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  • Alexander the Great (Blu-ray + DVD) (1956) (Region 2) (Import)
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Alexander the Great (Blu-ray + DVD) (1956) (Region 2) (Import)

35 customer reviews

Price: £17.99
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Alexander the Great (Blu-ray + DVD) (1956) (Region 2) (Import) + The 300 Spartans [Blu-ray] [1962]
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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Barry Jones, Harry Andrews, Stanley Baker
  • Directors: Robert Rossen
  • Producers: Alexander the Great ( Alejandro Magno ) (Blu-Ray & DVD Combo) (Blu-Ray), Alexander the Great, Alejandro Magno
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: Swedish, Danish, Finnish
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Run Time: 135.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0074A21LU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,621 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Denmark released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), Danish ( Subtitles ), Finnish ( Subtitles ), Norwegian ( Subtitles ), Swedish ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Blu-Ray & DVD Combo, Interactive Menu, Remastered, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Richard Burton stars in Alexander the Great, a middling entry in the 1950s CinemaScope epic cycle. The film boasts excellent production values and a fine cast--including Frederic March, Claire Bloom, Harry Andrews, Stanley Baker, Peter Cushing, Michael Hordern--but rarely comes to life other than as a big fat ancient Greek wedding of the talents of Burton and Bloom. They strike real dramatic sparks together, so much so they would be reunited in Look Back in Anger (1958) and The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965). Otherwise the blame must be laid at the feet of writer-director-producer Robert Rossen, who never before or after helmed anything remotely on this scale; his best work would follow with the intimate The Hustler (1961). Rossen simply shows little sensibility for the epic, staging lavish but brief and rather pedestrian battles, and somehow drawing from the usually mesmerizing Burton a performance lacking the charisma essential to a great military commander. ...Alexander the Great ( Alejandro Magno ) (Blu-Ray & DVD Combo) (Blu-Ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Hayes on 9 Jun. 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Alexander The Great, like many of its 1950s CinemaScope contemporaries is an ideal subject for Blu ray treatment. These films were composed for the wide frame, not with one eye on a future TV release, and were made, for the most part, in glorious Technicolor or the more economical Eastmancolor.
Other reviewers have detailed the plot, or the various perceived shortcomings of Rosson's epic: overlong, talky, weak battle sequences, wooden performances etc. But none of this matters because this was very much a film of its time. If you are going to buy a pre 1960s costume picture on DVD or Blu ray, it will be much the same as Alexander The Great; this was how they made them then. Helen Of Troy has better battles and more spectacle, for example, but Alexander The Great has a better script and acting. Both films look terrific, however and should have been studied carefully by the makers of Alexander and Troy before they set work recreating ancient Greece with CGI.
Strangely, this Blu ray release comes from Denmark, with the Blu ray cover in Danish, though even more oddly, the menu page features a photograph of the same Blu ray cover which is entirely in English. The disc defaults to the original English soundtrack - which seems to be in stereo - and optional subtitles in a variety of languages, except English, can be selected. The print is clean and sharp and colours are bright and steady, though one scene has a brief cutaway that is so soft as to appear almost out of focus. That lasts only a few seconds, though. The original aspect ratio has been preserved at 2.35:1, anamorphically enhanced, though this is not stated on the cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 17 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD
It was bold of Robert Rossen to attempt to make a 'thinking man's epic' four years before the term would creep into common usage with Spartacus and at a time when the popular image of the screen epic was either of Cecil B. De Mille's enjoyable excesses or undemanding star vehicles for the likes of Tony Curtis and Cornel Wilde. He certainly chose a big subject - the most successful conqueror of the classical era - so it's perhaps not too surprising that with only 136 minutes at his disposal to do the Macedonian leader's short but eventful life justice he fell short.

Focusing on Alexander's conflicts with his brash and vulgar father and his mother's plotting as he sets out to live a life worthy of a god, it's not nearly as talky as its reputation, although unfortunately some of the talk does bring out the ham in Richard Burton and Frederic March in particular. Yet it's a more focused and accessible telling of a man who determinedly set out to become a legend than Oliver Stone's flawed but ambitious fractured narrative half a century later, and many of the scenes are surprisingly memorable. It's never entirely successful, but it works well enough to keep your interest, and if history doesn't always get its due onscreen at least for once it's not because the director is aiming for the lowest common denominator but overreaching himself with a subject that's too big for just one film.

MGM/UA's DVD has a decent widescreen transfer with the original theatrical trailer the only extra.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon on 4 Mar. 2005
Format: DVD
One of the best things about this epic based on Alexander the Great is watching and listening to Richard Burton ply his magnificent craft. He was 29 at the time this film was made, and his resonant voice is remarkable, and one of the most unique sounds to be heard in the cinema. He is unfortunately wearing in a strawberry blonde wig that has so much spray on it, it could be made of plastic, but otherwise makes a marvelous Alexander, in one of his rare appearances in a "ancient costume epic", others being "The Robe" and the infamous "Cleopatra".
Written, directed and produced by Robert Rossen, it has some excellent dialogue, overall fine acting, and of course, battle sequences with 1001 extras. There is also quite a bit of "beefcake", but not many who are ready for the bare chest exposure, including Burton, whose abs are almost absent, and many of the extras are flabby and rotund, and hard to imagine are warriors.
Shot on location in Spain, the cinematography by Robert Krasner, in typical '50s vibrant Technicolor, is wonderful. Claire Bloom is beautiful as Barsine, a dark and hairy, savage and quite unrecognizable Frederick March is terrific as Philip of Macedon, Harry Andrews is a good Darius, and Danielle Darrieux is Alexander's crafty mother. Others of note in the cast are Stanley Baker as Attalus, and Peter Cushing as Memnon.
Though flawed, this is a film that can be viewed repeatedly, for its well written scenes, Burton's acting, and a smattering of history as well, which though condensed and altered to fit the Hollywood format, has some basis in truth; it is also fascinating to note that if one listens carefully, one will hear things reminiscent of recent news stories; history seems to be a wheel that is ever turning, and for the brief time that Alexander was in power, he would say "The world is my domain, and it is my mission is to rule it and rebuild it".
Total running time is 136 minutes, and the DVD extra is the original theatrical trailer.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By T. Jarvis on 17 Nov. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In 1955 Alexander the Great was shown in cinemas worldwide over 50 years later it is being watched on DVD in the comfort of your own home and what a movie it is Richard Burton is gold as Alexander apart from the stiff wig he has on that never moves.
For people who know very little of Alexander this is worth every penny.
A great film to watch when you have a spare 2 hours a lot of people complain about this movie but they obviously jumped on the bandwagon on that subject
How ever don't watch the new Alexander film with Colin Farrell watch this instead.
I'm hoping someday they will bring a special edition of this film out but until then I'm happy with the DVD I have.
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