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
Some scenes from the film were supposed to be shot in India, but the Indian elephants weren't well trained, so they had to shoot it in Thailand instead. See more »
Horses are shod with modern nailed horseshoes. The most probable horseshoes at the time of Alexander should have been leather and plants "booties" of Asian origin. In the 1st century, Romans used leather and iron "hipposandals". Nailed iron horseshoes seem to have become adopted much later. 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 »
Last night I saw the movie a second time, with my 20 year old son. The audience was of an entirely different demographic than the first viewing (which was an advance screening). The average age of the audience was about 35-45, with not too many teens in there. And guess what? Besides the fact that the entire theatre was PACKED, there was absolutely not a sound from the audience...like they were breathless. No snickering at blond hair, eyeliner, sultry looks from Bagoas, or any of the things that drew slight laughs when I saw it for the first time. It bolstered my hope that as time goes on and more people see it, there will be a more favorable opinion of it.
I myself liked the movie a whole lot more the second time around. I watched different things this time...paid more attention to the sets and the other characters behind and around whoever was the primary action of the moment. I listened to the narration more closely, and enjoyed the film much more this time.
Response from my 20 year old son, who wasn't just trying to be nice to his old mom, was very positive. He even thought that the assassination scene was fine where it was because it related better to what was going on in Alexander's head at the time.
I highly recommend a second (at least) viewing at a theatre with a very good sound system. I realized I had missed some of the dialogue and narration because the 1st theatre's sound system was horrible.
P.S. Kudos to Mr. Stone for his lifetime achievement award in Sweden. They don't give those out to just anyone, you know?
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