British historian Bettany Hughes tours the eastern Mediterranean in search of facts behind the legends of "the face that launched a thousand ships," exploring the ways Greeks made love and war circa 1300 B.C.
Queen Helen of Troy, in response to her husband Menelaus' lack of interest in her, elopes with Paris to Sparta. Menelaus, egged on by his henchman, starts a war with Paris, finally ... See full summary »
A lawyer who is planning to run for District Attorney accidentally kills a gangster who owns the nightclub where the attorney's girlfriend is a singer. Although he manages to cover up his ... See full summary »
Prince Paris of Troy, shipwrecked on a mission to the king of Sparta, meets and falls for Queen Helen before he knows who she is. Rudely received by the royal Greeks, he must flee...but fate and their mutual passions lead him to take Helen along. This gives the Greeks just the excuse they need for much-desired war.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sergio Leone was one of the second unit directors. He had a more rewarding experience on this American film since he was able to communicate directly with the director, Robert Wise, since both of them could speak French. See more »
When the Greeks are first shown marching to attack Troy, the shot appears to be flopped since all the Greek soldiers appear to be left handed. They carry their spears with their left hands, and their shields in their right. See more »
The Goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, come down to earth in mortal form. She will bring the disaster I have prophesied. Her name will be written in letters of fire: Helen. Helen of Troy.
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In the United States, the credits on the film, and the promotional material, list Jacques Sernas as "Jack Sernas." See more »
HELEN OF TROY is a very respectable Hollywood sword and sandal effort from the 1950s, with a strong international cast and very good production values. Except ...
Why does every popular culture effort at retelling the Trojan War myth have to make Paris the hero? In the Illiad, by far the most significant and authoritative source of the story, at best shows Paris to be an ambiguous figure--the best looking man of his generation, but often a coward in battle. Helen expresses extraordinary contempt for him in one extended passage. In one or two brief sequences, Paris fights valiantly, but in his major appearance, his winner-take-all-and-Helen duel with Menaleus, after bragging and crowing about his prowess, he completely wimps out in the battle, and, once defeated, is transported by Aphrodite back to Troy to hide in his bedroom.
HELEN OF TROY is not the only effort to mis-read the Illiad into a Paris-and-Helen "runaway" love story. Perhaps in writing a commercial screenplay, that's what any writer would be forced to do. But that doesn't speak well for our popular culture, one that can't sustain the ambiguity and complexity of another culture--of 2700 years ago!
Still, the movie has its strong parts, particularly Stanley Baker as Achilles. Watch for Brigitte Bardot in an early, pre-star role as Helen's handmaiden.
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