Based on the Edward Bulwer-Lytton novel. Set in the shadows of Mt. Vesuvius just before its famous eruption, the film begins with Glaucus, a Roman legionnaire, returning to his home from ... See full summary »
Great Peplum: solid direction and Steve Reeves has never been better
"The Trojan Horse" is one of the best Sword & Sandal films ever made. The story of Troy and Helen has been made several times and up to now, none of them have surpassed it, including the bloated Brad Pitt version. The Robert Wise version, HELEN OF TROY, is in many aspects, superior to this one but the actors weren't that impressive, the script was bad with making a love story out of Paris and Helen but the worst aspect of the Wise version was the ending. There was no ending! After the Trojan horse attack, the film ended then and there. Had the Robert Wise film had a better script and a better ending with more appealing actors, it would have surpassed this one but it doesn't because the script in "The Trojan Horse" is excellent: surprisingly smart, detailed and with some sharp dialogue. The score is excellent. The cast is strong. But best of all, this version has a great climax. It ties up the characters' fates, including Paris who's portrayed here as a villain (which is the complete opposite of Wise's HELEN OF TROY). Helen is also shown to being basically a vain woman who doesn't care much about anyone but herself.
Steve Reeves gives his finest performance as Aeneas and it's one of the best portrayals of a heroic figure ever captured on screen. It reminds you why these stories of mythical heroes still resonate up to this day. Reeves is also in top shape. The man was physical perfection.
My only complaints about "The Trojan Horse": first, the battles. There are a lot of battles, more than were needed. They seem to go on forever. A little editing here and there would have helped a bit. And the production values were good but nothing compared to Wise's HELEN OF TROY. The City of Troy looks good from the outside but within the walls, those houses look like sets. In fact, the castle in the sequel, "War of the Trojans", was more realistic and visually appealing than anything in this film. The Trojan horse itself was good though. Better than the ugly one in TROY. But those are minor complaints. Everything else is top notch.
If you like Sword & Sandal films, make sure to watch this one and it excellent sequel. They make a great double bill.
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