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The Trojan Women (1971)

GP  -  Drama  -  27 September 1971 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 719 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 7 critic

The women of Troy face enslavement after the fall of their city.

Director:

(as Michael Cacoyannis)

Writers:

(play), (English translation), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Patrick Magee ...
...
Alberto Sanz ...
Pauline Letts ...
Woman
Rosalie Shanks ...
Woman (as Rosalind Shanks)
Pat Beckett ...
Woman (as Pat Becket)
Anna Bentinck ...
Woman
Elsie Pittas ...
Woman (as Ersie Pittas)
Esmeralda Adam García ...
Woman (as Esmeralda Adam)
Esperanza Alonso ...
Woman
María García Alonso ...
Woman (as Maria G. Alonso)
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Storyline

Hecuba and the other women of Troy rise to find their city in ruins and their cause lost. The city has fallen into Greek hands and it is likely their lot to become slaves of Greek soldiers. A messenger approaches to inform them that the lots have been drawn and each woman will be taken to the man who drew for her. Of particular interest is Hecuba's daughter, Cassandra, who is chosen for the Greek kings bedchamber. She has received word of this news already and is in hiding because she has sworn an oath to the gods that she will live as a virgin. When she is found she has some particularly nasty things to say about treatment at Greek hands. Written by Lordship <lordship@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The strength of mankind has always been its women.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

27 September 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Troianas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Edith Hamilton translation of "The Trojan Women", which is used in this film, premiered on the Broadway stage in 1938. It was immediately acclaimed as being superior to the antiquated Gilbert Murray translation, which was the standard version used then. See more »

Quotes

Soldier 4: [talking about Helen] No matter what they said, Helen will get back home alive.
Soldier 5: And she knows it.
Soldier 4: They need her for the victory parade. A symbol of Greek strength.
Soldier 5: A bloody trophy.
Soldier 4: Who needs her for a trophy? There's all that gold.
Soldier 5: [ironically] The Greeks don't go to war for gold. They find a cause. That's what Helen is - a cause!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Katharine Hepburn: All About Me (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE Trojan WOMEN (Michael Cacoyannis, 1971) **1/2
5 August 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Some years back, I had watched and been reasonably impressed with the director's similar ELECTRA (1962), being likewise a Greek tragedy; after the debacle of THE DAY THE FISH CAME OUT (1967), he must have felt safe dealing with the classics (this one derives from Euripedes). The resulting film, however, is quite a chore to sit through – made palatable by Mikis Theodorakis' brooding score and the fact that it looks good – as we get 106 minutes of the women of fallen Trojan soldiers after the famous 10-year war with Greece bemoaning their fate (it is dedicated to people standing up to oppression everywhere), being herded off as slaves to the conquerors, and tearing each other apart (which rather belies its possible secondary intention as a feminist statement) while waiting to be shipped!; the film, then, ends with the burning of Troy.

Though featuring a stalwart cast, only Katharine Hepburn as Hecuba, wife of the late King Priam, appears all the way through; the rest – Genevieve Bujold as her mad daughter Cassandra, Vanessa Redgrave as her daughter-in-law Andromache (wife of the Trojan champion Hector, slain by the Greek demi-god Achilles) and Irene Papas as the famed Helen Of Troy (she left her Greek husband Menelaus for the Trojan prince Paris, also deceased, and over whom the whole battle was waged). Still, each lady is allowed one scene in which to shine: while Papas makes for probably the strongest Helen ever, the role allows the actress (a Cacoyannis regular) to display an atypical sensuousness; Redgrave, on the other hand, comes across as strident and altogether too stagey!

As for Hepburn herself, ever since 1956's THE RAINMAKER, she had been mostly participating in highbrow stuff (notably adaptations of Tennessee Williams' SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER {1959} and Eugene O'Neill's LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT {1962} and the probe into medieval British royalty that was THE LION IN WINTER {1968}): though such films undeniably added to her prestigious label of Grand Dame of the acting profession, her idiosyncrasies – which were irritating in her more standard vehicles – tended to become all the more evident within this heightened environment! Incidentally, having mentioned British royalty, it is worth pointing out that both Hepburn and Redgrave had portrayed Mary Stuart while both Redgrave and Bujold had played Anne Boleyn (with Papas being Catherine of Aragon to the latter's younger replacement)! The only two men to get significant parts here are a necessarily restrained Patrick Magee as Menelaus (goaded by Hecuba to punish Helen's infidelity and, by extension, the sorrow she caused to all concerned by putting her to death) and Brian Blessed as his gruff but conscientious herald (he is sickened, for instance, by the fact that he has been ordered to eliminate Redgrave's young son in expiation but which he cannot bring himself to refuse from carrying out).


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