from the first half of the movie could have been cut.

Pythias as played by Don Burnett is on a mission from Athens to Syracuse where he's to fetch back the Pythagorean field man in Syracuse back to the home office in Athens. In Athens the school of Pythagoras is a respected form of philosophy, Syracuse they're considered a dangerous cult and hunted down by its ruler Dionysius played by Arnaldo Foa.

While in Syracuse Burnett meets up with Guy Williams playing Damon who is a rogue in a manner befitting Errol Flynn. But Williams is a jaded sort and he sees Burnett really walks the walk in the philosophy of universal brotherhood that the Pythagoreans preach. It's not quite as simple as that, but the Pythagoreans here are presented as a forerunner of Christianity.

It all gets put to the test when Burnett is caught by Foa and Williams offers himself up as hostage in his place so Burnett can return to Athens to care for his sick wife. Foa decided to let him go through with it, thinking that no one would be dumb enough to return once free and that would discredit the philosophy which is finding favor in Syracuse.

Williams and Burnett were a pair of refugees from television, Burnett had done the Northwest Passage television show and Williams had just finished his run with Walt Disney's Zorro. Damon And Pythias never did establish them as film stars. Williams came along twenty years too late, in the thirties he could have been another Errol Flynn. He would have a run with Lost In Space after this film. Both their careers had petered out by the Seventies.

Damon And Pythias is a bit more literate than the usual peplum item. But it is also sluggish and dull in spots. It's a curiosity nevertheless and might be worth a look.


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