Ancient and Mythical Greece

by minalex | created - 28 Jul 2011 | updated - 1 week ago | Public

The best films set in ancient or mythical Greece. Also, modern versions of Greek mythology or classic literature. These films are from all over the world: USA (33), Greece (31), Italy (9), France (6), United Kingdom (6), Germany (5), Denmark (2), Spain (2), Canada, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, India and Turkey.

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1. Jupiter's Thunderballs (1903)

Not Rated | 4 min | Short, Fantasy

Brief "trick film" in which Zeus and two other gods romp with dancing girls on Olympian clouds.

Director: Georges Méliès | Star: Georges Méliès

Votes: 306

2. Ulysses and the Giant Polyphemus (1905)

4 min | Short

When Ulysses of the Odyssey is trapped on the island of Calypso, he must fight Polyphemus, the giant monster that lives there.

Director: Georges Méliès

Votes: 131

3. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1909)

12 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

In ancient Athens, four young lovers escape into the woods. Meanwhile, tradesmen rehearse a play. All of them suffer from the shenanigans of mischievous fairies.

Directors: Charles Kent, J. Stuart Blackton | Stars: Walter Ackerman, Charles Chapman, Dolores Costello, Helene Costello

Votes: 261

4. Elektra (1910)

Drama, Short

Agamemmon returns to Argos from the Siege of Troy, bringing, as a prisoner and trophy of war and victory, Cassandra, the beautiful daughter of King Priam of Troy. Clytemnestra, the wife of ... See full summary »

Director: J. Stuart Blackton | Stars: Maurice Costello, Mary Fuller

5. The Fall of Troy (1911)

10 min | Short, War

One of the first epics on the History of Movies, it tells the story of the Fall of Troy: Paris seduces Helen, queen of Sparta, and takes her to Troy, city state of his father, King Priam. ... See full summary »

Directors: Luigi Romano Borgnetto, Giovanni Pastrone | Stars: Luigi Romano Borgnetto, Giovanni Casaleggio, Madame Davesnes, Emilio Gallo

Votes: 152

6. Dante's Inferno (1911)

68 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Loosely adapted from Dante's Divine Comedy and inspired by the illustrations of Gustav Doré the original silent film has been restored and has a new score by Tangerine Dream.

Directors: Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo Padovan, Giuseppe de Liguoro | Stars: Salvatore Papa, Arturo Pirovano, Giuseppe de Liguoro, Pier Delle Vigne

Votes: 1,609

7. Homer's Odyssey (1911)

44 min | Short, Adventure, Drama

Film adaptation of Homer's 'The Odyssey.'

Directors: Francesco Bertolini, Giuseppe de Liguoro, Adolfo Padovan | Stars: Giuseppe de Liguoro, Eugenia Tettoni Fior, Ubaldo Maria Del Colle

Votes: 77

8. The Centaurs (1921)

Not Rated | 3 min | Animation, Short, Fantasy

A female centaur (a creature half-human and half-horse) enters a clearing in the woods, and picks some flowers. She is soon met by a male centaur, and the two then romance each other. They then seek parental consent for their union.

Director: Winsor McCay

Votes: 304

9. Helen of Troy (1924)

204 min | Action, Drama, History

Helena is a 1924 German silent drama film directed by Manfred Noa and starring Edy Darclea, Vladimir Gajdarov and Albert Steinrück.

Director: Manfred Noa | Stars: Edy Darclea, Vladimir Gajdarov, Albert Steinrück, Adele Sandrock

Votes: 69

10. Maciste in Hell (1925)

95 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

The devil takes Maciste down to hell in an attempt to corrupt and ruin his morality.

Director: Guido Brignone | Stars: Bartolomeo Pagano, Umberto Guarracino, Mario Saio, Franz Sala

Votes: 346

11. Pandora's Box (1929)

Not Rated | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer, Carl Goetz

Votes: 8,319 | Gross: $0.01M

12. Promithefs desmotis (1930)

Drama

Prometheus, punished by Zeus, is chained to a mountain of Caucasus by god Hephaestus. There he starts to mourn for his tortures and narrate his story. Later, Io, with whom Zeus is in love, ... See full summary »

Director: Dimos Vratsanos | Star: Thanos Bourlos

13. Dafnis kai Hloi (1931)

68 min | Drama, Romance

In Lesvos, shepherd Lamonas someday finds an abandoned baby boy suckling a goat and adopts it, and names him Daphnis. Around the same time, another shepherd, Dryantas, finds too an ... See full summary »

Director: Orestis Laskos | Stars: Apollon Marsyas, Loucy Matli, Giannis Avlonitis, Grigoris Georgiadis

Votes: 67

14. The Grasshopper and the Ants (1934)

Approved | 8 min | Family, Comedy, Animation

As in the classic fable, the grasshopper plays his fiddle and lives for the moment, while the industrious ants squirrel away massive amounts of food for the winter. With his song, he's able... See full summary »

Director: Wilfred Jackson | Star: Pinto Colvig

Votes: 1,032

From Aesop's fable

15. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

Approved | 133 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Theseus, Duke of Athens, is going to marry Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Demetrius is engaged with Hermia, but Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius. Oberon and Titania, of the ... See full summary »

Directors: William Dieterle, Max Reinhardt | Stars: James Cagney, Dick Powell, Ian Hunter, Verree Teasdale

Votes: 2,686

16. The Tortoise and the Hare (1935)

Approved | 9 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A Walt Disney Silly Symphony telling of the classic fable about a foot race between speedy Max Hare, aka The Blue Streak, and and Slow But Sure Toby Tortoise.

