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Medea (1969)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,440 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 26 critic

To win the kingdom his uncle took from his father, Jason must steal the golden fleece from the land of barbarians, where Medea is royalty and a powerful sorceress, where human sacrifice ... See full summary »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Laurent Terzieff ...
Centaur
Giuseppe Gentile ...
Jason
Margareth Clémenti ...
Glauce (as Margareth Clementi)
Paul Jabara ...
Gerard Weiss ...
Second centaur
Sergio Tramonti ...
Apsirto, Medea's brother
Luigi Barbini ...
Argonaut
Gian Paolo Durgar ...
(as Gianpaolo Duregon)
Luigi Masironi
Michelangelo Masironi
Gianni Bradizi
Franco Jacobbi
Annamaria Chio ...
Wet-nurse (as Anna Maria Chio)
Edit

Storyline

To win the kingdom his uncle took from his father, Jason must steal the golden fleece from the land of barbarians, where Medea is royalty and a powerful sorceress, where human sacrifice helps crops to grow. Medea sees Jason and swoons, then enlists her brother's aid to take the fleece. She then murders her brother and becomes Jason's lover. Back in Greece, the king keeps the throne, the fleece has no power, and Medea lives an exile's life, respected but feared, abandoned by Jason. When she learns he's to marry the king's daughter, Medea tames her emotions and sends gifts via her sons; then, loss overwhelms her and she unleashes a fire storm on the king, the bride, and Jason. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's a movie about a woman who beheads her brother, stabs her children, and sends her lover's wife up in flames. For Maria Callas, it's a natural.

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

27 December 1969 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Medée  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Richard Burton's diaries, Maria Callas very much wanted him to play Jason. Callas was despondent after her long-time lover, shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, had dumped her for Jacqueline Kennedy, and while Burton was sympathetic, he declined the role, thinking it "thankless". See more »

Goofs

When Jason speaks to the two centaurs, there is a mismatch in their shadows in the middle of the screen, indicating that the image is a composite. See more »

Quotes

King Kresus: You are a barbarian from a foreign land, different from us. We don't want you among us. It is impossible to see into the depths of one's soul.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Maria Callas: La Divina - A Portrait (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not my cup of tea but has much to admire about it
23 November 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Being familiar with the story and Maria Callas, on the opera stage unrivalled as a singing-actress, were my main interests into watching Medea, having never seen a Passolini film before. I didn't love it, however I also didn't hate it, though I can see perfectly both viewpoints. I don't think Medea is a flawless film, some of the anachronisms did go over my head, the film due to some sluggish pacing can get dull at times, the centaur's monologue- though much of Medea is dialogue-free- goes on forever and gets tedious quickly and the way Jason's role is written and performed is too simplistic and rather amateurish. However, I did think it looked great, the locations are really unique and beautiful to look at and the cinematography gives a grim and surreal feel that actually suits the story. You can definitely sense that there is a sense of time and phrase, and it is quite clear here. The music is also incredible, it draws you right in, is very bold in orchestration and captures the atmosphere of the drama superbly. Passolini directs very assuredly on the whole, some scenes are evocatively savage and if there are any highlights they are Medea's mesmerising entrance and the genuinely frightening climax. The centaur is beautifully played, looking imposing and the relationship between him and Jason is the most convincing of the relationships between the characters. The main merit of Medea is Maria Callas' titular role performance, like she did on the opera stage with an intelligent, sensual and quite menacing presence she completely dominates every scene she appears in and is incredibly magnetic. Overall, more a film I appreciate but worth watching for Callas, the visuals and the score. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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