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Achilles and Patroclus?
I did enjoy this movie, but what I found disturbing is the change made to the relationship of Achilles and Patroclus. And since the screenwriter has Achilles directly quoting Homer's lines from the Iliad in some instances I find it odd that it was opted to make the two men "cousins." Other 'historical' facts can be debated I suppose - and of course there is no true historical documents existing - but what is clear from Homer's time is that Achilles and Patroclus are close - very close - companions. It is implied, in fact, that they were lovers. In the Iliad Patroclus' pleads with Achilles that their bones be buried together. (Later literary references to the relationship make it even more implied that Achilles was gay, but I'll stick with Homer's implications for this movie.) Being gay, it was disturbing enough to have a movie about Alexander the Great distorting his lifestyle - but now Achilles? That being said - I enjoyed the movie and could overlook many of its flaws. But the deliberate distortion of Achilles' relationship left me offended and saddened that it took thousands of years but someone decides they are 'cousins' and that distortion is now forever committed to film...sad.
The Spiral Road (1962)
A movie that deserves to be on VHS and DVD.
Any Rock Hudson or Burl Ives fan would have to agree this is a movie that needs to be seen in order to fully appreciate these actors' work because both performances are outstanding. The Jerry Goldsmith music is noteworthy as well. This is not a "great" movie and it always struck me as having too weak an ending, but the scenes and performances (especially Hudson and Ives together) are above average. The minor roles of the Sultan and the witch doctor Burubi are also worth seeing.
With such bad movies on DVD it's sad this film is being overlooked (I'd have to assume it's a legal problem regarding rights.) TV viewing (when it appears that is!) doesn't do it justice since I've seen it edited into sheer confusion and it really should be seen in widescreen and remastered in digital sound! There are truly memorable scenes that you'll always recall - the rats fleeing the village and Hudson being guided through the jungle (anyone who has seen the film will know exactly what I mean!) There are also comic moments as well. I just recently discovered an old battered copy of the novel and reading the party scene where chaos breaks out reminded me how much I'd like to see this movie UNCUT again!
Hopefully - sometime in the near future - this minor gem will be released!