Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fury of Achilles (1962)

If you liked the film Troy and you want to see another version of the story track this film down because its a very different take and actually really good.

Unable to support the war in Troy, the Greeks begin raiding along the coast. While the classic heroes are off raiding the Trojans try a sneak attack against those that remain behind. Just as the battle turns against the Greeks, Achilles arrives to save the day...so goes the first 20 minutes of the film.

This is a telling of the end of the Trojan war just prior to the death of Achilles. Its a very strange film in that for a good portion of it you really can't stand the Greeks (the heroes of the movie)who are more interested in raping than fighting the war. They are shown to be petty people who are not really heroic and who spend more time fighting over women and gold than matters of state. I've seen the film a couple of times now and the fact that the supposed good guys are not so good really throws me for the loop, especially considering that in these sort of movies things are almost always cut and dry.

This is a big movie with a cast of thousands so you really do get armies clashing. Its one of the best looking and best acted films in the genre.

If the film has any flaws it's that it can be very unfocused and feels stretched by about 20 minutes. Its not fatal, but it does wound what it is for the most part an very good little film.

A word of warning. The film is out on DVD from a variety of sources, however you need to keep an eye out for two things when you pick up a copy. First off be sure the film runs about two hours. I've seen listings and actually had one copy that run about 90 minutes. It cut the life out of the film. The other thing to avoid is the Alpha Video release with Ali Baba and the 7 Saracens. Its a weak and snowy copy, and considering how many versions are out there of this film there is no reason to have to watch a bad copy.

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