This adequate and fairly entertaining version of Homer's Odyssey stars Douglas as the eponymous bearded hero who takes a slow route home from the Trojan War. The film opens with Quinn and other suitors trying to convince Douglas' wife, Mangano, that her long-missing husband is dead and
that she must pick one of them as a replacement. Meanwhile, the amnesiac Douglas washes up on a beach on the island of Phaeacia. He is nursed back to health by a princess, Podesta, who falls in love with him, but Douglas spends most of his time staring out at the sea, trying to remember. In
flashbacks he remembers killing the cyclops, lashing himself to the mast of his ship to hear the call of the sirens, and the sorceress Circe (also Mangano) turning his entire crew into pigs. Soon his memory is completely restored and after saying goodbye to Podesta, he sails back home to Ithaca.
When he arrives he disguises himself as a beggar to check out the situation. The obnoxious suitors are still there and they insult and harass the beggar. Mangano sets a task to determine her new husband. Whoever can bend the heavy bow of Ulysses will have her hand. One after another the suitors
try and fail. Finally Douglas comes forth and--while the others jeer him--bends the bow and sends its arrow through Quinn, then makes short work of the others. A decent attempt to film the Homer's epic fails as it inevitably must, the result of too much condensation and the reduction of poetry
into soap opera. But these failings aside, the film is a tasteful and surprisingly literate work. Douglas gives a restrained and thoughtful performance and the production values are way above the run of Italian sword-and-sandal epics. Excellent camerawork by Hollywood veteran Rosson and a number
of small but well-played supporting parts add greatly to the quality, and the film is probably as good a job as one can do with the material.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: This adequate and fairly entertaining version of Homer's Odyssey stars Douglas as the eponymous bearded hero who takes a slow route home from the Trojan War. The film opens with Quinn and other suitors trying to convince Douglas' wife, Mangano, that her lo… (more)