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Alexander the Great (1956)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 31 August 1956 (France)
The life and military conquests of Alexander III of Macedon (July 20/21, 356 - June 10/11, 323 B.C.), commonly known as Alexander the Great.

Director:

Robert Rossen

Writer:

Robert Rossen
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Burton ... Alexander
Fredric March ... Philip of Macedonia
Claire Bloom ... Barsine
Barry Jones ... Aristotle
Harry Andrews ... Darius
Stanley Baker ... Attalus
Niall MacGinnis ... Parmenio (as Niall Macginnis)
Peter Cushing ... Gen. Memnon
Michael Hordern ... Demosthenes
Marisa de Leza ... Eurydice (as Marisa De Leza)
Gustavo Rojo ... Cleitus
Rubén Rojo ... Philotas (as Ruben Rojo)
Peter Wyngarde ... Pausanias
Helmut Dantine ... Nectenabus
William Squire ... Aeschenes
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Storyline

An epic film that follows the life of Alexander the Great, the macedonian king that conquered all ancient greek tribes and led macedonian army against the vast Persian Empire. Alexander conquered most of the then known world and created a greek empire that spanned all the way from the Balkans to India. Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

So mighty ... it staggers the imagination ! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 August 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Alexander der Große See more »

Filming Locations:

Estudios CEA, Madrid, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,500,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print) | (Turner Library Print)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer/director Robert Rossen was lobbied by photojournalist (and later a co-producer on John Cassavetes films) Sam Shaw to consider John Cassavetes, then a struggling young actor in New York City, for the title role in this movie. Rossen rejected Cassavetes, but the blacklisted director and the young actor became close friends over the course of the next few years. They shared many opinions about dramatic construction, acting and directing, and Rossen would give Cassavetes a lot of help a few years later on Shadows (1958), Cassavetes' directorial debut. See more »

Goofs

Many of the actors playing soldiers wear comically ill-fitting helmets, including the star's own. Burton's helmet never sits properly on his head and has fabric stuffed into the empty ear holes in a vain attempt to cover up the gaff. A simple session of "musical-helmets" amongst everyone could have solved the problem quickly and economically. See more »

Quotes

Aristotle: Wonders are many, but none is more wonderful than man himself.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Original theatrical version ran 147 min. (according to the BBFC database). For unknown reasons the film was cut down at a later time to its current running time of 136 min. All US and European DVD releases include this shorter version. It is rumored that the Spanish VHS release includes the complete version. See more »

Connections

Version of Alexander (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A philosophical epic
10 February 1999 | by Erik G.See all my reviews

I have always been fascinated by the short and violent life of Alexander of Macedonia, which of course makes me biased in reviewing this film. It has been said of this film that Robert Rossen, who produced, wrote and directed this film, was aiming for a masterpiece but failed honorably. While this is true in a way, I still enjoyed it more than that. This movie is not fast in pace, and the direction is not perfect either, but it feels authentic. I'm sure that not everything portrayed is true to history (does anyone really care?), but it is convincing, and the acting is solid. Richard Burton is a very good Alexander, and he adds a lot of subtle edges to this enigmatic figure from history (just ignore the silly blond wig...) All in all, Alexander the Great is a good film, perhaps too ambitious, and even though it is not very accessible to viewers not familiar with the territory, it is still quite dramatic, convincing and enjoyable if you like historical epics. And even though the film doesn't ask you to care too much about the characters, it is still an interesting, intellectual, and high minded story you probably will not forget. If you keep in mind that it is the events of history that are really on display here, and not so much the individual players, you may enjoy it as I did.


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