Director: Wilfred Jackson | Stars: Pinto Colvig, Eddie Holden, Ned Norton

Votes: 1,733

From Aesop's fable

17. Summertime (1935)

8 min | Animation, Short, Family

Spring is coming, but Old Man Winter isn't ready to retire for the year.

Director: Ub Iwerks

Votes: 103

18. The Golden Touch (1935)

10 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Greedy King Midas is granted his wish that everything he touches turns to gold. However, he realizes this may be a curse, when he sits down to eat and the food turns to gold as well.

Director: Walt Disney | Star: Billy Bletcher

Votes: 612

19. Pygmalion (1937)

95 min | Comedy

Prof. Henry Higgens takes a wager on turning a low class flower seller named Liesje Doeluttel into a presentably lady.

Director: Ludwig Berger | Stars: Lily Bouwmeester, Johan De Meester, Eduard Verkade, Emma Morel

Votes: 48

20. Pygmalion (1938)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A Victorian dialect expert makes a bet that he can teach a cockney flower girl to speak proper English and pass as a lady in high society.

Directors: Anthony Asquith, Leslie Howard | Stars: Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller, Wilfrid Lawson, Marie Lohr

Votes: 6,609

21. Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations (1938)

Not Rated | 111 min | Documentary, Sport

The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin.

Director: Leni Riefenstahl | Stars: David Albritton, Arvo Askola, Jack Beresford, Erwin Blask

Votes: 3,718

Opening sequence on Ancient Olympics

22. Fantasia (1940)

G | 125 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton, Walt Disney

Votes: 78,463 | Gross: $76.41M

23. The Boys from Syracuse (1940)

73 min | Comedy, Musical

The action takes place in Ephesus in ancient Asia Minor, and the story concerns the efforts of two boys from Syracuse, Anthipholus and his servant Dromio, to find their long-lost twins who,... See full summary »

Director: A. Edward Sutherland | Stars: Allan Jones, Irene Hervey, Martha Raye, Joe Penner

Votes: 75

24. Tortoise Beats Hare (1941)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Family, Short

An upset Bugs challenges the slick Cecil Turtle to a race.

Director: Tex Avery | Star: Mel Blanc

Votes: 1,041

A parody of Aesop's fable "The Tortoise and the Hare"

25. Sikandar (1941)

Not Rated | 146 min | Drama, History, War

Add a Plot

Director: Sohrab Modi | Stars: Sohrab Modi, Prithviraj Kapoor, Vanamala, Meena Shorey

Votes: 45

26. The Olympic Champ (1942)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Goofy illustrates the various Olympic track-and-field events and the torch traditions.

Director: Jack Kinney | Stars: George Johnson, John McLeish

Votes: 458

28. Tortoise Wins by a Hare (1943)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Family, Short

Bugs challenges Cecil Turtle to race, only this time he's wearing an aerodynamic suit like Cecil's. Unfortunately, the gambling ring has bet everything on the rabbit, and Bugs now looks like a tortoise.

Director: Robert Clampett | Stars: Mel Blanc, Michael Maltese, Tedd Pierce

Votes: 1,089

And another parody of Aesop's fable "The Tortoise and the Hare"

29. Willoughby's Magic Hat (1943)

7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Delilah knits the hair from Samson into a hat. The hat gives its wearer super strength: Hercules, Samson, and in the modern day, the nebbishy Willoughby Wren. Willoughby decides he needs to... See full summary »

Director: Bob Wickersham

Votes: 20

30. Trombone Trouble (1944)

7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Pegleg Pete annoys the gods Jupiter and Vulcan and neighbor Donald with his nightly trombone sessions.

Director: Jack King | Stars: Billy Bletcher, John McLeish, Clarence Nash

Votes: 351

31. Popeye Meets Hercules (1948)

7 min | Animation, Comedy, Short

The first Olympics, starring Hercules (looking, but not quite sounding, like a really pumped-up Bluto), who challenges anyone to do the same feats as him. Popeye takes that challenge, of ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Tytla | Stars: Jackson Beck, Jack Mercer, Mae Questel

Votes: 80

32. Orpheus (1950)

Not Rated | 95 min | Fantasy, Drama, Romance

A poet in love with Death follows his unhappy wife into the underworld.

Director: Jean Cocteau | Stars: Jean Marais, François Périer, María Casares, Marie Déa

Votes: 8,474

33. Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)

Approved | 122 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

A seductive woman falls in love with a mysterious ship's captain.

