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The warrior King Odysseus leaves his idyllic life in the kingdom of Ithaca to fight in the Trojan War. After winning the war, he now must endure a lengthy, ten-year journey to return, and ... See full summary »
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The sovereign Greek island of Ithaca, 8th century B.C. The Trojan War has been over for ten years, and the Greeks have come home victorious. Only one man is missing: the king of Ithaca, ... See full synopsis »
In the ancient Greek city of Ithaca, many impatiently await the return of their king Ulysses and his warriors from the Trojan War. Among these, Ulysses' devoted wife Penelope and his grown son Telemachus. But Ulysses' return is not eagerly awaited by everyone, especially by his enemies. They openly court Penelope and ask her to give her husband up for dead and re-marry one of the rowdy suitors who have taken up residence in her home since her husband's departure. However, Penelope clings to her belief that Ulysses will soon return. To appease the aggressive suitors, Penelope promises that she would re-marry as soon as she finishes weaving a large tapestry depicting Ulysses' deeds of bravery. In secret, she's unraveling the day's weaving, thus delaying the tapestry's completion. Penelope knows that her trick won't work forever. In Troy, Ulysses and his warriors use the Trojan Horse ruse to conquer the city. In his fervor, Ulysses destroys the Trojans' temple to Neptune, god of the sea,...Written by
The first of three films co-starring Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn, the others being "Lust for Life" (1956) and "Last Train from Gun Hill" (1959). See more »
There are inconsistencies of scale with the giant Polyphemus: for instance a human scale wineskin is nearly as big in his hand as the sailor he devours. See more »
What are you doing, Ulysses? Do you really think you can leave me?
I left you a long time ago. The day my men died in the storm.
And do you think your journey will last any longer than theirs?
You will not hold me here.
Listen to me! I shall give you something that will make you forget all your petty dreams. Your miserable kingdom. Your wife who grows old. Remain, and this very night, Olympus shall welcome a new god: Ulysses!
This is my gift - the greatest gift that has ever been ...
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Homer's tale goes that after his brilliant idea of a huge wooden horse that decided the Greek's victory in the Troyan war, Ithaca's King Ulysses challenged the sea god Poseidon and he was punished to sail around for 10 years before he could get back to his island and his faithful wife Queen Penelope. During the hero's long absence many ambitious men have settled in his palace with the intention of marrying the supposedly widow Queen and rule Ithaca with her. The picture is about Ulysses's trip and all the tasks he has to go through before reaching home and, once there, how he deals with the men that are trying to take his place.
Though the film is sort of slow by the middle part of the story and perhaps a little exceeded in its running time, it doesn't lack adventure, action and entertainment. Ulysses faces the cyclops who wants to have him and his crew for lunch, survives the seducing singing of the mermaids, visits the kingdom of the dead and escapes the spell of sorceress Circe who plans to retain him for herself. Arrived at last in Ithaca after loosing all his mates, he faces the pretenders to his throne in a memorable action and fighting sequence.
"Ulysses" is pure entertainment and adventure in ancient Greece. The film is well done and easy to watch (its excess in duration apart)with a correct direction by Mario Camerini. It shows well chosen locations and carefully designed settings. Special effects are more than acceptable for 1955. But perhaps the main feature is a well selected main cast.
Kirk Douglas is the perfect choice for Ulysses and his performance is strong and convincing. Silvana Mangano renders a believable Penelope and Anthony Quinn is at his best playing the main pretender Antinoos ("the first in pride").
It could be true that this picture inspired the sword and sandals sub genre that started a bit later with Steve Reeves's "Hercules", but you can be sure that fortunately this one doesn't belong to that category.
A fine product in its genre.
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