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
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 »
I think those that are gone care little how they are buried. It is we, the living, our vanity.
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A greek tragedy is very hard to be made into a movie. In my opinion it is really almost impossible as there are often long monologues that can't be cut or improved in any way. Nevertheless Michael Cacoyannis tried, and succeded in filming the best anti-war work ever written. The film is a bit stagy but that is how it should be. Being the editor of his film too, he manages to create a unique atmosphere that in the beginning seems a bit akward but as the plot develops you understand that it is the ideal. The scenery is excellent. We see only the total destruction of the city and that's all we need to see as the narrations must "draw" the total picture of the inner part of the city in our minds. All the performances are first-rate. Katharine Hepburn is heart-breaking as Hecuba. She cries for her lost sons, husband and city. She loves the city and hates the Greeks who give her, the queen of Troy, as slave.
G.Bujold is also excellent as Cassandra. She seems crazy, but she is fully aware of the fate. She delivers a balanced performance avoiding exagerations. Irene Pappas is stunning. Looking more beautiful than ever, she manages to stand opposite Katharine Hepburn's Hecuba and deliver an excellent and utterly convincing performance. But the great performance of the picture is surely Vanessa Redgrave's. Her Adromache seems strange at the beginning but when her character is fully developed, you understand the genius of her performance. This picture is a must-see not only for the excellent performances delivered but four of the greatest actresses of their generation but also for the importance of Euripides play.
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