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La Guerra di Troia

The Trojan War
La Guerre de Troie / Kampf um Troja / The Trojan Horse / The Wooden Horse of Troy

Italy/France 1961
produced by
Giampaolo Bigazzi for Europa Cinematografica, Compagnie Industrielle et Commerciale Cinématographique (= CICC), les Films Modernes, Lovcen Films
directed by Giorgio Ferroni
starring Steve Reeves, Juliette Mayniel, John Drew Barrymore, Arturo Dominici, Edy Vessel, Nando Tamberlani, Warner Bentivegna, Nerio Bernardi, Lidia Alfonsi, Luciana Angiolillo, Carlo Tamberlani, Mimmo Palmara, Andrej Gardenin, Giancarlo Bastianoni, Giovanni Cianfriglia, Luigi Ciavarro, Giulio Maculani, Nello Pazzafini
written by Giorgio Ferroni, Ugo Liberatore, Giorgio Stegani, Federico Zardi, based on the epic Iliad by Homer, music by Mario Ammonini, Giovanni Fusco

Aeneas, Ulysses

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Because Paris of Troy (Warner Bentivegna) has stolen Helena (Edy Vessel) from her husband Menelaos (Nando Tamberlani), the Greek army led by king Agamemnon (Nerio Bernardi) and the hero Achilles (Arturo Dominici) besiege Troy, a siege that has now lasted for ten years - not only because Troy is virtually inconquerable, but also because the city has its own hero, Aeneas (Steve Reeves), known for his many incredible feats. But Aeneas is opposed to the policy of Paris, and Paris doesn't like Aeneas' righteousness ...

Eventually, a truce can be brokered between the Trojans and the Greek, and Aeneas uses that opportunity to get troops from neighbouring regions to fight the Greeks, while treacherous Paris hands over Creusa (Juliette Mayniel), Aeneas' wife and his own sister, to the Greek as hostage.

But why did the Greek agree to the truce in the first place?

Because their military advisor Ulysses (John Drew Barrymore) had an idea to build a giant horse. You see, when Aeneas returns with a fresh army, he has no problems chasing the Greeks off into the sea, and kill Achilles and Greek strongman Ajax (Mimmo Palmara) in the process - as well as freeing Creusa of course. But the Greek left behind the giant wooden horse, supposedly as an offering to the gods, and proudly, Paris, who thinks he has won the war, has the horse dragged into the city, not knowing that it is filled with Greek heroes who emerge from it at nightto open the doors for the Greek army that is finally able to overrun Troy and set it ablaze.

Only Aeneas, his newborn son and a handful of righteous Trojans manage to flee - and eventually make it to Italy in the sequel, The Last Glory of Troy ...

 

Competently made sword-and-sandal epic made on a budget that by and large does justice to the demands of the story, featuring nice sets, costumes and large armies of extras to bring its plot across. Also, telling the story from the Trojan point of view (with Ulysses coming across as a scheming baddie for a change) is a rather original approach. That all cannot hide the fact though that the whole thing is too long for the story it's telling, pretty boring at times, and - original approach or not - full of clichés a bit too well-known from other Italian sword-and-sandal movies (or peplums, if you may).

Still, the film is totally watchable, and there are a lot worse peplums out there (but also a lot better or funnier ones).

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD