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 »
Hoping to overthrow his brother as ruler of the planet Metropolis, the evil Graal enlists the help of the insane Dr. Kraspin, who has invented a chemical capable of turning an ordinary ... See full summary »
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 »
A lone rider comes across a dying soldier, the victim of an Indian attack, who gives him a paper authorizing the payment of $150,000 to the U.S. Army. The rider gathers some colleagues who ... See full summary »
A Thomas organ was prominently featured on the soundtrack to create special musical effects. See more »
When the bow of Ulysses is taken form the storage room it is clearly strung. Bows have to be stored unstrung or they lose their strength over time (and this one is said to have not been touched for 20 years). As a result the movie deviates from the epic in the essential part that in the epic the bow is useless to the suitors because they are unable to string it (either due to lack of strength or not knowing that a composite bow is strung backwards). The movie on the other hand shows the suitors (rather unconvincingly) unable to simply draw the bow. See more »
The Multimedia San Paolo (Milan, Italy) VHS release, on 2 cassettes, is cut. It has a listed running time of 370 minutes. The Multimedia San Paolo (Milan, Italy) DVD release, on 2 discs, is cut. It has a listed running time of 370 minutes. The ElleU Multimedia (Rome, Italy) DVD release, on 2 discs, is cut. It has a listed running time of 392 minutes. See more »
As it was already put, the best version ever of Homer's epic. Entirely shot in natural locations in the Mediterranean. The sea and the sky are strikingly blue, the islands green and untouched. The clothing is linen, wool and fur, the settings stony and bare, everything is somewhat rugged and primitive, a bit what you would find in Cacoyannis or Pasolini movies, and it makes it all the more authentic. Although the story is based on myths and widely goes into supernatural, it gives us a good idea of what life in the 10th century BC might have been like.
The rhythm is somewhat slow and austere, but the whole is so beautiful that you quickly get into it. Actually, it is amazingly close to the original plot by Homer, if not to the text itself. Ulysses doesn't appear until the first hour, the start being centered on his son looking after him. Then he suddenly appears lost in a storm, lands on the island of the Pheacians where the royal family takes good care of him. His adventures are told in flashback as a narration to his hosts : the terrifying Cyclop, the magic world of Circe, the Underworld, the Sirens etc. He finally comes back to his homeland Ithaca after 20 years, and it all ends dramatically with the killing of the pretenders of his faithful spouse Penelope.
As a story, the Odyssey is an unparalleled metaphor of the struggles of a man's life. The cast is brilliant and international here. Irene Papas gives us a typical Greek tragedy style performance as Penelope, but most amazing is the Albanian actor Bekim Fehmiu as Ulysses. Really good looking and totally convincing, it seems the role was really made for him. Strange that he was never offered roles of this dimension afterwards. Also playing Nausicaa is Barbara Bach (as Barbara Gregorini) later famous as the James Bond girl in "The Spy Who Loved Me", and playing Athena is Michele Breton, who was otherwise noted in the strange movie called "Performance" with Mick Jagger.
As it was done 35 years ago, the series was actually quite an innovation for its time, as the first big European co-production for TV (Italy, France, Germany and Yugoslavia). I have seen this mini-series in 8 parts on French television as far back as 1974. I was a kid back then, and although it was all in black and white, it left a very vivid impression. All my life long I wondered if I would ever get a chance to see it again, as it was never shown on French TV later on.
I recently found a copy on DVD (all in wonderful color) through Internet. It is unfortunately only in Italian with no subtitles, although French and German versions existed back then. I never heard there was any English version of this film as it is widely unknown in the Anglo Saxon world, and it's quite a shame. If you ever get a chance to watch this, you are not going to forget it ever.
There were not many versions of the Odyssey before or after that. The one by Camerini in 1955 starring Kirk Douglas is a classic sword-and-sandal like "the 10 Commandments", but not as impressive and very short for such a complex story. The one in 1997 by Konchalovsky is a meretricious Hollywood movie, based on special effects, sometimes quite gory, very poorly acted and grossly afar from Homer's story and atmosphere.
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