Helen of Troy, also known as Helen of Sparta, or simply Helen, was said to have been the most beautiful woman in the world, who was married to King Menelaus of Sparta, but eloped with Prince Paris of Troy, resulting in the Trojan War when the Achaeans set out to reclaim her and bring her back to Sparta. She was believed to have been the daughter of Zeus and Leda, and was the sister of Clytemnestra and Castor and Polydeuces.Written by
Paul Gerard Kennedy
I saw a recently restored copy at the Cinematheque Suisse at the Cassino de Montbenon, Lausanne, VD, CH. It was a unique session, with a live pianist and some explanations about the history of the movie and its restauration before.
It is a tour de force of 3h20... even with breaks, the occasional involuntarily comical scene, live music and lots of interest, it is tiresome. The Sturm-und-Drag style is heavy, many theatrical conventions of the time don't hold anymore to the point of eliciting laughters from the audience; people are far shorter than in today's movies, and the standards of beauty have changed so much it is difficult to believe.
On the other hand, it is a unique experience of an early superproduction. The take on the famous historical and mythical Homer poem is detailed and enlightening, and thinking about the historical context (as people knew far more mythology during the 1,920s than today) can make the movie more enjoyable. Also some historical knowledge about the 1,920s can help, for example about the role of physioculture in Germany at the time.
It is extremely rare that such a movie will be at the nearest Blockbuster anytime soon. But in case it does, and you have a serious interest in German Sturm-und-Drag, go for it.
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