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Alexander the Great (1980)
"O Megalexandros" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  3 September 1984 (Italy)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 389 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Based on some historical events, the film gives a romanticized biography of Theodoros Kolokotronis, a Greek historical hero serving as a metaphor for Greece herself. Based on a circular ... See full summary »

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Title: Alexander the Great (1980)

Alexander the Great (1980) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Omero Antonutti ...
Eva Kotamanidou ...
Alexandros' Daughter
Mihalis Giannatos ...
Dragoumanos
Grigoris Evangelatos ...
Alexandros' Schoolteacher
Miranda Kounelaki ...
Mrs. Tzelepis
Laura De Marchi ...
Italian Anarchist
Toula Stathopoulou ...
Village Woman
Thanos Grammenos ...
Village Man
Elpidoforos Gotsis
Haris Pisimisis ...
(as Haralabos Pisimisis)
Giorgos Kovaios
Haralabos Timotheou
Stratos Pahis
Giorgos Bartis
H. Stamatelos
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Storyline

Based on some historical events, the film gives a romanticized biography of Theodoros Kolokotronis, a Greek historical hero serving as a metaphor for Greece herself. Based on a circular view of history, the film presents conflicting ideologies - primitive communism, anarchism, chiefdom or kingdom, personality cult - and shows the institutions of property and power in a bad light. Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

3 September 1984 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Alejandro el Grande  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Not my favorite Angelopoulos, but a very fine film
12 February 2012 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Continuing his epic explorations of Greek history in the 20th century, Angelopoulos goes back to the turn of the century, where a charismatic rebel leader calling himself "Alexander the Great" takes a handful of visiting English upper class young lords and ladies hostage, in an effort to win back the land that was taken from the farmers by and bankers.

But, of course, in an Angelopoulos film things are always more complex than they first seem, and Alexander, while charismatic, is also madly ego driven, and encourages a cult of personality around himself.

Returning to his home village, which is experimenting with Utopian Communism and shared wealth, Alexander is seen first as a hero, fighting to help the people achieve their dream society, but eventually he becomes a tyrant as cruel and arbitrary as any master.

This is a central theme Angelopoulos is exploring. Creating Utopian socialist societies almost always demands people of power and military action, but those same people (almost always male) almost inevitably corrupt the experiment because of the nature of who they are. The very thing that makes them enablers of a new order also dooms them to destroy it.

This film has a much more straightforward narrative than Angelopoulos' 2 preceding 'history' masterpieces; "The Traveling Players" and "The Hunters". Unlike those films, It doesn't jump around in time, and we stay pretty focused on this one specific incident, in this one specific village. And there is a downside to that. At 3 hours and 19 minutes, the film isn't complex enough to stay as fascinating as its progenitors. It's full of great images and wonderful, often painfully tense scenes. But on a meta level it's pretty easy to guess where it's all going, and it can get frustrating waiting for it to get there.

Still an excellent film, partly based in truth (although the incidents actually happened in the 1870s), but it lacks the multi-layered magic of the two films that proceeded it. It also is generally far more naturalistic, so that when the magic and surreal suddenly come up, they can feels out of place and un-integrated.

One thought. It's very interesting to compare this and Bertolucci's "1900", which I just re- watched recently. They are both long, epic films by European masters set at the turn of the century, and exploring the class struggle, and the domination of the farmers and workers by bigger more powerful forces. Both are very strong films. "Alexander" is the more subtle, complex, intellectual, and thought provoking, "1900" the more entertaining and emotional. Both are flawed,but well worth your time.


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