Director: Albert Lewin | Stars: James Mason, Ava Gardner, Nigel Patrick, Sheila Sim

Votes: 2,400

An odd mix of the myth of Pandora and the legend of the Flying Dutchman

34. Mød mig paa Cassiopeia (1951)

101 min | Romance, Comedy, Musical

A stage writer desperate for inspiration acquires a muse straight out of Greek mythology. She bedazzles everyone she meets, but will the play be done in time, and will earthly life win the muse over?

Director: Torben Anton Svendsen | Stars: Bodil Kjer, Lily Broberg, Hans Kurt, Poul Reichhardt

Votes: 221

35. Ulysses (1954)

Not Rated | 94 min | Adventure, Fantasy, History

A movie adaptation of Homer's second epic, that talks about Ulysses' efforts to return to his home after the end of ten years of war.

Director: Mario Camerini | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Silvana Mangano, Anthony Quinn, Rossana Podestà

Votes: 2,788

36. Alexander the Great (1956)

Not Rated | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life and military conquests of Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 - 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great.

Director: Robert Rossen | Stars: Richard Burton, Fredric March, Claire Bloom, Barry Jones

Votes: 2,885

38. Oedipus Rex (1957)

Approved | 87 min | Drama

The land ruled by King Oedipus is plagued by ill-fortune and the people are promised relief by the gods if the slayer of the former king is apprehended and punished. This does not bode well... See full summary »

Directors: Tyrone Guthrie, Abraham Polonsky | Stars: Douglas Campbell, Eleanor Stuart, Robert Goodier, William Hutt

Votes: 223

39. Desire Under the Elms (1958)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Romance

Ephraim Cabot is an old man of amazing vitality who loves his New England farm with a greedy passion. Hating him, and sharing his greed, are the sons of two wives Cabot has overworked into ... See full summary »

Director: Delbert Mann | Stars: Sophia Loren, Anthony Perkins, Burl Ives, Frank Overton

Votes: 956

40. Black Orpheus (1959)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Fantasy, Music

81 Metascore

A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.

Director: Marcel Camus | Stars: Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira, Léa Garcia

Votes: 8,124

41. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1959)

76 min | Animation, Comedy, Fantasy

The first puppet kinescope in the world. It is based on the famous poetic comedy by William Shakespeare. Three worlds meet in this story: the noble world of three Athens couples, a common ... See full summary »

Director: Jirí Trnka | Stars: Joss Ackland, Ann Bell, Richard Burton, Tom Criddle

Votes: 256

42. The Fugitive Kind (1960)

Approved | 119 min | Drama, Romance

Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier, a trouble-prone drifter trying to go straight, wanders into a small Mississippi town looking for a simple and honest life but finds himself embroiled with problem-filled women.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Marlon Brando, Joanne Woodward, Anna Magnani, Maureen Stapleton

Votes: 4,522

43. Antigoni (1961)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama

Antigone defies her uncle's decree that her traitorous brother should go unburied and therefore find no rest in the afterlife; however, her actions have tragic consequences.

Director: Yorgos Tzavellas | Stars: Irene Papas, Manos Katrakis, Maro Kodou, Nikos Kazis

Votes: 505

A faithful adaptation of Sophocles' play

44. Electra (I) (1962)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama

Living in exile after the death of their father, the grown children of a murdered and usurped king converge to exact eye-for-an-eye revenge.

Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis | Stars: Irene Papas, Giannis Fertis, Aleka Katselli, Theano Ioannidou

Votes: 1,025

A faithful adaptation of Euripides' play

45. Phaedra (1962)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama

The powerful Greek shipowner and constructor Thanos proposes to marry Phaedra during the baptism of a ship with her name. Phaedra, who is the daughter of Thanos'greatest competitor, is a ... See full summary »

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Melina Mercouri, Anthony Perkins, Raf Vallone, Elizabeth Ercy

Votes: 1,166

46. Contempt (1963)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama

Screenwriter Paul Javal's marriage to his wife Camille disintegrates during movie production as she spends time with the producer. Layered conflicts between art and business ensue.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Michel Piccoli, Giorgia Moll

Votes: 23,110 | Gross: $0.04M

47. Young Aphrodites (1963)

88 min | Drama, Romance

During a merciless drought, the brute nature of man and the delicate essence of the woman will yield under the omnipotence of the carnal instinct.

Director: Nikos Koundouros | Stars: Eleni Prokopiou, Takis Emmanuel, Kleopatra Rota, Vangelis Ioannidis

Votes: 603

48. My Fair Lady (1964)

G | 170 min | Drama, Family, Musical

A snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White

Votes: 75,427 | Gross: $72.00M

A musical version of Pygmalion

49. Oedipus Rex (1967)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama

In pre-war Italy, a young couple have a baby boy. The father, however, is jealous of his son - and the scene moves to antiquity, where the baby is taken into the desert to be killed. He is ... See full summary »

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Silvana Mangano, Franco Citti, Alida Valli, Carmelo Bene

Votes: 4,017

Based on the myth of Oedipus this is not Sophocles play