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Damon and Pythias (1962)

Il tiranno di Siracusa (original title)
Pythias, a liberal Athenian who believes all men are brothers, is condemned to death by Dionysus, the tyrant of Syracuse, who finds this view dangerous. However, Dionysus allows Pythias to ... See full summary »

Director:

Curtis Bernhardt

Writers:

Samuel Marx (story), Samuel Marx (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Guy Williams ... Damon
Don Burnett ... Pythias
Ilaria Occhini Ilaria Occhini ... Nerissa
Liana Orfei ... Adriana
Marina Berti ... Mereka - Nerissa's Friend
Arnoldo Foà ... Dionysius the Tyrant
Carlo Giustini Carlo Giustini ... Cariso
Aldo Silvani Aldo Silvani ... Patriarch
Andrea Bosic Andrea Bosic ... Arcanos
Maurizio Baldoni Maurizio Baldoni ... Dionysius the Younger
Franco Fantasia Franco Fantasia ... Rumius - the Fencing Master
Osvaldo Ruggieri Osvaldo Ruggieri ... Demetrius - Nerissa's Brother
Lawrence Montaigne ... Flute Player
Enrico Glori Enrico Glori ... Nikos
Gianni Bonagura Gianni Bonagura ... Phylemon
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Storyline

Pythias, a liberal Athenian who believes all men are brothers, is condemned to death by Dionysus, the tyrant of Syracuse, who finds this view dangerous. However, Dionysus allows Pythias to return to Athens to visit his ailing wife with the understanding he will then come back to face his punishment. Damon, a friend of Pythias, volunteers to be a hostage to guarantee Pythias's return. Dionysius doesn't expect Pythias to keep his end of the bargain, thus exposing the falsity of his beliefs. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

World-famed story of friendship and fury!

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Damon and Pythias See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The legend of Damon and Pythias can be sourced to the writings of philosopher Aristoxenus (4th century BC) who wrote extensively about the Pythagoreans, followers of Pythagoras' philosophy. The legend has the two as two Pythagoreans in Sicily. When Pythias was accused of plotting against Dionysius I, he was sentenced to death. Accepting his sentence, Pythias asked to be allowed to return home one last time, to settle his affairs and bid his family farewell. Dionysius believed this was simply an excuse and that the man wanted to escape. But when Damon offered to take Pythias' place in captivity, Dionysius agreed to set the prisoner free. When Pythias failed to return, Dionysius prepared to execute Damon. But then Pythias returned and offered his life instead. Dionysius was so pleased and astonished with their friendship that he pardoned them both. The tale attested to the supposed loyalty of Pythagoreans to each other and their moral strength in a time of crisis. See more »

Connections

Follows Damon and Pythias (1914) See more »

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User Reviews

 
What A Guy Won't Do For A Friend
4 December 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Damon And Pythias the retelling of the legendary friendship from Greek mythology is a cut above the usual peplum product from Italy at the time. It benefits a bit from Hollywood director Curtis Bernhardt although the film is way too slow. A lot from the first half of the movie could have been cut.

Pythias as played by Don Burnett is on a mission from Athens to Syracuse where he's to fetch back the Pythagorean field man in Syracuse back to the home office in Athens. In Athens the school of Pythagoras is a respected form of philosophy, Syracuse they're considered a dangerous cult and hunted down by its ruler Dionysius played by Arnaldo Foa.

While in Syracuse Burnett meets up with Guy Williams playing Damon who is a rogue in a manner befitting Errol Flynn. But Williams is a jaded sort and he sees Burnett really walks the walk in the philosophy of universal brotherhood that the Pythagoreans preach. It's not quite as simple as that, but the Pythagoreans here are presented as a forerunner of Christianity.

It all gets put to the test when Burnett is caught by Foa and Williams offers himself up as hostage in his place so Burnett can return to Athens to care for his sick wife. Foa decided to let him go through with it, thinking that no one would be dumb enough to return once free and that would discredit the philosophy which is finding favor in Syracuse.

Williams and Burnett were a pair of refugees from television, Burnett had done the Northwest Passage television show and Williams had just finished his run with Walt Disney's Zorro. Damon And Pythias never did establish them as film stars. Williams came along twenty years too late, in the thirties he could have been another Errol Flynn. He would have a run with Lost In Space after this film. Both their careers had petered out by the Seventies.

Damon And Pythias is a bit more literate than the usual peplum item. But it is also sluggish and dull in spots. It's a curiosity nevertheless and might be worth a look.


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