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Helen of Troy (2003)

TV Movie  -   -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  20 April 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 4,730 users  
Reviews: 168 user | 7 critic

The abduction of beautiful Helen, wife of Spartan King Menelaus, by Paris of Troy triggers a long war.



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Title: Helen of Troy (TV Movie 2003)

Helen of Troy (TV Movie 2003) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cassandra, Princess of Troy
Joe Montana ...
Katie Blake ...
Craig Kelly ...
Paris' Father
Kristina Paris ...


The abduction of beautiful Helen, wife of Spartan King Menelaus, by Paris of Troy triggers a long war.

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Two empires at the edge of war. One woman at the center of it all. See more »


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20 April 2003 (USA)  »

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Helen of Troy  »

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Did You Know?


When Clytemnestra kills Agamemnon in the swimming pool, her modern style bra and underwear are clearly visible through her wet clothes. Such undergarments were not available during the time of Helen of Troy. See more »


Theseus: The most beautiful girl in the world is here in Sparta.
Pirithous: She's just a child!
Theseus: I'll ripen her like grapes; I'll age her like wine. When she ages just enough, I'll taste her.
See more »


Version of The Trojan Horse (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

My copy of this movie is definitely for keeps!
5 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

Shown last year, Helen of Troy would have to be one of the rather remarkable films of all time. Having been a believer of quality movies, I have come to the conclusion that this is something that is definitely worth remembering and recommending to others. Without doubt, Adam Shapiro, Ted Kurdyla and Ronnie Kern made a good choice in producing this three-hour 'action-packed, adventure, drama & romance package' movie.

The film brought to life Homer's poem, The Iliad, through a group of talents in its cast and crew and our generation's newfangled technology. Contrary to what most people know, Helen was not the real reason of the Trojan War but rather the Judgment of Paris. Because of Helen's decision to be with Paris, two great empires were given a reason to go to war that lasted for a decade. Over those years, the gods of Mt. Olympus were divided, helping the camp that they supported. Thus, the Greeks and Trojans both had the enjoyment of feeling how it was to be favored by the gods. They played with the fate of the different characters in the story. Hence, they showed their roles in the lives of these mortals.

In the text, Helen goes off with Paris which pushed the Greeks to attack the Trojans. In the course of Paris and Menelaus battling over the right to Helen, both sides suffered from problems within their own camps. Agamemnon and Achilles disapprove of each other because of their prizes of honor. Hera diverts Zeus' attention so that the tide would be turned against the Trojans again. The royal family of Troy loses their first-born, Hector, because of their son mistaking Patroclus for Achilles. The Trojans get even when Paris shot Achilles at his weakest point – his heel. With Achilles' death, the Greeks fight over their once great warrior's position. Paris gets killed by Philoctetes' arrow and the Greeks continue to destroy his city. The famous wooden horse's entry to the gates of Troy brings their city into ashes. The war ends with the death of Polyxena and Astyanax, signifying the women of Troy's submission to Greek slavery.

If compared with the movie Troy, this film was more faithful to the original text. It also did not fail to explain the story so they did not leave their viewers thinking of the reasons why such events occurred. Because of this, the audience was able to sympathize with the characters in the movie. A good understanding of a character's personality enables one to put himself/herself in the shoes of that character and thus allowing him/her to feel exactly how a character in the story would feel in certain events. The acting of the cast is quite convincing and worthy of Oscar nominations. They may not be instant winners for they still have to prove themselves to everyone but for the people who do not have that much name in the industry and are still able to perform well, the fruits of hard work are surely rewarding.

The background music in crucial parts of the film helped a lot in connecting with the characters of the story. The foreign chants that were heard in dramatic parts of the film such as the burning of Troy allowed a more serious atmosphere. Those scenes became more dramatic because of a musical score that has been well thought of. The lighting as well as the cinematography has also been prepared for. With these elements, the Trojan horse had even more impact when it was shown in the film. Lighting and cinematography emphasized its size and beauty. Though some scenes cannot be helped but be injected with a touch of our modern computer technology, they still put up with the audience's expectations as they segued to the next segment.

The plot is simple but the numerous characters in the story complicated it. Each had his/her own opinion and so it may appear confusing for someone who would just read the story and not visualize what is really happening. The flow of events is simple. The only thing that complicates it is the challenge of putting all the characters' personalities together without having anyone down staged. People are not expected to understand the story by heart on their first time of encountering The Iliad. It is when you connect with the story that you are able to answer anything about any character. With the good job of selecting the lines for the script, the story became easier to follow.

One good question about Helen's character would be if she was that tramp who left her family and waged a war that took many lives. She is actually one of the first feminists who challenged the status quo. Unlike the women of her time, she was not submissive and she stood for her beliefs. We must remember that the writer of The Iliad was not a woman and may have written this poem from a man's point of view. Thus, we should be open to the idea that Helen was not just a tramp but more importantly a fighter.

There are some actors that I would like to commend for their wonderful performances in this film. Matthew Marsden had that charisma that was fit for Paris. Rufus Sewell portrayed Agamemnon superbly and he was able to explain his character's personality. Emilia Fox also gave justice to her role as Cassandra, and as James Callis was very natural in his portrayal of Menelaus. These people, though not really famous as some Hollywood stars, have great potentials and are effective in their roles.

This film has proven how far love can go. It can move mountains, cross the longest bridge, drive endlessly or climb the highest peak. And yes, it can launch a thousand ships, too. My DVD copy of this film is definitely for keeps!

37 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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