Helen of Troy (movie, 1956)

Helen of Troy (original title English :  Helen of Troy , as Italian :  Elena di Troia ) is an American movie – Italian directed by Robert Wise , released in 1956 .

Synopsis

The Trojan prince Paris leaves his kingdom to bring a message of peace to King Menelaus of Sparta . But during a storm, the mast of his ship breaks and drags him down into the waves. Pâris fails on a beach on the Greek coast where Hélènethe wife of Menelaus finds him exhausted. She heals him secretly and they soon fall in love. Before meeting Menelaus, Paris must bow to the customs and face Ajax in a singular fight from which he emerges brilliantly victorious. Menelaus immediately sees in him a dangerous opponent doubled by a great rival and has him imprisoned. Helen, surprised as she was preparing for her lover’s escape, fled with him to Troy. His betrayal, besides scorning Menelaus, immediately triggers a huge offensive movement of the Greeks who embark to attack Troy .

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Technical sheet

  • Original title: Helen of Troy
  • French title: Hélène de Troy
  • Italian title: Elena di Troia
  • Director: Robert Wise and Raoul Walsh ( second team )
  • Assistants Achievement: Sergio Leone (with Gus Agosti and Yakima Canutt )
  • Scenario: John Twist , Hugh Gray , N. Richard Nash from The Iliad of Homer
  • Artistic direction: Edward Carrere
  • Sets: Elso Valentini
  • Costumes: Roger K. Furse , Irene Sharaff
  • Photography: Harry Stradling Sr.
  • Special Effects: Louis Lichtenfield
  • Sound: Charles Lang , Paul Reuting, Ed Scheid, Finn Ulback
  • Editing: Thomas Reilly
  • Music: Max Steiner
  • Choreography: Madi Obolensky
  • Producers: Maurizio Lodi-Fe , Giuseppe De Blasio
  • Production Companies: Warner Bros. Pictures (United States), Lux Film (Italy)
  • Distribution companies: Warner Bros. Pictures , Warner Bros. Transatlantic (France)
  • Country of origin: United States , Italy
  • Original language: English
  • Format: 35 mm – color by Warnercolor – 2.35: 1 CinemaScope – mono and stereo versions 4 tracks ( RCA Sound System )
  • Genre: peplum , Greek mythology
  • Duration: 114 min
  • Release dates: ,
  • (en) Classifications CNC : all audiences, Arthouse (operating visa o 15706 issued)

Distribution

  • Rossana Podesta ( VF : Nelly Benedetti ) : Helen
  • Jacques Sernas ( VF : Rene Arrieu ) : Paris
  • Sir Cedric Hardwicke ( VF : Pierre Morin ) : Priam
  • Stanley Baker ( VF : Yves Furet ) : Achilles
  • Niall MacGinnis ( VF : Jean Brochard ) : Menelaus
  • Nora Swinburne ( VF : Lita Recio ) : Hecuba
  • Robert Douglas ( VF : Roger Til ) : Agamemnon
  • Torin Thatcher ( VF : Claude Peran ) : Ulysses
  • Harry Andrews ( VF : Roger Rudel ) : Hector
  • Janette Scott ( VF : Sophie Leclair ) : Cassandra
  • Ronald Lewis ( VF : Michel Gudin ) : Aeneas
  • Brigitte Bardot ( VF : Janine Freson ) : Andraste
  • Eduardo Ciannelli ( VF : Camille Guerini ) : Andros
  • Marc Lawrence ( VF : Pierre Leproux ) : Diomedes
  • Maxwell Reed ( VF : Jacques Erwin ) : Ajax
  • Barbara Cavan ( VF : Marie Francey ) : Cora
  • Terence Longdon ( VF : Serge Lhorca ) : Patroclus
  • Patricia Marmont ( VF : Denise Bosc ) : Andromache
  • Guido Notari ( VF : Albert Montigny ) : Nestor
  • Tonio Selwart ( VF : Rene Blancard ) : Adelphous
  • Georges Zoritch : the dancer
  • Esmond Knight ( VF : Raymond Rognoni ) : The High Priest
  • Robert Brown ( VF : Raymond Loyer ) : Polydore
  • Roland Ménard ( VF voiceover ) : narrator

Production

Casting

  • Brigitte Bardot 1 : “I end up getting a role in an American film, Helen of Troy , with Rossana Podesta. I had to play his slave. My English was shabby and my trac formidable. On the day of the tests, there were 80 candidates. I learned my role at the fingertips, I did not even know what I was saying, but I said it so confidently that I was chosen. Without knowing it, I had put my little finger in the great gear of American superproductions. There, we do not joke! I learned, with great difficulty, discipline and English. Being allergic to both, I considered this film as a kind of military service! […] The Americans were charming, but why did you have to get up at 5am to start shooting at 9? My philosophy of work amused them, they were delighted with the little “French girl” and went to say it across the great ocean. “

Shooting

  • Shooting period: end of March to end of August 1954 2 .
  • Interiors: Cinecittà studios (Italy).
  • Outdoors: Rome / Latium (Italy) 2 .

Home

Variety 3 , 4 writes that “this new account of the Homeric legend, entirely shot in Italy, uses CinemaScope prodigally. Warner Bros. and director Robert Wise have accumulated spending in the Greek army and siege of Troy. […] As often in the peplums, the interpretation is sometimes stilted. Warner unites two strangers, Rossana Podesta , an exquisite Italian beauty, and Jacques Sernas , a muscular and handsome Frenchman. They visually match both their roles, ” while Bosley Crowther notes in The New York Times 5 , 4 “All the ancient war techniques developed and refined in Hollywood are admirably and noisily restored thanks to additional Italian expenditure. […] But the dramatic plot is completely lost or totally served by the banality of the scenario, the awkwardness of English dialogues, and inexcusable clichés. […] In the role of Helen, Rossana Podesta is pretty dazzling, it’s true, but her emotions and expressions of her face are those of an extraswoman. Similarly, the young Jacques Sernas is a lively and beautiful Paris, but his expressiveness is a shade just above zero. ”

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Extract from his memories Initials BB , Editions Grasset , Paris , 1996 , p. 101 and 102 ( ISBN 2-246-52601-9 ) .
  2. ↑ a and b Source: The TCM Movie Database United States .
  3. ↑ Extract criticism published.
  4. ↑ a and b Free translation of English by the publisher.
  5. ↑ Extract from his review published.

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