Conquering 90% of the known world by the age of 25, Alexander the Great led his armies through 22,000 miles of sieges and conquests in just eight years. Coming out of tiny Macedonia (today part of Greece), Alexander led his armies against the mighty Persian Empire, drove west to Egypt, and finally made his way east to India. This film will concentrate on those eight years of battles, as well as his relationship with his boyhood friend and battle mate, Hephaestion. Alexander died young, of illness, at 33. Alexander's conquests paved the way for the spread of Greek culture (facilitating the spread of Christianity centuries later), and removed many of the obstacles that might have prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire. In other words, the world we know today might never have been if not for Alexander's bloody, yet unifying, conquest.Written by
Oliver Stone claimed that the horses were more dangerous while filming the battle scenes than the elephants. The horses were often reckless with their riders. The elephants were much more careful not to harm the actors. See more »
The horse used as Bucephalus is a modern Dutch Friesian, the 1990's Hollywood dream horse (Zorro, Ladyhawk etc etc), and about twice the size of the ponies known in the Hellenistic period. See more »
Our world is gone now. Smashed by the wars. Now I am the keeper of his body, embalmed here in the Egyptian ways. I followed him as Pharaoh, and have now ruled 40 years. I am the victor. But what does it all mean when there is not one left to remember - the great cavalry charge at Gaugamela, or the mountains of the Hindu Kush when we crossed a 100,000-man army into India? He was a god, Cadmos. Or as close as anything I've ever seen.
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The director's cut is nine minutes shorter than the 175-minute theatrical version. It is a reworked version although seamless to many. Eighteen minutes were cut and nine added. Many of the added or extended sequences involved Val Kilmer and Angelina Jolie's characters. With battle of Gaugamela now starts earlier. Taking a cue from classic movie epics, the opening reels now set up the basic themes with greater economy: Alexander's Oedipal relationship with his parents, Olympias' ambitions for her son, the boy's need to surpass his father, and the entirely natural way in which myth/religion is shown as integral to the ancients' behavior. Oliver Stone reworked the third act, juxtaposing events in India and Greece. And Jolie's Olympias emerged more as a genuinely pathetic figure in the whole tragedy. Stone wanting to isolate her character's own ambition from the one person she loves. Ptolemy's final scene was edited. Stone also reworked Alexander's death scene secondary to audience feedback, adding 17 seconds to the scene. See more »
This film moved me to register with IMDb just to say how awful it was. No, not because of the relationship with Hephaestion. That's historical. But because of the all-over-the-place direction. Platoon to the nth degree! right to the slo-mo encounter between stallion and elephant. Misdirected by Oliver Stone, "Alexander" spends most of his time either with his huge eyebrows slanted up in a worried direction, or bellowing like Joan of Arc in "The Messenger". Two basic expressions. Poor Val Kilmer gets to do a nice Oliver Reed impression. As far as history goes, we're provided with a quote from Virgil (70 bc or so) right at the start, which Alexander then repeats about 300 years earlier. (Virgil stole it from Alex, right?) Alexander was a truly amazing strategist. The first battle in this film was such a disorganized, overblown mess that this was hardly apparent. Also, the film made it seem as if that was it, one big battle, empire conquered. It was his continued consistent victorious streak against all odds that amazed people and kept his men with him for years on end. Yet hardly any of his other successes were mentioned. His continued brinksmanship with Darius was largely ignored. Where was the building of the bridge to the island? Where were the things that made him such a superstar of antiquity, such as the oracle from Zeus in Egypt, or the cutting of the Gordian knot? Instead we see him coaching his men with some new-agey pop psychology and multicultural idealism. (This didn't make sense either--on one hand he was all about the equality of all cultures, on the other he kept talking about bringing enlightenment to the barbarians) Not very likely for a Macedonian warrior, whose motives were more likely power, glory, and to outshine his father. I know it's hard to make a good movie, but this one was just a dog's breakfast.
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