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Helen of Troy (1956)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 26 January 1956 (USA)
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The Iliad's story of the Trojan war, told from the Trojan viewpoint.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

John Twist (screenplay), Hugh Gray (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rossana Podestà ... Helen (as Rossana Podesta)
Jacques Sernas ... Paris (as Jack Sernas)
Cedric Hardwicke ... Priam (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Stanley Baker ... Achilles
Niall MacGinnis ... Menelaus
Nora Swinburne ... Hecuba
Robert Douglas ... Agamemnon
Torin Thatcher ... Ulysses
Harry Andrews ... Hector
Janette Scott ... Cassandra
Ronald Lewis ... Aeneas
Brigitte Bardot ... Andraste
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Andros
Marc Lawrence ... Diomedes
Maxwell Reed ... Ajax
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 January 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die schöne Helena See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,976,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(theatrical) | (with overture and exit music) | (uncut) | (cut) | (with overture)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)| Mono (RCA Sound Recording) (optical prints)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Cassandra: 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the United States, the credits on the film, and the promotional material, list Jacques Sernas as "Jack Sernas." See more »

Connections

Edited into Jason and the Argonauts (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

Why don't they read the Illiad?
9 March 2004 | by treagan-2See all my reviews

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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