Ulysses - 1954
Released October 1955, directed by Mario Camerini. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis, Carlo Ponti and William Schorr. Filmed on location in the Greek islands, Africa and at the De Laurentiis /Ponti studios in Rome.
Star Kirk Douglas is on the screen most of the runtime of Ulysses, an abbreviated version of the famous tale by Homer in which the warrior-hero who played a key role in the conquest of Troy spends year after year trying to get home to Ithaca. Meanwhile his wife Penelope (Silvana Mangano) has to fend off an unwanted army of suitors (led by Anthony Quinn as Antinoos) who all presume Ulysses has died in the war and will never return, and his beautiful wife and his vast estate is theirs for the taking. Boy, are they mistaken.
Going home means braving classic Greek monster trouble
Getting home is rough on Ulysses, along the way he gets beaten up, trapped by Cyclops, tricked, seduced and generally harassed every step of the way. Co-star Silvana Mangano does double-duty onscreen, playing both the under-siege Penelope, and the nihilist Circe, a witch seducing Ulysses and employing a combination of drugs and pyschology (well, she offers him immortality) to keep him with her on her island prison.
Kirk Douglas ...
Silvana Mangano ... Circe / Penelope
Anthony Quinn ... Antinoos
Rossana Podest ... Nausicaa
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Original page Sept 2014 | Updated November 2023