Inspired by his mentor Aristotle, young Alexander wishes to become a hero like the legendary Achilles. When his father, King Philip, is killed by the wicked Emperor Darius, the young king ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
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 »
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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